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Intuitive Desktop Including Navigation Through a Complex Graphical Structure

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000120228D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-02
Document File: 4 page(s) / 175K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Amro, HY: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Running many applications in windows on a desktop will clutter the screen with open windows. The different windows on the desktop overlay each other since the desktop is limited to the available physical space on the screen and does not include means of intuitive organization. Many current operating systems and applications limit the user view to the amount of information that may be displayed in a physical window at any point in time. This sometimes makes it difficult for the user to develop a conceptual framework for all the items of interest. Another problem that arises is the need for large amounts of system resources to display all the windows.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 39% of the total text.

Intuitive Desktop Including Navigation Through a Complex Graphical
Structure

      Running many applications in windows on a desktop will
clutter the screen with open windows.  The different windows on the
desktop overlay each other since the desktop is limited to the
available physical space on the screen and does not include means of
intuitive organization.  Many current operating systems and
applications limit the user view to the amount of information that
may be displayed in a physical window at any point in time.  This
sometimes makes it difficult for the user to develop a conceptual
framework for all the items of interest.  Another problem that arises
is the need for large amounts of system resources to display all the
windows.

      This article documents a more flexible and efficient screen
management method which allows users to have more "desktop" space
available while minimizing the system resources required to do so.
This may be applied to both operating system and application
environments.

      The desktop is what the user sees when booting the system.  The
screen is given a background color against which the user is
presented with the following:
    An Operating System icon
    A Print icon
    A Desktop window containing available program groups
    A Group window containing available programs in the
    group

      The user can either invoke programs from their icons on the
bottom of the screen or from programs in either of the visible
windows.  Once the user has invoked an application, the given program
can either appear as a window on the screen or run as a full-screen
application.  The full-screen programs indicate their presence on the
desktop by appearing as icons.  If the user decides to minimize an
application running in a window, the application will also indicate
its presence on the desktop by appearing as an icon on the bottom of
the desktop.  The user can open (run) multiple applications as
windows on the desktop, the corresponding windows will overlay each
other with only one window highlighted.  The user can switch between
the different application windows in three ways:
-- By clicking on the corresponding window (if part of it is
visible), which will cause it to come to the top of the other windows
and be highlighted.
-- By pressing CTRL+ESC, the user is presented with a task list
window that contains all the currently active applications. The user
can    use this window to switch to another application window
(regardless if parts of it are visible or not).
-- By pressing Alt+Esc, a different window will be highlighted every
time Alt+Esc is pressed.

      In order to present the user with a larger and more intuitive
interface, the following program/navigational aids are defined.  In-
crease the size of the desktop, call it a "virtual desktop".  The
size of the current desktop is the size of a full screen (X), the
virtual desktop will be X * N, where N is a...