Re: the "balloon help" gambit

This may be overkill at this point, but here is a pipe dream of
how an authoring tool could automate the capture of
suitable-for-audio annotation of a table.

Author composes table in WYSWYG fashion [actual database reports
are different].

Author turns on balloon help.

Author picks first [nominally upper left] cell in a range that
she considers similar.  Checks what the balloon reads.  It
contains several correct cell-borrowings and one bad one.  The
data from the cells are integrated in a terminally klunky

Author sets help balloon in edit mode.

Cuts link to inappropriate cell from balloon text.

Selects correct cell to fill that relationship in sentence and pastes
cell reference in that place in sentence.

With the set of borrowed facts now OK, the author edits the text around
the cell-links to make the sentence fluent and colloquial for the
domain of the table.

When satisfied with this sentence, commits [closes] edit-balloon dialog.

Author selects the rectangle of cells that should have similar readout,
activates auto-propagate of pattern.

Author checks lower-right cell in block.  One of the inter-cell
links is getting propagated wrong, so that this reference is
wrong.  Author selects fix-auto-propagate under edit and the tool
gives an edit dialog for the lower-right cell.  Author edits link
from balloon text to source cell as before.  Tool detects correct
propagate pattern, adjusts all cells except first and last in

Author checks lower left cell in block, and upper right cell in
block.  These now generate readouts per author desires.

Move on to next block of cells...

-- Al

Received on Thursday, 2 October 1997 14:39:15 UTC