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A Software Control for Specifying Membership in One or More Groups Disclosure Number: IPCOM000109394D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Mar-24
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-24
Document File: 7 page(s) / 105K

Publishing Venue



The current invention takes advantage of an existing visualization method, the Venn diagram, for illustrating the possible membership combinations in one, two, or three groups (and could conceivably be extended beyond three). This is combined with the dual list control software concept, also referred to as a "slosh bucket" control, in which the user moves items from one list to another to indicate items that they want to choose.

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A Software Control for Specifying Membership in One or More Groups

Main Idea

Both the Venn diagram and the dual list concept are familiar, existing concepts, and so melding the two should result in a control that is easy to comprehend. This new control can adapt to various restrictions and constraints by proper arrangement of the overlap in the circles, and inclusion/exclusion of ability to move items into/out of a given group. If an item cannot be a shared member of two groups, then the circles for those groups would not overlap and/or list boxes would not exist at intersections of the circles.

As a general case, the Figure 1 illustrates how the control might look when no constraints exist for group membership. Figures 2 and 3 illustrate successive actions that a user could take on the list items. The initial membership state could be any of the possible combinations. Similar to a dual list box concept, the user would click buttons (shown as boxed arrows here) to move list items into and out of the various group memberships. Drag and drop operations would also be possible.


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Figure 1. Initial state.


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Figure 2.The user has selected item 1 and item 6 as belonging to both ESS 2105.22708 and zone blackn_6_config.


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Figure 3. Here item 15 is shown to belong to all three groups

Here is a more concrete application of this control, which the above figures hinted at:...