Openlab User Interface Concepts

Technical Note: 9
Reads: 5956
Creation Date: 28/09/1999
Modification Date: 12/02/2004

There are three user interfaces which are consistently used throughout Openlab.

1. The document window

This is the experimental workbook. The LIFF file format allows users to keep the data for one experiment together in one document. Live images are viewed in the document window and as images are captured they are added to the document. The document window has a tool bar down the left side from which tools are selected. As documents may consist of more images than can be held in the available RAM, Openlab operates a caching system that brings images from the hard disc as required.

2. Palettes

Palettes are small windows that always float on top of image windows. They provide the interface between the user and the system. The Layers Manager palette, for example, provides access to the list of images that make up the document. Hardware interfaces are typically palettes.

3. Dialogs

Dialog windows are accessed via the menu bar. Dialogs are typically used to apply image processing and manipulation functions and offer the facility to apply such changes consistently across data sets.

The dialog includes a preview window wherever parameters can be changed that will affect the visualisation of an image. This previews the effect of changes before the user commits to them. Previews can be cropped or scaled to make assessment of such changes clearer.

The user has the option to make changes to one image or a selected set of images in the image document, which allows the dialog settings to be applied consistently over an image set. Dialog settings can be saved so that they can be applied quickly and easily to future data sets.