Browse Prior Art Database

Dynamically Linking and Managing Windows

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000114947D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 6 page(s) / 255K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Beaudet, PJ: AUTHOR [+6]

Abstract

Windows provide a means by which users may display and interact with online information on their computer. Users typically apply actions to the contents of a window, and this generates further information or results which need to be displayed. For example, a window may display a list of database objects as icons to which users may apply a specific database query. The results of such actions / queries may be displayed to the user by either refreshing the contents of the original window, or by generating a new window to display the results. Likewise, the new window contents may also be the target for further queries generating further results. Examples of software applications which fall into this type of interaction include: o A hierarchy of directories which can each contain other directories or files.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 20% of the total text.

Dynamically Linking and Managing Windows

      Windows provide a means by which users may display and interact
with online information on their computer.  Users typically apply
actions to the contents of a window, and this generates further
information or results which need to be displayed.  For example, a
window may display a list of database objects as icons to which users
may apply a specific database query.  The results of such actions /
queries may be displayed to the user by either refreshing the
contents of the original window, or by generating a new window to
display the results.  Likewise, the new window contents may also be
the
target for further queries generating further results.  Examples of
software applications which fall into this type of interaction
include:
  o  A hierarchy of directories which can each contain other
      directories or files.  Users may select a directory and wish to
      display its contents.
  o  A database of objects that are related to one another in many
      different ways.  Users may wish to interact with individual
      objects, and to apply specific object query actions.
  o  An entity relationship diagram comprising many different
entities
      related to one another through specific relationships.  Again,
      users may wish to select individual entities and examine the
      results of specific relationship queries.

      Current windowing systems do not provide proper support for
links between windows.  As a result, windowing behavior such as that
described above, requires users to manage large numbers of windows.
Alternatively cumbersome history management techniques must be
introduced to enable previous window contents to be examined.  Some
windowing systems do support 'hard-coded' links between windows,
however these are usually in the form of update dependencies, whereby
several windows may provide alternative views on the same object -
changes to the object in any view is then automatically reflected in
all of the other views.

      The problem is further exacerbated, when users try to apply the
same query, for example directory contents, to more than one object
in the initial window.  Current implementations require users to
reapply the same query to each individual object and view the results
for each query, in a separate window.  Once again, users are left
with considerable window management overheads.

      To address these problems, a new concept for managing windows
is proposed in which the results of actions on objects in one window,
called the Source window, can be dynamically linked to one or more
windows, called Result windows, thereby making the contents of the
Result window dependent on the Source window.  Result windows are
created when an action is executed on an object in the Source window;
the results are displayed as the contents of the Result window.
Performing the same action on another objec...