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Integrated Syntax and Semantic Prompting

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000077985D
Original Publication Date: 1972-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-25
Document File: 5 page(s) / 185K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Diel, H: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

The method described allows syntax-oriented prompting, by means of the same prompter as is used for semantic-oriented prompting based on a common prompt table. (The term "prompting" in this context means, the exploitation of an electronic data-processing system by user/machine dialogue to help the user to appropriately use the machine.)

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Integrated Syntax and Semantic Prompting

The method described allows syntax-oriented prompting, by means of the same prompter as is used for semantic-oriented prompting based on a common prompt table. (The term "prompting" in this context means, the exploitation of an electronic data-processing system by user/machine dialogue to help the user to appropriately use the machine.)

Table-driven semantic prompting is regarded as being controlled by a tree, with each node of the tree referring to a question to be displayed to the user. The user supplies an answer to the questions and dependent on that answer, a set of questions is determined which are to be displayed next. Automatic program generation is achieved by associating the description of the syntax of the program with the nodes of the prompt tree. The same syntax description is used to check whether the input entered during syntax-oriented prompting is syntactically correct or not.

The common semantic/syntax prompt table consists of an array of so called prompt nodes and information, whereas a prompt node consists of: 1) The text of the questions (or order) to be displayed. 2) A pointer to an array of so-called answer information, each element of which represents one alternative. The answer information, on the other hand, consists of? 1) The identifier or character string the user must supply to indicate the selected alternative. In special cases this can mean that no alternatives are possible, so that the user has to enter a name or a number, for example. Such a character string is herein called answer- id. 2) The name or address of the routine to be executed for this alternative. 3) The indexes of the prompt node to be used next. In this context the indexes are called followers. 4) The description of the syntax of the program part which has to be generated for the alternative. Fig. 1 shows an example of a prompt table. Three basic operations are available in the metalanguage describing the syntax?
. insert constant . Substitute prompt node . substitute user*s reply

Other syntax operations are possible (e.g, general BNF), however, the algorithm as given only refers to the above three. Experience has, in fact, shown that these basic operations are sufficient in most cases....