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Method for regeneration using saved undoes

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000201866D
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 94K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

When automating the creation of a software entity, for example a document, it is frequently the case that further changes must be made after its creation and is often desirable to reapply these changes en masse. For example, after automatically generating a form from a schema, it may be desirable to change the form (adding a logo for example). When regenerating the form from a new schema, it would be useful to preserve those changes. Currently this use case is not being addressed by competitive products such as Microsoft's InfoPath, but will be a valuable use case in the future. The usual method for reapplying these changes is to look at the automated creation and the final entity and observe the differences between the two entities, creating a patch (a program that modifies the generated entity to become the latest version). This approach is frequently used to update a product to a newer version. While this approach does allow for applying these changes en masse, it has two significant shortcomings: 1. The application of the changes cannot deal with different inputs. For example, the change could be adding a logo to a specific document. Using the above method, the logo could only be added to that specific document. However, it would often be desirable to add that logo to all automatically generated documents. The above method is unable to do this, because it is extremely difficult to isolate specific changes that can be applied to specific content other than the content that was directly changed. For example, if the title was changed and a logo was added, it would be difficult to isolate the addition of the logo. 2. This method does not capture user intent behind the changes. While the changes were likely made in a step by step process (fixing problem A, then fixing problem B), this method can only observe the absolute changes. Thus, if change A were relevant and change B were not, this method would be unable to apply change A, but not B.

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Method for regeneration using saved undoes

Disclosed is a process for reapplying changes made to an original creation to any generated entity enabling reapplication of the changes based on extrapolating intent from the individual changes. By employing the disclosed process referred to as undo stack regeneration , the undo/redo information used to make changes is saved. The undo/redo information could be saved in the same file and be reformatted. The undo/redo information could also be saved in the same application or other suitable place as shown in Figure 1.

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Figure 1

The saved undo/redo information is used for reapplying the changes. The information is used to apply the changes in the same order, only apply changes when the part of the entity changed is

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 resent, or group changes by using temporal proximity (for example, when a set of changes such as adding a header and footer happen at the same time, are likely related). There are several reasons why this focus on the intent of the changes would be desired. Only applying relevant changes enables the changes to be dynamically applied to a large number of documents. Applying changes in the same order could emphasize more important changes first. Applying related changes together would ensure the intent behind a group of changes was preserved.

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Figure 2

Consider, for example, the case of regenerating an extensible forms definition language (XFDL) form from an XML schema...