Apple Patent - Graduated visual and manipulative translucency

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
This sounds nifty. Get a description there.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,271member
    Check out a visualization(possible) here.
  • Reply 2 of 18
    You know, that sounds kinda neat. I work with many many files each day and sometimes (not always, mostly when very tired after a long day) It is easy to lose which window is which, if that mock-up is anything close to what they are speaking of, I am all for it! Makes which window is which a bit more visually striking. Love it!
  • Reply 3 of 18
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    how can apple patent that? we have used third party apps on windows and there is script on linux which does exactly that and it has been out for the better part of three years! I love apple but this patent may very well be tossed out as it should, there is prior art.



    Apple may 'say' that it is to protect themselves from M$, and that is all they plan to do, but they havent said that yet nor will they, and as of the date the patent is given, anyone who uses translucency is playing with fire.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    the cool gutthe cool gut Posts: 1,714member
    funny how they'd patent that, but not exposé .. or did they?
  • Reply 5 of 18
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Most patents these days are pure bullshit.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Scott

    Most patents these days are pure bullshit.



    I am going to pattent the chemical combination of H2O I figure I can then just sue 3 or 4 water bottlers and BAMO - I AM F***ING LOADED Bee-OCH......
  • Reply 7 of 18
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by a_greer

    how can apple patent that? we have used third party apps on windows and there is script on linux which does exactly that and it has been out for the better part of three years! I love apple but this patent may very well be tossed out as it should, there is prior art.



    I'm curious - I'd love to see links to these apps and script. Care to share?
  • Reply 8 of 18
    code mastercode master Posts: 344member
    I think they are patenting more than just translucent windows, but rather how they are used and how they interact with the user.



    And most of the 'translucency' I've seen prior to X is done by taking a snapshot of the desktop or windows underneath the windows and displaying that as the window background. SoundJam (or whatever became iTunes from C&G) did that, Win/MacAmp worked that way and gkrelm works that way.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Yeah, you guys didn't think they were *JUST* patenting translucency, did you?!?



    That'd be, um... stupid. Prior art, yadda yadda yadda.



    They're patenting using translucency as feedback for allowing mouse events to go *THROUGH* the top window and to one underneath.



    So lets say you have a window that is on top of a bunch of others, but you haven't used it in a while. Over time it fades until it it hits a threshold, and you can then work on the windows *under it*.



    Looks interesting.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Kickaha is right -- it's the application of transparency that's they key here. As per usual, John Kheit at TMO is a little off-base.



    This sounds like another stab at a a kind of single window mode, in some way trying to solve what Apple proposed to solve with that feature in the OS X Developer previews 3 and 4. It also sounds like it would mean less dependence on the Dock for minimizing windows or for a windowshading feature.



    Apple refers to the issue in the document as the "window overlap problem." Well, it's talking about occluded content anyway.



    I like how they describe the problem here:



    "For the purposes of this particular invention, a window overlap problem of particular interest involves floating windows which provide feedback information to a user regarding a particular operation or application.



    "Those familiar with computers having graphical user interfaces will recognize the floating windows as a useful though sometimes annoying phenomenon." All that legaleze and then they throw that in.



    I can't imagine too many situations where a translucent widow would be in front of an opaque one though. Seems like a fairly rare occurrence anyway. Reading further, it seems that at the first level of transparency, you can still call the window back to its opaque state by single-clicking on it, and that it becomes click-through only after entering the second transparent state. (Reading on?) Ah, I see. Single-clicking inside a very transparent window's area will affect the more opaque window below it, and double-clicking a very transparent window will then make it opaque again. Cute. I like it.



    Of course, how would this all work with Exposé? The mind boggles.



    What would happen to windows below the transparency threshhold? Will they show up in Expos´or do you need to hold a modifier?



    The patent claims indicate that the parameters for the transparency settings, the time to go from one level to the next, and so forth are application-dependent. That might refer to the System Preferences though.



    Yeah, this could be very cool. But don't forget, they also had a patent for Piles that never happened. The way they talk about how the translucency would be done sounds very pre-OS X compositing. And as I look through the user comments at the TMO article, I see that it's a continuation of a patent from 1999 so of course it wouldn't have anything to do with Quartz compositing or show more OS X-like windows in their demo images. This might not come to pass at all if the Piles patent is any indication.





    Interesting OT nugget:



    Quote:

    the Find? user interface and user management system (simply Finder? user interface hereafter)



  • Reply 11 of 18
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by a_greer

    I am going to pattent the chemical combination of H2O I figure I can then just sue 3 or 4 water bottlers and BAMO - I AM F***ING LOADED Bee-OCH......



    The fact that some American companies have patented a rice that has grown in India for hundreds of years makes this comment not as funny as was obviously intended - they then sued the indian farmers.



    I think it's fine to patent progressive translucency, just not normal transulency, Microsoft are patenting everything so developers can't even develop! But Apple aren't doing anything that bad. It would be really sweet it it wasn;t just in finder but in all your apps!
  • Reply 12 of 18
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BuonRotto

    [B]I can't imagine too many situations where a translucent widow would be in front of an opaque one though. Seems like a fairly rare occurrence anyway. Reading further, it seems that at the first level of transparency, you can still call the window back to its opaque state by single-clicking on it, and that it becomes click-through only after entering the second transparent state. (Reading on?) Ah, I see. Single-clicking inside a very transparent window's area will affect the more opaque window below it, and double-clicking a very transparent window will then make it opaque again. Cute. I like it.



    Nifty indeed. It seems like this new flavor of window -- one that fades to transparency over time and can be clicked-through until directly double-clicked -- would be a lovely solution for a new notification system, doesn't it?



    I'm less inclined to think that this idea would be implemented in place of minimizing to the Dock (in place of some other enhancement to that so-so system), but who knows...
  • Reply 13 of 18
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Kind of replaces that last lone piece of WindowShade functionality - the double-click twice to quickly see what's behind a window, eh?
  • Reply 14 of 18
    sawtoothsawtooth Posts: 28member
    Or it could be a nice replacement for system alerts, replace the bouncing dock icons with non intrusive transparent alert windows that can be ignored and clicked through, fading over time.
  • Reply 15 of 18
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    I agree. I think there's much more of a need for a more advanced notification system than there is for quickly peeking behind a window w/o using Exposé, hiding, or minimization. (All of whose behaviors could surely be improved. But do we really need yet other option?)
  • Reply 16 of 18
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Hobbes

    I agree. I think there's much more of a need for a more advanced notification system than there is for quickly peeking behind a window w/o using Exposé, hiding, or minimization. (All of whose behaviors could surely be improved. But do we really need yet other option?)



    Options provide choice and that is a good thing. Then people can decide what they want to use. Wil they introudce transparent items for hidden apps as well, this feature is currently disabled.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    spankaleespankalee Posts: 90member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BuonRotto

    I can't imagine too many situations where a translucent widow would be in front of an opaque one though.



    I think it's already happened, and they're called "dashboards". Check out the new Motion video tour:



    http://www.apple.com/motion/quicktour/introduction.html



    The second video (Animation and Text) shows the use of dashboards.



    Basically they're semi-transparent pallets that control the behavior of objects in the workspace. Because people will probably work with Motion's workspace taking up a lot of the screen there's a good chance the dashboard will be on top of the video.



    There's no mention of the dashboards fading in and out, so maybe I'm wrong, but it is just a preview of Motion and maybe they didn't have time to go into it.



    --------------------

    "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test." - George W. Bush
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