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Mechanism to explain software behavior

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000175045D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Oct-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Oct-03
Document File: 1 page(s) / 15K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

An ?explain why? mechanism is proposed to explain software automatisms. Whenever an automatism kicks in to change the user?s input, the user can press a hot key (like Ctrl-F1, F2, etc.) to bring up a dialog which explains the performed action.

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Mechanism to explain software behavior

Mechanism to explain software behaviorMechanism to explain software behavior

Software has become more and more complex over the years. Today's desktop applications contain hundreds of features. Graphical user interfaces have helped users significantly to master such applications as they provide a consistent look and feel across applications. Something learned from one application (e.g.: cut-and-paste) can usually be applied to a completely new, to the user still unknown application. Online help,

which has replaced the traditional printed manual, is

another big help in mastering a new software program. Online help is generally context-sensitive, in other words the application knows the current context when help is requested and can thus provide very specific help.

State-of-the-art programs provide nowadays automatisms (automatic behaviors) to support users in doing their work, e.g. automatically changing the first character of a

word to uppercase at the beginning of a sentence using the assumption that all

sentences start with a capital letter or auto-correcting certain miss-typed words such as automatically turning 'teh' into 'the'. In general, this is a great help for any user. However, at certain times, these automatisms can become very annoying. There are cases in which you really want to start a sentence with a lowercase word. For example: getElementReplacement is a static method. The user has basically two choices to cope with this situation: a) she can manually correct the problem each time it happens and b) she tells the software to stop doing automatic changes. Both approaches do have drawbacks. With solution a) you need to correct ov...