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About the Assistant
C H A P T E R 1 8
Intelligent Assistant
Figure 18-0
Table 18-0
The Intelligent Assistant is a system service that attempts to complete actions
specified by the user's written input. You can think of the Assistant as an alternate
interface to Newton applications and services.
The Assistant can use the built-in applications to complete predefined tasks such as
calling, faxing, printing, scheduling, and so on. You can also program the Assistant
to execute any task that your application performs. In addition, you can display
your application's online help from the Assistant.
This chapter describes how to make application behaviors and online help available
from the Assistant. If you want to provide a textual interface to your application or
its online help, you should become familiar with the Assistant and the concepts
discussed in this chapter.
Before reading this chapter, you should be familiar with the concept of the target of
an action, as explained in Chapter 15, "Filing," and you should understand the
behavior or service that your application provides through the Assistant. Although
it is not essential, it is helpful if you are familiar with lexical dictionaries. Lexical
dictionaries are described in Chapter 9, "Recognition."
About the Assistant
This section describes the Assistant's behavior in a variety of user scenarios, and
then provides an overview of the templates, frames, and methods that provide
this behavior.
When the user invokes the Assistant, the system passes the current text selection to
it. If no text is selected, the system passes to the Assistant the contents of a buffer
that holds the most recent text input.
The Assistant then attempts to match words in the input string with templates and
dictionaries that classify the words as actions, targets, or unknown entities. The
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