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February 2, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

The songwriter writes the top-line melody and then turns the thing over to an arranger to be orchestrated, the genius author dictates his words of wisdom and turns them over to an amanuensis to be transcribed – and then to a publisher to be set and printed, so why should the computer user or applications conceiver have to become bogged down in the tedium of programming? ExperTelligence Inc of Santa Barbara, California sees no reason why he should, and has come up with artificial intelligence programming tool for Apple’s Macintosh Plus that enables users to design applications interface-first, using only the mouse, and then turn the completed interface over to a programmer who has to do the tedious bits. Called ExperInterface Builder, the program combines with the company’s ExperCommon Lisp, Lisp Compiler and Lisp Dead Code Analyser to make the boring part a bit less tedious. The result, says the company, is true top-down applications generation in which program concepts can be created to work exactly the way the user really wants them to, and be tested before they are coded. Existing programs can be modified interactively. The poor sap who must finish the thing has to know both ExperCommon Lisp and the Mac Toolbox, but the creative type doesn’t need to worry his or her head about either. ExperInterface Builder has its own inference engine that can call and link the various objects needed to build the interface. It costs $295 until March, thereafter $395. And if you’re thinking what clever guys these Americans are, it turns out the program is French: it was designed and developed using ExperCommon Lisp by Jean-Marie Hullot, president of JMH Inc in Paris.

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