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Create Zones within the Container/Folder Object

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118404D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 213K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Garrison, JM: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a new type of container (or folder) that is graphically partitioned into two zones, or sub-containers, by a vertical or horizontal "dotted line." Objects can be placed in either zone, either manually by the user (via drag and drop) or programmatically. The zones provide a visual mechanism for segregating the objects in the container, where the determination of how an object is processed is determined by the zone in which it is contained. For example, the container that represents a printer's queue can be divided into two zones, one zone for active print jobs, another for "held" print jobs. The user may activate a job by dragging it from the "held" zone and dropping it on the "active" zone, or visa versa.

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

Create Zones within the Container/Folder Object

      Disclosed is a new type of container (or folder) that is
graphically partitioned into two zones, or sub-containers, by a
vertical or horizontal "dotted line."  Objects can be placed in
either zone, either manually by the user (via drag and drop) or
programmatically. The  zones provide a visual mechanism for
segregating the objects in the container, where the determination of
how an object is processed is determined by the zone in which it is
contained.  For example, the container that represents a printer's
queue can be divided into two zones, one zone for active print jobs,
another for "held" print jobs.  The user may activate a job by
dragging it from the "held" zone  and dropping it on the "active"
zone, or visa versa.

      This disclosure describes a folder concept that can be
generalized to work with many types of object-oriented containers.
In a general sense, folders provide a convenient way to organize
objects (programs, files, print jobs, etc.).  Typically, a folder is
a container  that can contain an amorphous mass of of objects where,
in general, all  objects of a certain type are handled in the same
fashion.  For example,  all programs in the "startup" folder are
subject to being started during  initialization.  Similarly, all
printable objects dropped into a printer  folder are queued to print.

      If a user wants to temporarily keep a program from
automatically running during initialization of the system, it is
necessary to remove the program object from the startup folder,
either by deleting the program object from the startup folder, or by
dragging it out of the startup folder to another folder.  When the
user wants to resume autostarting of the program, the process is
reversed.

There are situations in which it would be useful to:
  1.  Categorize objects within a folder, by placing them in
       visual representations of two or more zones.
  2.  Depending on the zone in which an object finds itself,
       it is handled differently by the system (or handled
       differently when the user performs an action on the folder).

In terms of providing improved usability, this type of support would
be helpful in the following examples:
  1.  A printer folder is divided into two zones.  Zone 1 contains
       jobs that are ready to print.  Zone 2 contains jobs that are
       "held".  This is a different approach from modifying the icon
       of the object to indicate state.  In addition to selecting a
       print job, then selecting the "hold" menu item, a job could
       also be placed in hold state by dragging it into the "hold"
       zone.  Also, when a jo...