BYTE Magazine

December 1993

Reproduced with Permission. Copyright by McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York, NY. All rights reserved.

Putting Computers To Real Use

reviewed by Tom Thompson

Today's computers are much more powerful than they were 10 years ago. Yet, we're still doing the same old things with these faster machines: writing, running spreadsheets, and connecting to on-line services. Shouldn't today's generation of computers do more for us? Such is the subject matter of Watch What I Do, a series of articles about Programming by Demonstration. This is where a computer observes what we're doing and, for repetitive tasks, learns them and ultimately does them for us. Importantly, PBD will empower typical users to do this -- not just programmers. Watch What I Do covers such topics as macro recorders, learning by example, and inferencing, with implementation examples. This book is not for the faint of heart: Code examples, screen shots, block diagrams, and grammars adorn the pages. The text isn't in a dry academic style, however, and it actually makes for interesting reading. If you're interested in the real future of computing, check this book out.
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