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Differential Spatial Presentation Disclosure Number: IPCOM000111538D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 6 page(s) / 384K

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Coulombe, JS: AUTHOR [+2]


A method is proposed for presenting information in a non-linear and non-uniform manner to enable a user to work more efficiently.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 40% of the total text.

Differential Spatial Presentation

      A method is proposed for presenting information in a non-linear
and non-uniform manner to enable a user to work more efficiently.

      The proposed solution relates to a physical slinky metaphor.
When a user takes a hold of the top part of a slinky, the remainder
of the slinky hangs below the user's hold.  The slinky is tightly
compressed at the top and becomes less and less compressed towards
the middle of the slinky.  At the midpoint of the resulting length,
the compression of the slinky begins to increase again.  This
continues until the very bottom of the slinky is again tightly
compressed.  This is true regardless of how much or how little of the
slinky a user has a hold of at the top.  For a sample illustration,
refer to Fig. 1.  This transition from maximum compression to
"normal" size and back to maximum compression is what we refer to as
"Differential Spatial Presentation", and is the concept that is
applied in a novel and unique way for the computer environment.

      In the same way that the slinky is differentially stretched,
the information presented in a computer window, whether on a notebook
or directly in a window, can be differentially stretched around the
user's point of focus.  In order to present the information about a
whole object in a window that is smaller than the dimension for the
object, the information is compressed to either side of the focused
portion.  The further away information is from the focused part of
the object, the more compressed the information is when presented.
For example, a user has a notebook control, with enough size of a
given dimension for four tabs.  However, the notebook provides 15
tabs.  A user picks a section by its tab.  That tab is presented
fully on the side of the notebook.  If that tab is not one of the end
tabs of the notebook, it is presented in the middle of the notebook's
edge.  The tabs on either side of the current tab are mostly
presented, and all other tabs are more and more compressed and
overlapping based on distance from the current tab.  At some
distance, the amount of overlapping and distance becomes minimal, and
is determined based on the number of tabs present.  An algorithm for
this is presented in order to determine the location and varying
distance and overlap from the current tab.

      A user can easily change sections by clicking on any visible
part of any other tab.  When this occurs, this tab, other than a tab
at the end of the notebook, will be placed in the middle of the
notebook's edge, and the surrounding tabs will be reorganized to
represent the new focus and distance from the focused tab.  When all
tabs from the current tab to the first or last tab fully fit on one
half of the notebook's edge, then all tabs up to the current tab are
presented fully, and the compression occurs on all subsequent or
prior tabs.  Refer to Fig. 2 for a sample illustration.

      This same solut...