US 20090106696 A1
A curved-listing file hierarchy and a preview window for more efficiently displaying file hierarchy information on a data processing device. Curved-listing file hierarchies may allow more elements of a file hierarchy to be displayed in a smaller space. This may be especially useful for the smaller screens of some data processing devices like Personal Digital Assistants and cellular phones. A preview screen may allow a user to view preview information on a file in the hierarchy without actually opening the file.
1. A data processing device, comprising:
a display having a screen;
stored computer files that are accessible; and
a graphical user interface displayed on the screen, comprising:
a curved listing of identifiers, wherein at least one identifier corresponds to one or more of the computer files, and wherein at least one other identifier is a heading under which additional identifiers are logically organized;
a selection indicator to select one or more of the identifiers; and
a preview window to display an image associated with a computer file related to one of the identifiers being selected when the selection indicator is at a position next to the identifier on the screen, wherein the image increases in detail the longer that the selection indicator is at a position next to the identifier on the screen, the preview window displayed concurrently with the curved listing.
2. The data processing device of
3. The data processing device of
4. The data processing device of
6. The data processing device of
7. The data processing device of
8. The data processing device of
a modem; and
an infrared sensor.
10. A method, comprising:
associating at least one identifier of a group of identifiers with at least one computer file, application or other data for use by a data processing device;
associating at least one other identifier of the group of identifiers as a heading for use by the data processing device to organize an additional group of identifiers;
generating a curved listing of the group of identifiers on a data processing device display;
receiving a selection of one or more of the identifiers of the group of identifiers when a selection indicator is at a position next to one or more of the identifiers; and
displaying within a preview window, concurrently with the curved listing, information associated with a file, application or other data related to the one or more selected identifiers, wherein a size of the preview window is configured to adjust based on the number of identifiers in the curved listing on the data processing device display.
11. The method of
12. The method of
13. The method of
14. The method of
15. The method of
16. A data processing device, comprising:
a display having a screen;
stored computer files that are accessible;
a graphical user interface displayed on the screen, comprising:
a curved listing of identifiers and/or identifier pointers, wherein:
at least one identifier corresponds to one or more of the computer files;
at least one other identifier is a heading to organize additional identifiers;
a width of the curved listing is configured to vary based on the number of identifiers; and
a selection indicator to select one or more of the identifiers.
17. The data processing device of
18. The data processing device of
19. The data processing device of
20. The data processing device of
This application is a continuation of prior application Ser. No. 09/948,219, filed Sep. 6, 2001.
The present invention relates to computers. In particular, the present invention relates to an application chooser format for a data processing device.
Processors and memory devices may be getting smaller with advances in technology. As the processors and the memory devices get smaller, data processing devices that use the processors and the memory devices, may be made smaller and have more functionality than previous data processing devices. However, with the smaller size of the data processing devices, there may be several challenges to overcome. For example, as the data processing devices get smaller, input devices on the data processing devices may get smaller and, consequently, more difficult to use. As a result, it may be necessary to reduce the amount of input required from a user to perform tasks on the data processing device. An additional challenge is that smaller data processing devices typically require smaller screens which may be difficult to read. As such, data may need to be presented to the user in a more compact manner.
Certain data processing devices have been designed with screens that flip out in various ways. The flip-out screen may have dimensions as large as the largest dimensions of the overall data processing device when the flip-out screen is closed. However, even with the ability to flip out, the data processing device screen may still be very small and therefore still may need to present information to the user in a more compact manner.
One example of information that may need to be presented in a more compact manner to the user on the smaller screen is a hierarchy of files (e.g., applications, data files, . . . etc) stored on or accessible by the data processing device. In the current manner of presenting the file hierarchy, the headings, subheadings, applications, and filenames, may be branched along lines at right angles. This manner of presenting the file hierarchy may take up a significant amount of screen space. Because of the smaller screen, the number of filenames, applications, subheadings, and headings that may be viewed at once by the user may be limited. Because the user may only be able to view a small portion of the file hierarchy at a time, it may take the user a longer time to locate a file.
This invention discloses a curved-listing file hierarchy and a preview window for displaying identifiers and preview information related to a plurality of computer files, applications, and headings on the screen of a data processing device.
