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Object Filing and Retrieval Using Attributes

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000119006D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 73K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Jones, J: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

In today's environment, no matter how much control the user interface gives the user at the dialogue level, the user is still forced to perform many tasks for the computer.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Object Filing and Retrieval Using Attributes

      In today's environment, no matter how much control the user
interface gives the user at the dialogue level, the user is still
forced to perform many tasks for the computer.

      This is illustrated by the simple case of putting away (saving)
a new object (file): User says 'Save'.  (Why?  Saving is an
artificial notion to help the computer control its hard disk and
memory management.)  User provides location and name for file/object
- and may  even have to create the location.  (Why?  The file
management and retrieval will be done by the machine.  Currently, the
user is required  to give names and locations according to the rules
of the filing system  rather than in a form the user can understand
and exploit.)

      Similarly, when retrieving a file or objects, the user must
search a directory tree (visualized as a set of nested folders) for a
file or object.  The only clues that any particular object may be the
right one are the system-applied icon (almost invariably) and the
single name the user supplied on creation.  The user, thus, spends a
great deal of time trying to find specific objects that he knows were
saved somewhere.

      The described approach uses the concept of the 'File Tray'
which, in its basic form, is a fairly crude object that merely
returns an object previously retrieved, worked on, and finished with
its previous  location ('home') within the filing system.  Even at
this crude level of functionality, the file tray is of enormous
benefit.  However, the improved approach extends the concept to
permit the user to provide attributes such as keywords so that he can
subsequently retrieve it.

      In order to retrieve the object, the user describes attributes
of the file/object which may include physical characteristics,
original source and author, date last used, other documents in same
category, other documents used at about the same time previously, and
many other  possibilities.

      Thus, when filing, the user never explicitly saves an object
into the file system.  Instead, it is placed...