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Descriptive Natural-Language Interface for Information Selection Display and Editing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000106128D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-20
Document File: 4 page(s) / 136K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Russell, JD: AUTHOR

Abstract

This invention allows a person, typically an author, to select specific items and general classes of information within a document by using commands that reflect the familiar structure of written and spoken language. The resulting display includes only those lines and/or line ranges that contain the requested information. Using this technique, an author can:

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 36% of the total text.

Descriptive Natural-Language Interface for Information Selection Display and Editing

      This invention allows a person, typically an author, to select
specific items and general classes of information within a document
by using commands that reflect the familiar structure of written and
spoken language.  The resulting display includes only those lines
and/or line ranges that contain the requested information.  Using
this technique, an author can:

o     View and edit large volumes of information quickly and with
    little effort

o     Protect information from potentially destructive editing
    operations

o     Suppress the display of unwanted information, to view the
    high-level structure of information for side-by-side comparison

o     Identifyitems or classes of information using common
    terms,synonyms, or abbreviations

o   Express abstract ideas related to the content and structure of
    the information without having to issue or understand detailed
    computer instructions

This invention is implemented as a set of XEDIT editor commands:
          LOOKIT
          JUSTTHIS
          SHOWBETWEEN

      The information about document structure and types of document
elements is derived from markup for the BookMaster document
formatter.

      The main macro is LOOKIT, which accepts a set of arguments,
contructs an XEDIT target specification, and displays lines matching
the search criteria.  For some document elements, LOOKIT displays
only the first and last lines; for these elements, SHOWBETWEEN
displays their remaining lines.  JUSTTHIS restricts the scope of any
editing lines within a file.

      The primary idea behind the natural language interface is to
enable someone to express an idea using familiar terminology, and
have the software alter or expand that idea into a series of actions.
LOOKIT uses the following methods to make its operations intuitive to
a document author:

o     All commands use simple, direct words intended to be easy to
    remember.  All commands so far consist of two words joined
    together, so that to issue the command, a user enters something
    similar to a sentence or sentence fragment:  lookit index
              justthis chapter
              showbetween examples

o    Command parameters are not case-sensitive, and can be
    abbreviated.  In cases where the user would expect to select
    multiple items, the plural form is accepted:
              lookit headings
              lookit Heads
              lookit HEAD

o    Where a type of document element might be known by different
    names, the commands accept synonyms as parameters.  Typically,
    the synonyms allow a user to enter either a standard English word
    or a word derived from the actual BookMaster tag used:
              justthis chapt...