The present invention is illustrated by way of example and not limitation in the accompanying figures:
The following description makes reference to numerous specific details in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. However, it is to be noted that not every specific detail need be employed to practice the present invention. Additionally, well-known details, such as particular materials or methods, have not been described in order to avoid obscuring the present invention.
The curved-listing file hierarchy 19 may also have a central identifier such as Central Identifier Heading One 13. The Central Identifier Heading One 13 may be an identifier on a separate curved-listing file hierarchy such as a curved-listing file hierarchy 15. The Central Identifier Heading One 13 may also be next to a corresponding identifier pointer such as identifier pointer 17. The Central Identifier Heading One 13 may be related to the identifiers on the curved-listing file hierarchy 19 in a variety of ways. For example, in one embodiment, each of the subheadings, applications and files logically fall under Central Heading One 13 in a defined loop menu hierarchy. Moreover, the identifiers such as the Subheading One 3 and the Subheading Two 4 may have corresponding curved-listing file hierarchies associated with them. The identifiers, such as the Application One 5, may have a corresponding set of instructions that are executable by the computer when run. The identifiers such as the Filename One 7, the Filename Two 9, and the Filename Three 11, may be computer files, such as, but not limited to, text files, image files, and data files containing information for use by an application such as the Application One 5.
By presenting the identifiers, such as the Subheading One 3, the Application One 5, and the Filename One 7, that are related to the central identifier, such as the Central Identifier Heading One 13, with the curved-listing file hierarchy, such as the curved-listing file hierarchy 19, it may be possible to present more of the identifiers in a smaller space than if the identifiers were presented in a right angle hierarchy. In one embodiment, a file hierarchy curve's dimension, such as a width of the curved-listing file hierarchy 19, will vary depending on the number of the identifiers to be displayed at any given time. For example, the curve may be steeper to include more of the identifiers or may look more like a straight line if there are fewer of the identifiers to display. In addition, the curved-listing file hierarchy 19 may not display all the identifiers related to its central identifier. For example, the user may scroll between adjacent portions of the curved-listing file hierarchy 19 or multiple portions of the curved-listing file hierarchy 19 may be displayed adjacent to each other on the same screen. Various other methods of displaying the multiple portions of the curved-listing file hierarchy may be employed while still complying with the underlying principles of the invention.
The file hierarchy, for example a top-level file hierarchy, may not have a central identifier. In addition, some of the data processing devices may have screens that are too small to include the central identifier or the central identifier may be displayed at a different section of the screen.
Furthermore, the invention may not be limited to a curved listing. For example, other shapes, such as but not limited to, semi-circles, angled lines, and multiple curve listings may also be used. It may also be within the scope of the invention to use symbols or abbreviated identifiers in place of identifier text. Using the symbols or the abbreviated identifiers may save additional space on the screen.
Preview image 31 may not be as detailed as the image file when the image file is viewed in the image file's natural application. For example, the preview image 31 may contain fewer pixels or show less detail than if file Filename Three 11 were opened in the file's natural application. By viewing the preview image 31 of the image file, the user may be able to cycle through several image file identifiers without actually opening each image file in its natural application. Accordingly, the user may find the image file he or she is looking for in a long list of image file identifiers without having to open each individual file.
In addition to the preview image 31, the preview information displayed in the preview window 23 may also include information such as, but not limited to, the date the file was saved, data associated with the image, and other information. The preview images, such as preview image 31, may also be displayed for files that are not specifically image files. For example, the preview information about an application may include an image of that application's identifier icon. The images may also be used to indicate a status of the file. For example, if the file is locked or is read only, a symbol of a lock may be displayed. In another example, if the file associated with the identifier on the curved-listing file hierarchy is scanned by a virus scanner and found to be infected, an appropriate warning image may be displayed in the preview window 23.
The size of the preview window 23 may be adjusted according to the depth of the curve of the curved-listing file hierarchy 19. For example, if the curved-listing file hierarchy 19 has several identifiers on it such that the curve needs to be steep, the preview window 23 may be small. However, if the curved-listing file hierarchy 19 has only a few identifiers on it, then the preview window 23 may be increased in size according to the reduced curve of the curved-listing file hierarchy 19.
