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Improved Mouse handling to speed up UI mouse pointer movements

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000125989D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Jun-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jun-27
Document File: 3 page(s) / 120K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Methodology for to speed-up Graphical User Interface mouse pointer movements

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Improved Mouse handling to speed up UI mouse pointer movements

Background:

In GUI (Graphical User Interface) based systems an input device to point anywhere in the display area of the system is widely used and 'mouse' is one such device which allows the user to point to any area in the display and do several actions. Those actions defined by the GUI system are referred as "generic mouse actions" henceforth. To perform those actions, the system defines how to get those actions done using mouse, for example, to maximize a window in Microsoft Windows* one has to press the Maximize button. Those actions that are defined by the application are referred as "window specific mouse actions" (like, plotting pixels using a bit map editor).

Problem:

Presently mouse pointer movement in the display area is directly proportional to the distance the mouse device is physically moved (referred as "Constant Mouse Movement Methodology"). This methodology is mandatory and makes sense for "window specific mouse actions" because the GUI system does not have any say over that. But if the reason of mouse pointer movement is to make a "generic mouse action", then the GUI system can act smarter, by following a different methodology to move the mouse pointer resulting in a faster GUI environment.

Example #1: Microsoft Windows* systems provide a Task Bar listing the applications running in the system. Here is one snapshot (Figure 1)

Figure 1

The areas between the vertical red lines represent each active application/group. Any position within such an area, like points A and A', are exactly similar with respect to the possible mouse actions that can be performed. Given this, there no need for the mouse pointer, to traverse from A to A' because, nothing different can be achieved after that traversal. Instead, if there is a physical user mouse movement in the direction of A -> A', the mouse pointer can be moved discreetly to the next area ('N' in figure 1).

Example #2: A normal scenario of using a text editor is captured in Figure 2.

         Figure 2 To minimize this window, if the system knows that the intention behind the physical mouse movement is to perform minimization (a generic mouse action), the mouse pointer can be moved directly in the direction of the mouse movement. In this case, mouse pointer could be moved to the title bar of the window (it can be extended to Menu bar as well).

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Example #3: If the GUI applications are made aware that the mouse movement is intended for smarter mouse pointer movements, it would enhance the speed of mouse pointer further. An email client's Inbox is captured below (Figure 3)

Figure 3

Mouse pointer is marked as 'A' with an arrow. If the user tries to move the mouse pointer up, no action can be done until the mouse pointer reaches the bottom most mail that is shown in the Inbox. The application can move the mouse pointer directly to the bottom-most e-...