Browse Prior Art Database

Access/Control Icons (Icon Keys)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000115342D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 4 page(s) / 161K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

McLean, J: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a key (i.e., access/control) icon which may be inserted into (or moved on top of) another icon, or moved into or on top of a "lock" section of another icon, in order to gain access to functions provided by the (receptor) icon. The access/control/key icons may also be used to suspend, lock, or terminate processes in an intuitive, controlled manner. The access/control icons may further be used to alter various states of files and programs represented by the receptor icon. (For clarity, the term "key" is used to designate the access/control icon.)

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 35% of the total text.

Access/Control Icons (Icon Keys)

      Disclosed is a key (i.e., access/control) icon which may be
inserted into (or moved on top of) another icon, or moved into or on
top of a "lock" section of another icon, in order to gain access to
functions provided by the (receptor) icon.  The access/control/key
icons may also be used to suspend, lock, or terminate processes in an
intuitive, controlled manner.  The access/control icons may further
be used to alter various states of files and programs represented by
the receptor icon.  (For clarity, the term "key" is used to designate
the access/control icon.)

      The key icon may use color, shape and other graphical
attributes to facilitate usage.  In one embodiment the key icon is
shaped like a standard house key.  In a second embodiment, it is
shaped like a polygon.  In a third embodiment, it is shaped like a
jigsaw puzzle piece.

      The receptor icon may contain a graphical representation
matching the shape of the key.  For example, a hexagonal key may be
used to access/control/lock a receptor icon with a the graphical
representation of a hexagonal hole.

      The colors and shapes of the keys may indicate function,
security level and other aspects of key usage.  The user may be
issued, or have available, color/shape coded keys, depending on
his/her allowable access level.  The keys may disappear if there are
repeated incorrect attempts to use the key.  The user may use a red
key to lock a file for read-only.

      In another embodiment, the keys may be consolidated by keeping
them together on or in a "key chain icon" from which the user may
select.  In another embodiment, the keys may be consolidated by
having a master key icon "box" that permits access to several keys.

      As one example, the keys may control file and directory access
and executability.  For example, various options of the AIX* "chmod"
command control file access permissions.  Currently the "chmod"
command alters file/directory access/executability by
users/groups/others in a non-intuitive fashion.  It is much easier to
use color coded keys that consolidate often-used file permissions
codes.

      These keys may be used to control inventory processes by, for
example, allowing certain users to access otherwise restricted data
bases, or by having certain common keys which "open" records for
different classes of product.

      The keys may be used by on-line catalogs to query and control
access to products.  For example, inserting a key into a product icon
may signify a user wants to order or obtain information about a
product.   A special key may be available to the catalog manufacturer
to query how many orders have been made and if the product is
available.

      These keys may be used by businesses to, for example, permit
access by certain employees to the restricted employee records of
others.  These keys may be used by financial institutions to
conveniently issu...