Lyons, P.J., Apperley, M.D., Bishop, A.G. & Moretti, G.S. (1994). Active Templates Manipulating pointers with pictures. In Proceedings of the Computer Human Interaction Special Interest Group of the Ergonomics Society of Australia, OZCHI ’94.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4791
Active templates are a semi-automatic visual mechanism for generating algorithms for manipulating pointer-based data structures. The programmer creates a picture showing the affected part of a data structure before and after a general-case manipulation. Code for the operation is compiled directly from the picture, which also provides the development environment with enough information to generate, automatically, a series of templates for other similar pictures, each describing a different configuration which the data structure may possess. The programmer completes the algorithm by creating matching after-pictures for each of these cases. At every stage, most of the picture-generation is automatic. Much of the tedious detail of conventional pointer-based data-structure manipulation, such as maintenance of current pointers, is unnecessary in a system based on active templates.
This article has been published in Proceedings of the Computer Human Interaction Special Interest Group of the Ergonomics Society of Australia, OZCHI ’94. Used with permission.