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This volume is a record of the Workshop on Window Management held at the Ruth­ erford Appleton Laboratory's Cosener's House between 29 April and 1 May 1985. The main impetus for the Workshop came from the Alvey Programme's Man­ Machine Interface Director who was concerned at the lack of a formal definition of window management and the lack of focus for research activities in this area. Win­ dow Management per se is not the complete problem in understanding interaction. However, the appearance of bitmap displays from a variety of vendors enabling an operator to work simultaneously with a number of applications on a single display has focussed attention on what the overall architecture for such a system should be and also on what the interfaces to both the application and operator should be. The format of the Workshop was to spend the first day with presentations from a number of invited speakers. The aim was to get the participants aware of the current state of the art and to highlight the main outstanding issues. The second day consisted of the Workshop participants splitting into three groups and discussing specific issues in depth. Plenary sessions helped to keep the individual groups work­ ing on similar lines. The third day concentrated on the individual groups presenting their results and interacting with the other groups to identify main areas of con­ sensus and also a framework for future work.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Introduction

1. Introduction

Abstract
The Workshop arose from a concern that there was a lack of a definition of window management and a lack of focus for research activities in this area in the UK. The main impetus for the Workshop came from the UK Alvey Directorate’s Man-Machine Interface Director. To set the Workshop in context it is appropriate to give a brief overview of the UK Alvey Programme, its origins, aims and current status.
F. Robert A. Hopgood, David A. Duce, Elizabeth V. C. Fielding, Ken Robinson, Antony S. Williams

Part II

Frontmatter

2. Introducing Windows to Unix: User Expectations

Abstract
This talk is aimed at giving a general overview of the main issues to do with window managers without going into details. My position paper (see Chapter 10) raises many other issues, but my view was that these are probably best discussed in the Working Groups.
Colin Prosser

3. A Comparison of Some Window Managers

Abstract
An architectural model of a window manager is presented. Some commercially available window managers are compared in relation to this model. Specific attention is given to the window managers supplied by SUN, APOLLO, and ICL (PERQ PNX).
Tony Williams

4. Ten Years of Window Systems - A Retrospective View

Abstract
Both James Gosling and I currently work for SUN and the reason for my wanting to talk before he does is that I am talking about the past and James is talking about the future. I have been connected with eight window systems as a user, or as an implementor, or by being in the same building! I have been asked to give a historical view and my talk looks at window systems over ten years and features: the Smalltalk, DLisp (Interlisp), Interlisp-D, Tajo (Mesa Development Environment), Docs (Cedar), Viewers (Cedar), SunWindows and SunDew systems.
Warren Teitelman

5. SunDew - A Distributed and Extensible Window System

Abstract
SunDew is a distributed, extensible window system that is currently being developed at SUN. It has arisen out of an effort to step back and examine various window system issues without the usual product development constraints. It should really be viewed as speculative research into the right way to build a window system. We started out by looking at a number of window systems and clients of window systems, and came up with a set of goals. From those goals, and a little bit of inspiration, we came up with a design.
James Gosling

6. Issues in Window Management Design and Implementation

Abstract
Sapphire (the Screen Allocation Package Providing Helpful Icons and Rectangular Environments) is a very powerful window management system running on the PERQ personal workstation. Design for the system started early in 1982 and it has been a product of PERQ Systems Corporation since mid-1983. A description of the user interface for Sapphire is given in [44] while some experiments to judge the effectiveness of the progress bars is given in [43]. This paper will concentrate on the design decisions that were made during the development, how such design decisions interact and, finally, the issues that need to be addressed by future designers of window management systems.
Brad Myers

7. A Modular Window System for Unix

Abstract
Whitechapel Computer Works is a UK company founded in April 1983 which manufactures a workstation running a Unix operating system. The company is situated in the East End of London, a step or two away from Silicon Valley! This paper describes the window manager for the workstation, gives some background to the design decisions and attempts to forecast problems likely to arise in the future.
Dominic Sweetman

