Issue No. 05 - May (1986 vol. 6)
Ellis Cohen , Siemens Research&Technology Laboratories
Edward Smith , Carnegie-Mellon University
Lee Iverson , Siemens Research&Technology Laboratories
Typical computer workstations employ window managers for creating, destroying, and arranging windows on the screen. Window managers generally follow either a desktop metaphor, allowing windows to overlap each other like sheets of paper on a desk, or they use a tiling model, arranging each window with a specific size and location that avoids overlap. Desktop models allow for the most layout freedom, but can be frustrating to use when dealing with a large number of windows that must all be visible at once. Tiling models guarantee that each window will be completely visible on the screen, but thus far have provided relatively poor mechanisms for controlling layout decisions. This article describes work in tiled window management featuring a constraint-based layout mechanism. With it the user can specify the appearance of individual windows and constrain relationships between windows, thus exercising necessary control over the tiling process. We discuss our constraint model and then detail an implementation approach that would make use of those constraints.
E. Smith, L. Iverson and E. Cohen, "Constraint-Based Tiled Windows," in IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 6, no. , pp. 35-45, 1986.