Your Wish is My Command: Programming by Example

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Morgan Kaufmann, 2001 - Computers - 416 pages
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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

Novice Programming Comes of Age
x
Generalizing by Removing Detail How Any Program Can Be Created by Working with Examples
6
Demonstrational Interfaces Sometimes You Need a Little Intelligence Sometimes You Need a Lot
30
Web Browsing by Example
46
Trainable Information Agents for the Web
72
End Users and CIS A Demonstration Is Worth a Thousand Words
100
Bringing Programming by Demonstration to CAD Users
120
Demonstrating the Hidden Features that Make an Application Work
148
Learning Repetitive TextEditing Procedures with SMARTedit
196
Training Agents to Recognize Text by Example
214
SWYN A Visual Representation for Regular Expressions
232
Learning Users Habits to Automate Repetitive Tasks
258
Domain Independent Programming by Demonstration in Existing Applications
284
StimulusResponse PBD Demonstrating When as Well as What
308
Pavlov Where PBD Meets Macromedias Director
332
Programming by Analogous Examples
338

A Reporting Tool Using Programming by Example for Format Designation
162
Composition by Example
178
Visual Generalization in Programming by Example
358
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About the author (2001)

Henry Lieberman is Research Scientist at the MIT Media Laboratory.