Browse Prior Art Database

Structured Online Documents using Panel Suites in OS/2 Information Presentation Facility

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000114587D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-29
Document File: 4 page(s) / 170K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Berry, RR: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a panel-suite architecture, a set of design guidelines and reusable templates designed to help solve the navigation, consistency, and portability difficulties inherent in online documents developed using the OS/2* Information Presentation Facility (IPF). This design builds documents from units called panel suites. It separates document content from document navigation, which facilitates authoring, maintenance, and porting to other online platforms.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 48% of the total text.

Structured Online Documents using Panel Suites in OS/2 Information
Presentation Facility

      Disclosed is a panel-suite architecture, a set of design
guidelines and reusable templates designed to help solve the
navigation,
consistency, and portability difficulties inherent in online
documents
developed using the OS/2* Information Presentation Facility
(IPF).  This design builds documents from units called panel suites.
It
separates document content from document navigation, which
facilitates
authoring, maintenance, and porting to other online platforms.

      The OS/2 IPF supports the construction of complex arrangements
of multiple information panels.  These capabilities give writers the
opportunity to provide readers with additional cues regarding the
relationships between panels.  The panel-suite design uses these
capabilities to create a new, writer-customizable navigation system
for IPF documents.  Although the built-in IPF navigational facilities
are still available, this design replaces those facilities for most
navigation tasks.

      The panel-suite design uses only documented IPF tagging and is
therefore guaranteed to be compatible with any user system running
OS/2 version 2.0 or later.  It is also compatible with IPF on other
platforms (such as IPF for Microsoft** Windows**., which is provided
with the IBM* product HyperWise*) which is provided with the IBM
product
HyperWise*).

      A panel-suite document is built from units called panel suites
(Fig. 1).  A single panel suite represents a section in an online
document, roughly analogous to a chapter or section in a hardcopy
book.  A basic panel suite consists of a menu of topics on the left
and
a panel of text or other information on the right.  When the reader
selects a topic from the menu, the corresponding text appears on the
right.

      Writers can modify this basic design to suit various types of
information.  For example, while a user's guide panel suite might
show only one text panel at a time, a programming reference might
enable the reader to select more than one item from the menu to
display simultaneously.

A panel-suite document contains two entirely distinct types of
panels:
  o  Content panels are those panels that contain the text,
      illustrations, tables, or other information-- the panels the
      reader actually wants to read.
  o  Navigation panels exist only to provide document structure.
They
      show the reader the document's conceptual layout and the
      relationship between topics, and they control the visual
      presentation of the content panels, including their sizes and
      locations on the screen.

      A typical traditional IPF document contains only content
panels, with the exception of the single Contents panel.  Document
structure is hard-coded into the content panels themselves, with each
panel assigned a hierarchical position (":h1", ":h2", etc.) within
the
do...