New Operations for Display Space Management and Window Management

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Hutchings, Dugald Ralph
Stasko, John T.
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We present a set of new operations for managing screen real estate that allow windows to acquire more desktop space. This set of operations obeys the following guidelines: (1) the visible information contents of each window are preserved (i.e., operations never result in covering already-exposed window contents), (2) operation invocation requires only simple user action, and (3) windows grow and move in a natural and easily understandable manner, mimicking the interactions of colliding physical objects. We call the main operations expand and shove. Expand and shove represent two endpoints on a space-acquisition scale, and we give other possible operations called jostle and ram that fall between these two points. Additional concepts of undo (to allow windows to revert to earlier sizes and positions) and relevant regions (to allow more tightly controlled window information regions to be indicated) are also introduced. To theoretically support the methods used by the operations, we present a classification of the possible ways that pairs of windows can initially overlap and subsequently interact during the operations.
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