8. Standards Activities

Abstract
The ANSI X3H3 (Graphics) arena is concerned with standardization of data exchange, virtual terminals, and the user interface. Over the last six months a number of meetings have taken place between people interested in the Window Management area, beginning with a request for a standard expressed at SIGGRAPH 84. During December of the same year an ad hoc meeting of 12–15 people was held, where it was clear that there was enough interest to proceed. In January 1985, at a meeting of the X3H3 Committee which had some European involvement, interest initially centred on the Computer Graphics Interface (CGI) proposal [30]. The group felt that some modifications to this proposal were called for, such as the introduction of complex clipping areas and the ability to direct primitives to a specific window. A further ad hoc meeting was held in February, where it was decided to explore standards based on the shared resource model, and standards at the applications interface level. A useful line to explore is whether there are limited ways to construct systems; if so it may be possible to build configurable interfaces.
John Butler

9. A Graphics Standards View of Screen Management

Abstract
Major users of a screen management system will be applications programs written using one of the existing or future graphics standards. The standards will be responsible for the graphical information sent to and received from the screen and its associated input devices. While this will not be the only system requiring access to the screen, it may be useful to identify the constraints placed on a screen manager by the graphics standards, and possible solutions to problems may be sensible in a wider context.
Bob Hopgood

10. Windows, Viewports and Structured Display Files

Abstract
Here is a selection of issues for consideration by anyone interested in discussing the merits of making more explicit use of the traditional graphics concepts of windows and viewports, and structured display files in windowing systems.
Colin Prosser

11. Partitioning of Function in Window Systems

Abstract
What is a window system? It is a manager for graphical display devices that divides the display surface into several windows along with a graphics library that understands them. In a multiprocess environment each window may be supported by a separate process. This paper examines the architectural issues involved in constructing a window system in such an environment. Emphasis is placed on the communication and synchronization problems that arise.
James Gosling

12. System Aspects of Low-Cost Bitmapped Displays

Abstract
The design of low-cost bitmapped displays is reviewed from the perspective of the implementors of a window manager for a Unix system. The interactions between RasterOp hardware, the multiprocess structure of Unix software, and the functions of the window manager are discussed in the form of a checklist of features for hardware designers.
David Rosenthal, James Gosling

13. A Window Manager for Bitmapped Displays and Unix

Abstract
A window manager for workstations with bitmapped displays has been developed. It exploits the inter process communication mechanism of the 4.2 Berkeley Unix system, and the DARPA TCP/IP protocols to support remote access to windows. One user level window manager process runs on each workstation; it tiles the screen(s) with windows, and manages a mouse, keyboard and pop-up menus. Client processes make remote procedure calls requesting the window manager to create or destroy windows, and to draw text and graphics in them. The window manager asynchronously requests clients to redraw their images when windows change size.
“You will get a better Gorilla effect if you use as big a piece of paper as possible. ” Kunihiko Kasahara, Creative Origami.
James Gosling, David Rosenthal

14. Issues

Abstract
The individual participants were asked to provide at least a one page summary of their activities of relevance to the Workshop and also to indicate their views on the major issues. From this, it was possible to establish the initial list of issues and to define the structure for three Working Groups which would most likely achieve the desired focus on the main issues.
F. Robert A. Hopgood, David A. Duce, Elizabeth V. C. Fielding, Ken Robinson, Antony S. Williams

Part III

Frontmatter

15. Application Program Interface Working Group Discussion

Abstract
The Working Group membership was:
  • Peter Bono (Chairman)
  • John Butler
  • Gordon Dougan
  • Paul ten Hagen
  • Bob Hopgood
  • Colin Prosser
  • David Rosenthal
The Working Group decided not to tackle the issues it had been given directly but first attempted to produce one or more models that captured the main points of concern at the application interface. The Architecture Working Group was responsible for the overall model but the Application Program Interface Working Group felt that it needed a model relevant to its activities as a mechanism for allowing constructive discussion.
F. Robert A. Hopgood, David A. Duce, Elizabeth V. C. Fielding, Ken Robinson, Antony S. Williams

16. Application Program Interface Working Group Final Report

Abstract
A window is a region on a display surface whose size, position, and display priority relative to other windows may be changed at will by the operator. Different windows may vary in their appearance: presence of title bars, border style, kind of scroll bars, etc.
F. Robert A. Hopgood, David A. Duce, Elizabeth V. C. Fielding, Ken Robinson, Antony S. Williams

