Rooms: The Use of Multiple Virtual Workspaces to Reduce Space Contention in a Window-Based Graphical User Interface

D. Austin Henderson, Jr.  and Stuart Card

A key constraint on the effectiveness of window-based human-computer interfaces is that the display screen is too small for many applications. This results in “window thrashing,” in which the user must expend considerable effort to keep desired windows visible. Rooms is a window manager that overcomes small screen size by exploiting the statistics of window access, dividing the user’s workspace into a suite of virtual workspaces with transitions among them. Mechanisms are described for solving the problems of navigation and simultaneous access to separated information that arise from multiple workspaces.

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