In one embodiment of the invention, the preview image 31 may be less detailed upon the user first selecting the identifier, but the preview image 31 may be enhanced by the data processing device the longer the user selects the identifier. For example, when the user first moves the circle 29 over the identifier pointer next to the identifier Filename Three 11, a simple preview image 31 may be shown. However, if the user does not move the circle 29 off of the identifier pointer next to the Filename Three 11's identifier, the data processing device may add detail to the preview image 31. Because the data processing device may add detail to the preview image 31 the longer the user selects the identifier, the user may select how much detail he or she needs to see before deciding whether to move on to the next image file identifier.
Each of the identifiers surrounding the Central Identifier Heading One 13 may be associated with their own set of files (e.g., which are beneath them in a file hierarchy). For example, the identifier Subheading Two 4, which is on the circle surrounding the Central Identifier Heading One 13, may have a corresponding set of the identifiers surrounding it. In the illustrated example, these include Application N 35, Filename X 33, and Subheading A 37, each of which is displayed next to corresponding identifier pointers such as identifier pointer 39 corresponding to Application N 35.
The embodiment illustrated in
The data processing device may add or remove the identifiers to the screen depending on the level of information the user wants to view at any one time. For example, if the user selects Subheading A 37 using the circle 29, or some other method of selecting a subheading, the file hierarchy related to the Subheading A 37 may be shown surrounding the Subheading A 37. However, the Central Identifier Heading One 13 and the file hierarchy surrounding Central Identifier Heading One 13 (except for identifier Subheading Two 4) may be removed in order to show a larger view of the file hierarchy surrounding the Subheading A 37. Otherwise, the file hierarchy surrounding the Subheading A 37 may be too small or include too much detail to be easily understood by the user. Although the embodiment illustrated in
If the user selects the identifier Subheading Two 4, the identifier Subheading Two 4 may move to the center of the file hierarchy, (as shown in
In one embodiment, the data processing device 49 include one or more control knobs 80 and one or more buttons 85. The control knob may be rotated to rotate from one identifier (or pointer) to another along the curved-listing file hierarchy 19. When the file, application or subheading the user wishes to select is highlighted, the user may make the selection by pressing one of the buttons 85. Alternatively, or in addition, the control knob 80 may be depressed to make the selection.
In one embodiment, the display 86 on the data processing device 49 may be rotated clockwise or counter-clockwise to a “closed” position, as indicated by rotation arrows 90 and 95, respectively. When in a closed position, the screen may cover the data processing device's keyboard 87. However, in one embodiment, when the display is closed in this manner, the image on the display will flip (responsive to logic within the device 49) and the user may still access files, applications and subheadings via the curved-listing file hierarchy 19 by manipulating the control knob 80 and/or buttons 85 (i.e., in this embodiment, the control knob 80 and buttons 85 are not disabled when the screen is in a closed position).
The embodiment shown in
Also illustrated in
Embodiments of the invention may include various steps as set forth above. The steps may be embodied in machine-executable instructions. The instructions can be used to cause a general-purpose or special-purpose processor to perform certain steps. Alternatively, these steps may be performed by specific hardware components that contain hardwired logic for performing the steps, or by any combination of programmed computer components and custom hardware components.
Elements of the present invention may also be provided as a machine-readable medium for storing the machine-executable instructions. The machine-readable medium may include, but is not limited to, floppy diskettes, optical disks, CD-ROMs, and magneto-optical disks, ROMs, RAMs, EPROMs, EEPROMs, magnetic or optical cards, propagation media or other type of media/machine-readable medium suitable for storing electronic instructions. For example, the present invention may be downloaded as a computer program which may be transferred from a remote computer (e.g., a server) to a requesting computer (e.g., a client) by way of data signals embodied in a carrier wave or other propagation medium via a communication link (e.g., a modem or network connection).
Throughout the foregoing description, for the purposes of explanation, numerous specific details were set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art that the invention may be practiced without some of these specific details. For example, while menu system was described above in the context of a small, portable device, such a limitation is not required for performing the underlying principles of the invention. Accordingly, the scope and spirit of the invention should be judged in terms of the claims which follow.