17. User Interface Working Group Discussions

Abstract
The Working Group membership was as follows:
  • Austin Tate (Chairman)
  • David Barnes
  • Steve Cook
  • Martin Cooper
  • Arthur Foster
  • Brad Myers
  • William Newman
  • Ken Robinson
  • Warren Teitelman
  • Harold Thimbleby
(Warren Teitelman joined the Architecture Working Group after the first two sessions.) The main goal of all the Working Groups was a better understanding of the issues involved in their respective areas. Given the wide range of user types, applications, and window managers seen by the Working Group, the difficulty of providing concrete, all-embracing decisions can readily be envisaged. The Final Report in the next chapter attempts to classify the influences on the User Interface (UI), and presents conclusions on some of the issues discussed. This chapter is essentially (if not essential) background reading to that report, providing some of the more detailed reasoning that underpinned some of the decisions, and presenting some matters which, although they did not appear in the report, nevertheless are of interest. The following sections are, for convenience of cross reference, numbered as in the final report.
F. Robert A. Hopgood, David A. Duce, Elizabeth V. C. Fielding, Ken Robinson, Antony S. Williams

18. User Interface Working Group Final Report

Abstract
The Working Group categorized the influences on user interface design and styles of interaction; these categories are shown in Figure 18.1.
F. Robert A. Hopgood, David A. Duce, Elizabeth V. C. Fielding, Ken Robinson, Antony S. Williams

19. Architecture Working Group Discussions

Abstract
The membership of the Architecture Working Group was as follows:
  • George Coulouris (Chairman)
  • James Gosling
  • Alistair Kilgour
  • David Small
  • Dominic Sweetman
  • Tony Williams
  • Neil Wiseman
The group worked loosely from the issues list assigned to them. The issues were used to delimit the topics for discussion, though within those topics the issues were not directly debated. At the end of a session, the group would tie their discussion back to the issues list and see which had been resolved.
F. Robert A. Hopgood, David A. Duce, Elizabeth V. C. Fielding, Ken Robinson, Antony S. Williams

20. Architecture Working Group Final Report

Abstract
The Working Group’s discussion concentrated upon the following issues:
(1)
nomenclature for the objects displayed and manipulated;
 
(2)
levels of interface: especially the functionality of the client-server interface;
 
(3)
the input model;
 
(4)
responsibility for redrawing of portions of windows following damage or size changes;
 
(5)
hardware and operating system prerequisites.
 
F. Robert A. Hopgood, David A. Duce, Elizabeth V. C. Fielding, Ken Robinson, Antony S. Williams

21. Application Program Interface Task Group

Abstract
This group was formed during the final plenary session on the second day of the Workshop and was charged with producing a set of conclusions about the application program interface. The group met for one two-hour session on the morning of the third day and then reported its findings to a plenary session. Membership of the Task Group was:
  • James Gosling
  • Paul ten Hagen
  • Harold Thimbleby
Previously these people had been in different Working Groups at the Workshop and were effectively asked to bring the insights of their previous groups to this new task.
F. Robert A. Hopgood, David A. Duce, Elizabeth V. C. Fielding, Ken Robinson, Antony S. Williams

22. Structures Task Group

Abstract
The Task Group membership was:
  • Colin Prosser
  • Dominic Sweetman
  • Warren Teitelman
This Task Group arose mainly from the Architecture Working Group discussion and the joint session with the Application Program Interface Working Group. We thought it was a good idea to look below windows to see if there are more fundamental objects. We attempted to characterize the common structure properties among all the window systems of which we were aware. We will dodge the issue of overlapping versus tiling. There seem to be good reasons for both styles of use. We will concentrate on what is common between them.
F. Robert A. Hopgood, David A. Duce, Elizabeth V. C. Fielding, Ken Robinson, Antony S. Williams

Part IV

Frontmatter

23. Future Work

Abstract
This section summarizes the results achieved at the Final Session where the Working Group Reports were submitted. Each Group made comments about possible areas for future work and these were discussed and relative priorities established.
F. Robert A. Hopgood, David A. Duce, Elizabeth V. C. Fielding, Ken Robinson, Antony S. Williams

24. Bibliography

Without Abstract
F. Robert A. Hopgood, David A. Duce, Elizabeth V. C. Fielding, Ken Robinson, Antony S. Williams

25. Acronyms and Glossary

Without Abstract
F. Robert A. Hopgood, David A. Duce, Elizabeth V. C. Fielding, Ken Robinson, Antony S. Williams

Backmatter

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