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VIII.3 May/June 2001
Page: 53
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Steven Pemberton

back to top  Your Wish is My Command: Programming By Example

Henry Lieberman
Morgan Kaufmann Publishing, 2001
ISBN 1558606882

This is the first book-length work on a promising new technology that is likely to change the way people interact with computers and the programs that run on them: Programming by Example (PBE). PBE is a set of capabilities that can be built into an application, allowing it to adapt itself to the way it is used. For instance, if it finds that a user regularly repeats a complex series of steps, it can automatically re-program itself to make the required steps shorter and simpler.

Your Wish is My Command: Programming by Example takes a broad look at this new technology. Inside, programming experts describe implemented systems showing that PBE can work in a wide variety of application fields. They include the following:

  • Text and graphical editing
  • Web browsing
  • Computer-aided design
  • Teaching programming to children
  • Programming computer games
  • Geographical information systems

This book will make for fascinating and ultimately practical reading for academics working in HCI and AI professionals working on challenging software and hardware design issues.

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Henry Lieberman has been a Research Scientist at the MIT Media Laboratory since 1987. From 1972 until 1987, he was a researcher at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. His work focuses on the intersection of artificial intelligence and the human interface. Dr. Lieberman began his career with Seymour Papert and the group behind the educational language Logo. A member of the Software Agents group, he holds a doctoral-equivalent degree from the University of Paris-VI and has published over fifty papers on a wide variety of research topics.

back to top  Visual Effects in a Digital World: A Comprehensive Glossary of over 7000 Visual Effects Terms

Karen E. Goulekas
Morgan Kaufmann Publishing, 2001
ISBN 0122937856

Visual Effects in a Digital World is a comprehensive guide to visual effects terms and techniques that serves as a valuable resource for both novice and professional filmmakers from different generations, disciplines, and even different continents to be able to speak the same language.

All of the industry's workers frequently need to understand concepts from other specialties, and this book lets them look up and grasp the basics of any visual effects concept in a matter of seconds. It's a great way for anyone—regardless of experience—to find their way through the jargon and learn what they need to know.

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  • 16 pages of color from blockbuster films to illustrate definitions of terms.
  • Covers topics such as computer graphics, digital compositing, live action, stage, and miniature photography, and a wide range of computer and Internet concepts.
  • Offers job descriptions for positions found throughout the industry.
  • Demystifies the jargon used by practitioners in every subspecialty.

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Karen Goulekas is a Visual Effects Supervisor for feature films in Los Angeles, CA and has been involved in the creation of visual effects for both film and video for over sixteen years. During her career, she has earned a British Academy Award and two Emmy Awards. Her credits include Godzilla, The Fifth Element, Titanic, Apollo 13, Strange Days, and the "T23D" stereo ride film for Universal Studios. She is currently working as a Visual Effects Supervisor on the upcoming Spider-Man feature at Sony Picture ImageWorks.

back to top  Essential IDL: Interface Design for COM

Martin Gudgin
Addison-Wesley, 2001
ISBN 0201615959

Definition Language (IDL), is an essential topic for all programmers working with COM. Essential IDL offers these programmers a detailed yet accessible description of IDL and its application to COM development projects. The book presents all of the various IDL constructs and offers insight into their purpose and function in interface definitions. In particular, Essential IDL focuses on IDL constructs that support the efficient marshalling of data as performed by the COM interception layer. Taking a top-down approach, this book opens with the basics of defining interfaces and then details data types, pointers and arrays, aliasing, and IDL support for asynchronous COM. Numerous examples of both server-side and client-side programming illustrate concepts and techniques throughout the book. Readers will learn about such key topics as:

  • Generating type information
  • Building proxy-stub DLLs
  • Local and remote interfaces
  • Primitive, enumerated, and user-defined data types
  • Interface inheritance
  • Top-level versus embedded pointers
  • Object references and pointers
  • Fixed arrays, conformant arrays, and SAFEARRAYS
  • Multi-dimensional conformant pointers
  • Method and type aliasing
  • Asynchronous calls
  • Client-side and server-side asynchrony

Also included is a comprehensive and concise reference to IDL built-in data types, modifiers, keywords, and attributes. This combination of comprehensive description, understandable explanation, convenient reference, and practical working guide makes Essential IDL an important resource for all COM programmers.

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Martin Gudgin works at DevelopMentor where he spends his time thinking about component software and related technologies. A Windows developer since 1987 and a COM developer since 1994, Martin has trained and mentored developers from a wide range of companies, including Microsoft, in numerous technical areas such as COM, IDL, MTS and COM+

back to top  Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, Graphics, and Beyond

Jennifer Niederst
O'Reilly & Associates, 2001

In Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, Graphics, and Beyond, author Jennifer Niederst shares the knowledge she's gained from years of Web design experience, both as a designer and as a teacher. This book starts from the very beginning—defining the Internet, the Web, browsers, and URLs—so you don't have to have any previous knowledge about how the Web works. Jennifer helps you build the solid foundation in HTML, graphics, and design principles that you need for crafting effective Web pages. She also explains the nature of the medium and unpacks the Web design process from conceptualization to the final result.

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The nuts and bolts of basic HTML, with detailed examples that illustrate how to format text, add graphic elements, make links, create tables and frames, and use color on the Web. In addition to a rundown on each HTML tag, there are tips on using three popular authoring programs: Macromedia Dreamweaver, Adobe GoLive, and Microsoft FrontPage.

Explains whether to use GIFs or JPEGs for different types of images and includes important tips on optimizing graphics for Web delivery. The book also demonstrates step-by-step graphics creation using three popular Web graphic tools: Adobe Photo-shop, Macromedia Fireworks, and JASC Paint Shop Pro.

Offers a tutorial on building usable Web sites that covers information design, interface design, and navigation systems.

Provides dozens of Web design Do's and Don'ts, to help you make good Web design decisions and avoid common beginner traps.

Unlike other beginning books, Learning Web Design leaves no holes in your education. It gives you everything you need to create basic Web sites, and will prepare you for more advanced Web work. If you are interested in Web design, this book is the place to start.

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Jennifer Niederst was one of the first designers for the Web. As the designer of O'Reilly's Global Network Navigator (GNN), the first commercial Web site, she has been designing for the Web since 1993. She is the author of Designing for the Web and Web Design in a Nutshell, both by O'Reilly.

back to top  Book Listing

Computer Animation: Algorithms and Techniques
Richard Parent
Morgan Kaufmann Publishing, 2001
ISBN 1558605797

CyberRookies 3D Comic Design
Shamms Mortier
Charles River Media, 2001
ISBN 1584500115

CyberRookies 3D Game Creation
Luke Ahearn
Charles River Media, 2001
ISBN 1584500670

Designing Web Interfaces, Hypertext and Multimedia
Michael Rees, Andrew White, and Bebo White
Prentice Hall, 2001
ISBN 0130858978

Modem C++ Design: Generic Programming and Design Patterns Applied
Andrei Alexandrescu
Addison-Wesley, 2001

Transactional COM+: Building Scalable Applications
Tim Ewald
Addison-Wesley, 2001
ISBN 0201615940

Network Programming with Perl
Lincoln D. Stein
Addison-Wesley, 2001
ISBN 0201615711

Swarm Intelligence
James Kennedy & Russell C. Eberhart, with Yuhui Shi
Morgan Kaufmann Publisher, 2001
ISBN 1558605959

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©2001 ACM  1072-5220/01/0500  $5.00

Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.

The Digital Library is published by the Association for Computing Machinery. Copyright © 2001 ACM, Inc.

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