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Fall 2003 M7: Expand your Guide's functionality

(Group, Due 12/04)

Now that you've got a first version of your full Guide working, it's time to make it more complex. For this milestone you'll extend your Guide to be able to demonstrate the 5 tasks specified by the professor, you'll give your Guide the ability to parse free-form text, and you'll allow your Guide to account for idiosyncratic users.


Questions on Fall 2003 Milestone 7


For this milestone your professor will give you a list of tasks that your Guide will have to demonstrate how to complete. You will need to create step-by-step instructions and extend your demonstration engine to handle them. At the completion of this milestone your Guide should be able to walk the users through the necessary steps to complete any of 10 possible tasks, and should be able to demonstrate any and all of those steps.

You will also need to extend your Guide's search mechanism. Instead of requiring users to enter keywords when searching for available help, you should allow them to enter any free-form text they want and your Guide should return relevant help. Hint: you might find it helpful to strip out punctuation and common words, such as "the", from the query.

Finally, you must extend your Guide to handle cases where users do not follow your instructions. In other words, you need to allow your Guide to handle dependencies within your instructions. For example, if the second step of a set of instructions requires referring to a browser opened in the first step (e.g. right-clicking in the class category pane of a browser) and the user skipped over that action before clicking "Show me!" on the second step, you'll need to open a browser for the user.


Turn-in your code and your instructions (in XML format) before class using the Fall 2003 Turnin Information with the code 'M7'. Turn in your design in class.


Note: If the TAs can't figure out how to do these things, they don't have to give you. Your TA demo is a final demo of the full-up application to your TA. You will need to schedule this prior to the end of dead week.

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