Browse Prior Art Database

Simplified File Selection in a Graphical Unit Interface

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118329D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 220K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Englefield, PJ: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is an improvement to a user interface which simplifies file selection. A mechanism is provided for storing data type attributes for directories or other data file containers, and known dialogs of a Graphical Unit Interface (GUI) are enhanced to enable filtering at the directory level using the new attributes. A simplified view of a file system is presented to a user. This makes identification of relevant data files easier.

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Simplified File Selection in a Graphical Unit Interface

      Disclosed is an improvement to a user interface which
simplifies file selection.  A mechanism is provided for storing data
type attributes for directories or other data file containers, and
known dialogs of a Graphical Unit Interface (GUI) are enhanced to
enable filtering at the directory level using the new attributes.  A
simplified view of a file system is presented to a user.  This makes
identification of relevant data files easier.

      Much of the software written for IBM's OS/2* operating system,
Microsoft's Windows** operating system, and similar environments
provide the following standard dialogs:
  o  OPEN - Select a file to work with from a list of available
      files.
  o  SAVE AS - Save a file as a new file or to a file selected
      from a list of files.

      These file lists are typically organized as an hierarchical
tree structure of files within directories within drives.  This is
represented in Fig. 1.

These dialogs are difficult to use because:

      The displayed selection list includes all directories on the
system.  Most of these directories contain files that are not
relevant to the OPEN and SAVE AS dialogs.  Examples of irrelevant
system directories include operating system directories, application
executables, and caches.  The need to navigate through these non-user
directories increases the number of interactions required to navigate
to directories containing user data.  The use of an hierarchical
structure is unnatural.  It reflects the software engineer's model
(hierarchical file system) rather than the user's model (groups of
related data files).

      The above problems are solved by implementing the following
sequence of steps for a GUI...