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Technology / AI and automation


Although Poqet Computer Corp, chaired by Dr Robb Wilmot and based in Sunnyvale, California, sold a 38% holding in itself to Fujitsu Ltd on the back of its soon-to-be-announced pocket MS-DOS computer, key features of which will include a full 25 line by 80 character display and keyboard in a package weighing only ounces, and a proprietary power-saving technology that will enable the thing to run for months in normal use on one set of cells, the company does have another string to its bow. Earlier this year, it acquired Delta Logic Inc in Monterey, California, a move that took it into object-oriented programming for MS-DOS micros. Delta’s product is called Entryway, and provides the tools for creating user interfaces compatible with IBM’s Systems Application Architecture. The basic concept behind Entryway is to move the application development process more towards the process of building a letter in a word processor, Delta Logic founder Jonn Hiles told Microbytes Daily. Entryway operates rather like a word processor, but includes a set of tools for defining on the screen user-interface objects such as buttons, forms, and user-definable objects, and the text of the application and the objects can be constructed in the same way that as a straight text document. Text becomes active when an object is attached to a word or phrase, so that when the user clicks on the expression, some action is performed such as the opening of a file in a database or invocation of a communications routine. Entryway consists of a script language of over 200 statements described as similar to the syntax of the macro language of Wordperfect 5.0, plus 12 built-in objects, among them a calendar and a timer, a table and index system, a script recorder, and forms- and menu-generation tools. Entryway also offers hypertext facilities so that words on the screen can be associated with other text documents such as help screens. And there is a set of debugging tools and facilities for connecting to network drivers so that Entryway interfaces can be used with distributed applications on a network. Designed to enable personal computers to be integrated with larger office systems without recourse to a professional programmer, it costs $800 for a full development system and $250 for a run-time version, and is out this month. Poqet plans to provide Entryway in ROM on its pocket computers so that people will be able to create interfaces between the mobile machine and office networks or database servers. Delta Logic was founded by a group of refugees from Digital Research Inc.

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