The current task on the stage is composed of several components,
including a loose stack, an ordered stack, and a selected windows set. The loose
stack is used for overlapped windows in much the same way as the current desktop
metaphor. These windows are mounted on stands to visually ground them to the
stage. Clicking on one of these windows will bring it forward to a selected
window position, replacing the current selected window.
The window manipulation controls are
used for moving windows around and placing them on various stacks. These
controls appear over the window banner when the user points to the banner.
Windows in the loose stack can be directly moved anywhere on the
stage, using a technique similar to Point of Interest object movement;
mouse movement controls movement in the plane perpendicular to the line of
sight, and the shift and control keys control movement toward or away from the
user. The ordered stack appears to the left of the stage, as shown in the overview
Users choose to place windows in the ordered stack to keep currently unused
windows organized (e.g., open email messages). If one of the windows on the
podium is moved, the stack is tidied to have a fixed distance between each
window. Clicking on a page in the ordered stack moves it to the selected window
region. When windows are selected, the system moves them closer to the user for
greater legibility. Multiple windows can be selected using the "Add to
Selection" icon as shown in the picture
of the window controls. Each time a window is added, an automatic
layout moves the windows so they are all visible side by side.
windows in the Loose Stack (no windows selected)
Traditional window managers force users to rearrange windows constantly, bring them forward, send them back, resize them, scroll the contents,
and iconify them -- all in an effort to simultaneously see related information
from multiple windows. Unlike
tiled window managers that crop windows and may force users to scroll, this
operation does not affect what is visible in selected windows. Thus we use
distance in 3D to provide uniform scaling in an intuitive way.
(traditional window manager)
("Elastic Windows" U of Maryland)