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Static Layout Properties

In Elastic Windows, windows are rectangular with a content area surrounded by borders on each edge. Hierarchy is indicated by the nesting of window borders where lower-level windows are surrounded by the borders of higher-level windows.

Within a group, windows at the same level can be organized in alternating horizontal and vertical tilings (Figure gif). Windows within a group are considered at the same level even when there is a mixed order of horizontal and vertical tilings unless they are surrounded by a higher-level window. This gives users flexibility in the organization of windows to some degree, avoiding strict stacking of windows within a group.

Any feasible layout in Elastic Windows can be described by a sequence of cuts such as tex2html_wrap_inline1974 , where each cut tex2html_wrap_inline1976 partitions window tex2html_wrap_inline1978 into two rectangular windows tex2html_wrap_inline1980 and tex2html_wrap_inline1982 horizontally or vertically and tex2html_wrap_inline1978 is created by a cut tex2html_wrap_inline1986 . Thus, there are layouts that can not be designed in Elastic Windows (Figure gif.c).

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In Elastic Windows, tiled window organization is chosen primarily in order to maximize the visibility of windows. According to my observations, people typically try to organize related windows of a task non-overlapping, even when overlapping windows are allowed. As Cohen et al. [70] stated, overlapping window layouts are difficult to handle when large numbers of windows must all be visible at once, and they come and go rapidly. On the other hand, in space-filling tiled approaches, window contents may not always conform to different window sizes and small window sizes may not provide sufficient view of window contents.

However, for tasks dealing with only a single window, overlapping windows approach is beneficial. Thus, the Elastic Windows approach has been applied to overlapping and non-spacefilling non-overlapping window organizations (Figure gif).

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Eser Kandogan
Sun Sep 13 18:34:46 EDT 1998

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