Browse Prior Art Database

System for Computer Help Which Tailors Itself to the Individual User

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000042712D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-04
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Cohen, PS: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

On-line computer facilities for "help" on commands give very general information, which is often overly long, complicated, irrelevant, or confusing for particular uses or users. A method is described wherein the system tailors itself to the individual user. Standard computer-command help facilities give help information, sometimes occupying several pages on typewriter terminals or screenfuls on video displays with material that may be irrelevant to a particular user's needs. The proposed system gives concise and relevant user- tailored help, based on previous usage of the command by the user. In detail, the system works as follows. A record of the past several (typically up to 5) invocations by the user of all commands is stored and updated in a file.

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System for Computer Help Which Tailors Itself to the Individual User

On-line computer facilities for "help" on commands give very general information, which is often overly long, complicated, irrelevant, or confusing for particular uses or users. A method is described wherein the system tailors itself to the individual user. Standard computer-command help facilities give help information, sometimes occupying several pages on typewriter terminals or screenfuls on video displays with material that may be irrelevant to a particular user's needs. The proposed system gives concise and relevant user- tailored help, based on previous usage of the command by the user. In detail, the system works as follows. A record of the past several (typically up to 5) invocations by the user of all commands is stored and updated in a file. The user invokes the tailored-help facility with a command name and the number of examples he wishes to see. The examples of his own prior use (if any) of the command are then displayed to him in reverse chronological order. It is typically found that complicated commands are used in particular ways by particular users, and examples of his own prior use are quite informative to an individual; in general, the user allows most optional parameters to have their default values and does not wish to be concerned with them. Note that user-defined commands and programs, which otherwise often lack help facilities entirely, are treated in this same fashion,...