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Browse Prior Art Database

Multi-dimensional Booktab Control for Graphical User Interfaces

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000121504D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-03
Document File: 3 page(s) / 102K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Haynes, TR: AUTHOR

Abstract

A control is described which allows a programmer to graphically present access to multiple parameter databases using the common notepad or booktab metaphor.

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

Multi-dimensional Booktab Control for Graphical User Interfaces

      A control is described which allows a programmer to
graphically present access to multiple parameter databases using the
common notepad or booktab metaphor.

      Given a graphical user interface (GUI) protocol, how can users
be presented with a mechanism to easily change multiple database
access parameters?

      This problem surfaced during an investigation of a calendar
application.  Current calendar protocol often forces a user to
navigate through multiple screens in order to change several date
parameters (e.g., new day, month, and year).  What is needed is a way
for users to quickly and easily alter more than one parameter using a
graphical technique.  The control should be applicable across a wide
array of GUIs.

      In addition, the mechanism should be pleasing from a graphical
design point of view, and present choices on the screen, thereby
minimizing the amount of recall necessary. Note, the average human
being can keep in very-short-term memory only about seven items
simultaneously.

      The control should utilize a real-world metaphor easily deduced
by average users, and be applicable across a wide range of
situations.  Currently there is a booktab control which satisfies
some of these requirements, but not the need to access many different
parameters simultaneously.

      The standard mechanism to provide this functionality today is
to have the user fill-in entry fields in a form, very similar to the
old methods used in full-screen interactions.  Two of the limitations
of this approach are that:
   - it forces the user to recall oft-used parameters, and
   - it requires the user to utilize the keyboard to enter data.

      A new type of booktab control has been created using a metaphor
extended from the common unidimensional booktab control.  It allows
the user to change multiple parameters of a database search using
graphical pointing techniques.

      This control has universal applicability in the realm of GUI
applications.  It can be implemented as a generic control in almost
any graphical presentation system.

      An example drawn from the calendar accessing problem is shown
in the figure.

      The user sees the choices for...