Browse Prior Art Database

Displaying User Information as Streams with Kinks

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000123181D
Original Publication Date: 1998-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-04
Document File: 6 page(s) / 102K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Kaminsky, DL: AUTHOR

Abstract

As the amount of data increase, the desktop/folder/document metaphor is becoming less viable as a mechanism for data organization. (Folders in the desktop metaphor are illustrated in Figure 1.) Naming and categorizing each document is an unnecessary chore. In addition, the metaphor was never particularly appropriate. Consider a medical bill. Should such a document be filed with bills or medical records? The answer is really neither. Such classifications, along with any others that might be appropriate (e.g. tax document) should be created on-the-fly. For example, a user should be able to dynamically create a collection of medical records or a collection of bills. In short, the desktop metaphor is quite suboptimal for information organization.

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Displaying User Information as Streams with Kinks

   As the amount of data increase, the desktop/folder/document
metaphor is becoming less viable as a mechanism for  data
organization.  (Folders in the desktop metaphor are illustrated in
Figure 1.)  Naming and categorizing each document is an unnecessary
chore.   In addition, the metaphor was never particularly
appropriate.  Consider a medical bill.  Should such  a document be
filed with bills or medical records?  The answer is really neither.
Such classifications, along with any others that might be
appropriate (e.g. tax document)  should be created on-the-fly.  For
example, a user should be able to dynamically create a collection of
medical records or a collection of bills.  In short, the desktop
metaphor is quite suboptimal for information organization.

   Lotus Notes provides one solution to this problem.  In
Notes, all documents are stored in a database, and a time-ordered
"all documents" view is available.  Listings of incoming email and
calendar entries are also available as a subset of the "all
documents" view.  In addition, through queries, users can create
dynamic groupings of documents.

   A company called Mirror Worlds Technologies
(http://www.mirrorworlds.com) created a technology that they call
Lifestreams (LS) which takes Notes a step farther by associating a
GUI with a stream of time-ordered documents
(http://www.mirrorworlds.com/talks/Williams/sld009.htm and
http://www.mirrorworlds.com/talks/Williams/sld010.htm).  They use a
graphical metaphor for their representation, shown at
http://www.mirrorworlds.com/talks/Williams/sld012.htm.  Essentially,
all of your documents, including mail, calendar entries, bookmarks,
etc., are laid out in a time ordered stream.  Such a stream is
illustrated in Figure 2.

   One interesting point about  Lifestreams is that they have
past, present and future documents in them.  For example, a reminder
for a meeting next week (a calendar entry) would be a future
document.

   In their graphical representation, the future, when
displayed, is at the head of the stream, and other documents recede
into the past.  (When the future is suppressed, the present is at
the front of the stream.)  The...