Robert C. Miller and Brad A. Myers. Interactive Simultaneous Editing of Multiple Text Regions. USENIX 2001 Annual Technical Conference, Boston, MA, June 2001, pp 161-174.
Oleg pointed me to this PBD paper, along with the following comments:
The authors received the best paper award. Another case of an
The presenter demonstrated his system. It was indeed impressive. He
selected several regions of text (which can be discontinuous). He then
selected words or groups of words within one phrase -- and the system
inferred the corresponding words in the other phrases. When he
started editing the first selected phrase, the other selected phrases
were edited synchronously. It was fascinating to watch.
The crux of the problem was inferring the meaning of user's selection
within one phrase, and generalizing it to other phrases. It's an
instance of programming by demonstration.
The system pre-processes the text heavily to make on-line work easier.
A feature is a pattern or a literal string that occurs several
times. Features are stored as region sets: sequences of begin/end
The author cited results of a usability study they performed on two
groups of CMU undergrads. Given a large repetitive task -- editing a
large bibliography and changing its formatting -- the system indeed
helped accomplish the work faster. However, as the presenter admitted
in response to a question, the error rate for simultaneous editing was
about the same as the error rate for people that used a traditional
editor -- about 30%. When the system discovers and generalizes user's
selections, a user can correct the system and guide it to the
selection he wants. Alas, understanding how the system generalizes
proved to be difficult. Users tend to overlook subtle errors during
Posted to general by Ehud Lamm on 3/21/02; 6:31:15 AM