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An extensible multi-functions navigation tree view companion toolbar

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000199081D
Publication Date: 2010-Aug-25
Document File: 5 page(s) / 60K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


Described is an invention for an extensible multi-function navigation tree view companion toolbar which facilitates more efficient and easier navigation and functionality within large file trees on a system. The extensible framework allows programmers to customize navigation tree behaviors based on the users’ needs.

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An extensible multi-functions navigation tree view companion toolbar

A hierarchical tree view is a common and popular user interface widget for navigating files and artifacts stored in a software system. For example, in one offering a user navigates a tree view of host data sets and members stored on a mainframe system. While popular, this tree view design is not necessarily an efficient mechanism for navigation or files manipulation, especially when the number of folders and files stored is large. On most applications, a scroll bar is provided to vertically navigate through the sea of artifacts.

While this scroll bar supports a user's need to navigate, there are a number of shortcomings in supporting a user's interaction with the files and artifacts on a tree view style interface:

1. While the tree view can preserve the state of folder expansion, this is typically not preserved across user sessions; if a user shuts down the machine, all the information is lost when the user boots up again later.

2. Navigating across files in different folders that are located far from each other (as displayed on the tree view) can be difficult and cumbersome when the number of working files is large, or when the number of artifacts in the tree view is large
(i.e., the size of the tree is large) -- or both.

3. Performing a single action against multiple files requires the user to multi-select them first and then invoke the action. This is difficult when the files are located in different containers that are far from each other on the tree view.

4. There is no easy way for a user to easily re-open previously opened files from the tree view once they have navigated away from it. A built-in and intuitive mechanism to show the history of recently opened files would be helpful.

5. With a large tree view, there is no way to mark or jump back to an item in a standard tree view. The ability to tag an item to bookmark the location of a file for ease of retrieval at a later time would be helpful.

While the current tree view widget provides a way for users to navigate across the different containers, it lacks productivity tools or features to help a user work with its contents efficiently.

The invention outlined in this disclosure complements existing tree view widgets to make navigation and interaction with files easier and more efficient. The invention introduces a toolbar on the left-hand side of the view (or right-hand side if user chooses to customize it) which also serves to provide an outline view for files and artifacts of interest. Files are deemed to be of interest if a user has performed an Open/Edit action against them or if a user has chosen to bookmark a file's location via an explicit action.


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The core idea of this invention is built on an extensible multi-function navigation tree view companion toolbar (Figure 1).On the left-hand side is an extensible multi-function navigat...