The Lapidary interface design tool is a demonstrational system that allows the graphics and run-time behaviors that go inside an application window to be specified pictorially. In particular, Lapidary allows the designer to draw example pictures of application-specific graphical objects that the end user will manipulate (such as boxes and arrows, or elements of a list), the feedback that shows which objects are selected (such as small boxes on the sides and corners of an object), and the dynamic feedback objects (such as hair-line boxes to show where an object is being dragged). The run-time behavior of all these objects can be specified in a straightforward way using constraints, demonstration, and dialog boxes that allow the designer to provide abstract descriptions of the interactive response to the input devices. Lapidary generalizes from these specific example pictures and behaviors to create prototype objects and behaviors from which instances can be made at run-time. A novel feature of Lapidary's implementation is its use of constraints that have been explicitly specified by the designer to help it generalize example objects and behaviors, and to guide it in making inferences.

To find out more about Lapidary, you can read:

``Demonstrational and Constraint-Based Techniques for Pictorially Specifying Application Objects and Behaviors'', Bradley T. Vander Zanden and Brad Myers, ACM Transactions on Computer Human Interaction, 2(4), Dec. 1995, 308-356.

Available via anonymous ftp to in