Visualizing total order relation of nodes in a structured document


prior request for http://www.google.com/patents/US20120137209

Claim 1:

A method, system, and a computer readable storage medium for visualizing total order relation of nodes included in structured document, the method includes the steps of:

acquiring log information, where the log information is created by storing information on transitions between nodes in a structured document in chronological order;

specifying a relation of relative positions of the nodes in the transitions based on acquired log information; and

determining a total order relation of the nodes in the structured document by performing a topological sorting that uses specified relation as a constraint, where the total order relation of the nodes is determined by using content data of said node if the node is added to or removed from the structured document; and where at least one of the steps is carried out using a computer device.

1 Answer 1


Well, Microsoft's event viewer has been able to do this for as long as I can remember.

  1. Log information is stored in chronological order. That's how logs work.
  2. specifying a relation based on acquired log information is as simple as clicking on the relevant column (additional columns can even be added?)
  3. determining a total order of the nodes and sorting is precisely what happens when you click on the relevant column. The log viewer sorts by that column.

All of these features have been part of the event viewer for a long time. The event viewer in windows XP (ca. 2001) seems to meet all of these requirements.

Image on Wikipedia of the XP viewer

See also, the Wikipedia article on the event viewer

I'd bet these criteria are in older versions of windows than that, I just haven't looked, because beating it by 10 years (plus development time) seems good enough.

  • While Event Viewer is a very good start, and IMO provides a good basis for the application to be rejected for obviousness, event Viewer may possibly fail because it is might not be said to be viewing a 'structured document'. While XML is not the only structured document, it is certainly one example of that breed, so I would be tempted to think more of tools like XSLT or possibly JavaScript Table-sorting tools (as exist on many websites).
    – rivimey
    Nov 22, 2013 at 16:08
  • @rivimey according to support.microsoft.com/kb/315417 the data in the event viewer is stored in files. Files are documents, and we can rest assured they aren't using unstructured data in those files, as that would be absolutely moronic. I don't think the wording on the claim is enough to exclude event logs.
    – McKay
    Nov 22, 2013 at 16:28

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