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Non-intrusive task bar display Disclosure Number: IPCOM000011373D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Feb-14
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Feb-14
Document File: 2 page(s) / 173K

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Process to provide a task bar that does not compromise desktop space or usability

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Non-intrusive task bar display

   An application user interface can coordinate multiple work items for a user. Task bars can generally be turned on or off - but both have negative side effects. If a task bar is on it consumes valuable desktop space. If it is off the user cannot see updates to a task bar button (new tasks appearing, or maybe the task bar has the capability of displaying status on a task), and the user has to do some kind of action to turn the task bar on then locate the task to click on to say reactivate it. This disclosure provides an approach that allows the same task coordination, but in a way that minimizes or eliminates the side effects.

The core idea is to display the taskbar in a fairly transparent fashion on top of the current work area (see the picture or attachment below). The work area would be considered higher in the Z order such that mouse interactions and the like would not be stolen by the taskbar. If however a mouse hovers momentarily over a task the taskbar could take commands as it does today (ie: click gives the task focus, right click displays a menu, etc.). The taskbar would need to be quite transparent so as to not impact the overlay on the workarea, yet visually apparent so tasks on the task bar won't be confused with artifacts in the workarea (like icons on the desktop). Likewise, the tasks on the taskbar should be quite transparent as well - yet have enough detail so that the task and its state can easily be ascertained by t...