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

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

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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.