Your Wish is My Command: Programming By Example

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Elsevier, Mar 12, 2001 - Computers - 440 pages


As user interface designers, software developers, and yes-as users, we all know the frustration that comes with using "one size fits all" software from off the shelf. Repeating the same commands over and over again, putting up with an unfriendly graphical interface, being unable to program a new application that you thought of yourself-these are all common complaints. The inflexibility of today's computer interfaces makes many people feel like they are slaves to their computers. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Why can't technology give us more "custom-fitting" software?


On the horizon is a new technology that promises to give ordinary users the power to create and modify their own programs. Programming by example (PBE) is a technique in which a software agent records a user's behavior in an interactive graphical interface, then automatically writes a program that will perform that behavior for the user.


Your Wish is My Command: Programming by Example takes a broad look at this new technology. In these nineteen chapters, programming experts describe implemented systems showing that PBE can work in a wide variety of application fields. They include the following:



The renowned authors and their editor believe that PBE will some day make it possible for interfaces to effectively say to the user, "Your wish is my command!"

  • Text and graphical editing
  • Web browsing
  • Computer-aided design
  • Teaching programming to children
  • Programming computer games
  • Geographical information systems
 

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Contents

Chapter 1 Novice Programming Comes of Age
7
How Any Program Can Be Created by Working with Examples
21
Sometimes You Need a Little Intelligence Sometimes You Need a Lot
45
Chapter 4 Web Browsing by Example
61
Chapter 5 Trainable Information Agents for the Web
87
A Demonstration Is Worth a Thousand Words
115
Chapter 7 Bringing Programming by Demonstration to CAD Users
135
Chapter 8 Demonstrating the Hidden Features that Make an Application Work
163
Chapter 12 Training Agents to Recognize Text by Example
227
A Visual Representation for Regular Expressions
245
Chapter 14 Learning Users Habits to Automate Repetitive Tasks
271
Chapter 15 DomainIndependent Programming by Demonstration in Existing Applications
297
Demonstrating When as well as What
321
Where PBD Meets Macromedias Director
345
Chapter 18 Programming by Analogous Examples
351
Chapter 19 Visual Generalization in Programming by Example
371

Chapter 9 A Reporting Tool Using Programming by Example for Format Designation
175
Chapter 10 Composition by Example
191
Chapter 11 Learning Repetitive TextEditing Procedures with SMARTedit
209
Color Plate Section
417
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Henry Lieberman has been a Research Scientist at the MIT Media Laboratory since 1987. From 1972 until 1987, he was a researcher at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. His work focuses on the intersection of artificial intelligence and the human interface. Dr. Lieberman began his career with Seymour Papert and the group behind the educational language Logo. A member of the Software Agents group, he holds a doctoral-equivalent degree from the University of Paris-VI and has published over fifty papers on a wide variety of research topics.