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Programmatic and Direct Manipulation, Together at Last

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Published on Jan 7, 2017

Programmatic and Direct Manipulation, Together at Last
Ravi Chugh, Brian Hempel, Mitchell Spradlin, Jacob Albers
PLDI 2016

This is an offline recording because the audio from the conference recording had problems. (Conference recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBGR7...)

Paper: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1507.02988.pdf

Abstract:
We present the Sketch-n-Sketch editor for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) that integrates programmatic and direct manipulation, two modes of interaction with complementary strengths. In Sketch-n-Sketch, the user writes a program to generate an output SVG canvas. Then the user may directly manipulate the canvas while the system infers real-time updates to the program in order to match the changes to the output. To achieve this, we propose (i) a technique called trace-based program synthesis that takes program execution history into account in order to constrain the search space and (ii) heuristics for dealing with ambiguities. Based on our experience writing more than 40 examples and from the results of a study with 25 participants, we conclude that Sketch-n-Sketch provides a novel and effective workflow between the boundaries of existing programmatic and direct manipulation systems.

See our UIST 2016 paper for further improvements to Sketch-n-Sketch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uegys...

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