Browse Prior Art Database

Enhancing OS/2 Color and Font Palettes to Enable Removing Previously Set Values

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000114614D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 114K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Johnson, DK: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a description of how an application can provide the user with the capability of using the Color Palette and the Font Palette to remove any previously set color or font and to go back to the state of inheriting these attributes from the system. The ability to undo any action is a requisite usability feature of any truly user-friendly application.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 48% of the total text.

Enhancing OS/2 Color and Font Palettes to Enable Removing Previously
Set Values

      Disclosed is a description of how an application can provide
the user with the capability of using the Color Palette and the Font
Palette to remove any previously set color or font and to go back to
the state of inheriting these attributes from the system.  The
ability to undo any action is a requisite usability feature of any
truly user-friendly application.

      The Color Palette and the Font Palette of the OS/2*
Presentation Manager* (PM) graphical user interface are used to
change the color and font used by the various windows in the system.
These palettes use a drag-drop interface, dragging a particular color
or font from the palette and dropping it on the desired window.  This
window then changes its appearance to use the dropped color or font.

      When a window has not had its color or font explicitly set, it
inherits these attributes from it owner hierarchy.  If no window up
its owner chain has had these attributes changed, the window displays
using the default color and font.

      A serious usability problem with these palettes is that they do
not provide the ability for a window to ever again inherit from its
owner chain once its color and font have been explicitly set.  While
its color and font can be changed back to what the current inherited
attributes are, they will still be explicitly set rather than
inherited.  Thus if the attributes of the owner are later changed,
the lower window will not inherit the changes.

      A user might have several reasons for wanting to go back to
inheriting color and fonts rather than using those previously set
with the palettes.  An attribute may have been dropped on a window in
error, or the resulting change might not be as usable as the
original, or the change may have just been done as a test of the
effect.  On a multi-user machine, one user might like to use the
system defaults, while another might like to set colors and fonts to
specific selections.  Once one user changed these attributes, the
next user currently has no way to go back to inheriting the system
colors and fonts.

      Ideally, PM should provide this support as part of the base
operating system.  A new entry could be added to each palette, to be
used to remove any previous setting and begin once again to inherit
these attributes from the system.  This could be done by adding a
"Default" selection to both palettes.  Dragging and dropping this
selection would restore the window to its default state of inheriting
the attributes from its owner chain, as it did before any settings
were made.

      Without a system change to the palettes, however, an
application has to provide this support itself in order to please its
users.  This can be done be defining a new augmentation key that the
user can hold down during a drag and drop that will signify the
user's desire to remove the existing attribute rat...