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Accommodating Graphical User Interface Windowing Applications within a "Places" Environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117596D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 68K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Richards, JJC: AUTHOR

Abstract

In a user environment based on a three-dimensional Places metaphor, there is a conflict of user models if 'old-fashioned' Graphical User Interface (GUI) applications are surfaced over the Places background. Equally, there is a discontinuity of metaphor if the user is forced to quit the Places environment and return to a windowing system in order to run legacy applications. These two approaches are those currently used by Places providers.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Accommodating Graphical User Interface Windowing Applications within
a "Places" Environment

      In a user environment based on a three-dimensional Places
metaphor, there is a conflict of user models if 'old-fashioned'
Graphical User Interface (GUI) applications are surfaced over the
Places background.  Equally, there is a discontinuity of metaphor if
the user is forced to quit the Places environment and return to a
windowing system in order to run legacy applications.  These two
approaches are those currently used by Places providers.

      In accordance with the approach described here, within the
Places environment, the legacy windowing applications are restricted
to an area which the user immediately understands is the 'contained'
environment for these applications.

      This area at once fits into the Places metaphor, and provides
a recognizable backdrop to the GUI.  The most appropriate area to
provide is a computer display monitor, though any surface on to which
a computer screen image could be projected in the real world would do
- for example, a television; a video wall; a projection screen.

      Using the computer monitor as an example, it may be positioned
by the user within the Place - probably on a desk in an office, in
order to preserve the Places metaphor and match the user's experience
of the real world.  When the user decides to use a GUI application,
this can be accomplished by having a computer GUI system (Windows*,
Motif**, Mac***, Workplace Shell***) constantly maintained on the
monitor and allowing the user to interact directly with it exactly as
currently.

      Alternatively, the user could find an object in the environment
which equates to the software he wants to use - a diskette object for
example.  T...