This patent is heavily contested by the open-source software community, and I'm sure there's prior art out there. Have you seen anything published before August 16, 2004 that discusses
- a tabbed toolbar, each tab containing a series of logical groups of buttons, check boxes, drop-down boxes, and other UI controls for a related set of functions (such as editing a table inserted into a Word document)
If so, please submit evidence of prior art as an answer to this question, one piece of prior art per answer. If you have several pieces of prior art, you may submit multiple answers, each describing a particular piece of prior art.
Diagram 1 shows Windows Explorer in Windows 8.1, which contains an example of the Ribbon UI, and demonstrates a function covered in claim 1 of the patent.
The first claim of the aforementioned patent is as follows:
A method for providing functionality from a software application by displaying an improved user interface at a display device, the method comprising: organizing a plurality of software functionalities according to tasks to be performed by the software application, the tasks being identified textually by user interface tabs;
upon receiving an indication of a selection of a first user interface tab, providing a plurality of selectable controls associated with a first task, each selectable control being presented by a graphic representation and a textual representation;
grouping the plurality of selectable controls into logical groupings of the plurality of selectable controls, wherein each of the logical groupings combine a subset of functionalities associated with the selected first user interface tab;
dynamically adjusting a layout of at least one of the logical groupings to accommodate the user interface, wherein dynamically adjusting the layout of the at least one logical grouping comprises reducing a size of the graphical representation of at least one selectable control within the logical grouping eliminating the textual representation of at least one selectable control associated with the at least one logical grouping, and preserving the graphical representation associated with the at least one selectable control associated with the at least one logical grouping;
upon receiving an indication of a selection of a second user interface tab, providing in the user interface a plurality of additional selectable controls for selecting functionalities organized under a second task associated with the second user interface tab;
after providing in the user interface the plurality of additional selectable controls for selecting functionalities organized under the second task, receiving an indication of a selection of one of the additional selectable controls organized under the second task;
applying functionality associated with the selected additional selectable control to a selected object; and when the second user interface tab is not selected in the user interface, providing in the user interface the plurality of selectable controls organized under the first task associated with the selected first user interface tab.
More simply, this means:
A user interface for a software application which:
- consists of a series of tabs each representing a set of functions to be performed by the application
- provides a set of UI controls relevant to a particular task when the user selects a particular tab, with each control consisting of an icon and text
- arranges the controls in each tab into a series of subgroups
- if necessary, hides the text for at least one UI control in a tab, leaving only the icon for that control(s), while retaining the text and graphics for other controls (see Diagram 1)
- provides a second set of UI controls relevant to a different task when the user clicks on a second tab
- accepts user selection of one of the UI controls in the second set after displaying the controls in the second tab
- performs the function associated with a UI control in the second tab when the user selects it
- displays the UI controls in the first selected tab when a second tab is not selected
Good prior art would be evidence of a system that followed all of these steps before August 16, 2004.
Windows Explorer in Windows 8.1: Shrinking the controls in the Ribbon to adapt to a smaller window by removing text from UI controls
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