Dec 31, 1977
Describes the design and implementation of EP-2, the current version of a prototype exemplary programming system developed as a programming aid for nonexpert computer users. The EP system allows software to be created by example, i.e., the user performs some task on a computer while EP-2 "watches," recording the interaction. EP-2 then constructs a model of the interaction and stores it for subsequent use. The system can recognize various prompts that applications programs send to the user, construct sequential actions under the user's direction, and use portions of program output in subsequent inputs. An agent library stores, indexes, describes, and retrieves agents the user has created, and an editing facility enables errors to be corrected during agent creation. An experimental program-specification facility is also included that provides a "scratchpad" for specifying functions to EP-2. Illustrative scenarios and suggestions for the next version of the EP system.