Attach me, Detach me, Assemble me like You Work

Detachable user interfaces consist of graphical user interfaces whose parts or whole can be detached at run-time from their host, migrated onto another computing platform while carrying out the task, possibly adapted to the new platform and attached to the target platform in a peer-to-peer fashion. Detaching is the property of splitting a part of a UI for transferring it onto another platform. AttAaching is the reciprocal property: a part of an existing interface can be attached to the currently being used interface so as to recompose another one on-demand, according to user's needs, task requirements. Assembling interface parts by detaching and attaching allows dynamically composing, decomposing and re-composing new interfaces on demand. To support this interaction paradigm, a development infrastructure has been developed based on a series of primitives such as display, undisplay, copy, expose, return, transfer, delegate, and switch. We exemplify it with QTkDraw, a painting application with attaching and detaching based on the development infrastructure.
Springer-Verlag, Berlin
Proc. of 10th IFIP TC 13 Int. Conf. on Human-Computer Interaction Interact