the "balloon help" gambit

Of course I missed the simplest version.

The central fuction we have been talking about maps to the
following author question:

	"How would you tell the story of this cell in a sentence?"

[The rest is a matter of "How would you define a pattern that
generates appropriate sentences for (some set of cells)?]

Audio is not the only use of such a sentence.  One would also be
interested in displaying the sentence in the proximity of the
cell on a transient basis if, say, the mouse comes to rest over
the cell for more than some minimum dwell time.  [c.f. balloon
help a.k.a. tool tips]

This is the most quick and easy check.  The author can simply run
the mouse around to sample cells in each "alike" group in the
table.  [The author will know which cells are similar in how they
relate to their environment, and which groups are different.]
This lets him see what the application of the default
interpretation generates.  If it's not what the author wants,
then the author knows that some manual tweaking is required.

It takes a little more skill in grammar or programming to
distinguish when you want to change literal language in the
pattern and when you want to change the inter-cell reference
patterns, but this is still at the spreadsheet level of
programming sophistication, so it is known that _lots_ of people
can learn it.

-- Al

Received on Thursday, 2 October 1997 11:58:16 UTC