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Method for displaying the most appropriate date and time information on a time scale Disclosure Number: IPCOM000200879D
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-28
Document File: 5 page(s) / 67K

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The Prior Art Database


The present article describes a method for displaying the most appropriate date and time information on a time scale.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 44% of the total text.

Page 01 of 5

Method for displaying the most appropriate date and time information on a time scale

The time scale component is a user interface component that is used to display a scale of time. The time scale can be used to displays any possible time period from seconds to several years. The time scale can be made of several rows, most of the time a time scale has two rows. Each row must display appropriate information so that the user can understand which time period is currently displayed by the time scale. For example when the time scale is displaying duration across several years, the top row of the time scale may indicate the year and the bottom row may indicate the months, but when the displayed time period is of several hours in the same day, the upper row may display the full date in the year and the bottom row, the hour in the day.

    The purpose of the method here is to find the best appropriate information and time unit to display in each row for every possible width of the time scale and displayed time period. The system must also allow any type of styling for the time scale, in particular any font can be used to display text. The method also works for any language and thus takes into account the internationalization issues related to the display of dates. The method also ensures that the displayed information is complete enough to understand which time period is displayed

Figure 1: Example of time scale displaying months and week numbers

    The general idea to be able to compute the most appropriate information to display is to define a configuration table that lists the possible configurations for the bottom row of the time scale, then for each line in the configuration of the bottom row, another table of possible configurations is created for the upper row.

     The combination of a lower and upper row configurations must provide all the necessary information to understand the time period that is displayed. For example, if a configuration for a lower row displays the time information, the set of possible configurations associated for the upper row must contain the date information so that the date and time information is displayed.

    The method according to the time period that is displayed, to the size of the time scale, to the formatting parameters such as fonts and to the locale (language) that is used will find the most appropriate configuration to display in the time scale.

Description of the method

    In order to find the best appropriate configuration for the time scale for a given time period displayed by the time scale, a table of predefined configuration is created.

Each configuration element contains the following element:
• The time unit (century/decade/year/quarter/month/week/day/hour/minute or second)
• The number of time unit represented
• A format for displaying the date


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• A set of significant dates that will be used to measure the cell
• A text alig...