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Volume 11, Issue 2
Mar/Apr 1997
Theme: Object Oriented Development

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The Object of Workflow - In team environments, workflow systematizes production. In software packages that schedule,track, and facilitate team output, the object oriented approach systematizes workflow, as Daniel Rasmus explains.
Web-Based AI: Expert Systems on the WWW -- The World-Wide Web is a perfect vehicle for delivering expertise - particularly the kind of experise fepresented in knowledge-based systems. Dustin Huntington takes us through the development steps of a sample application. 
Objects and the Web: CORBA meets HTTP -- The Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) sets up ways for objects to make requests and receive responses from on another. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is also based on requests and responses. Jean-Marie Chauvet shows how these two paradigms can work together.
Intelligent Tax Forms - Tony Chang reports on a timely application - a plug-in that lets you enter your tax information, explore alternative tax scenarios, and file your tax form electronically. An 800-rule logic base written in PROLOG provides the intelligence that drives this system.

Vendor's Forum - Generic Blackboard Builder Suzanne Tromara of Blackboard Technology describes The Generic Blackboard Builder, a development and integration environment.
Agents - A New Agency by Dan Rasmus
Cybernautica - Digital Postcards by Hal Berghel
Product Updates ----------------------------> 19 late breaking product announcements from around the world in the fields of:
  Call for Papers Client/Server
  Conferences Data Mining
  Education Fuzzy Logic
  Genetic Algorithms Helpdesk Systems
  Intelligent Tools Internet
  Neural Networks Object Oriented Development
PC AI Buyer's Guide -----------------------> Help Desk Object Oriented Development
Product Service Guide - Provides access to information on an entire category of products    
PC AI Blackboard - AI advertisers bulletin board    

Advertiser List for 11.2
AAAI  Hess Consulting  Primenet Inc.
AbTech Corporation  Isoft  Production Systems Tech.
American Heuristics Corp  KnowledgeBroker Inc.  SDI Inc.
Amzi! Inc  LEVEL\5-Level Five Research  Soft Warehouse Inc.
Applied Logic Systems Inc  Logic Program. Assoc. Ltd.  StatSoft
ATTAR Software USA  Mikuni Berkeley R&D  Teknowledge Corp.
BioComp Systems Inc  Network Cybernetics  The Haley Enterprise Inc.
Blackboard Technology Group  NeuralWare Inc.  The Schwartz Associates
California Scientific Software  Neuron Data  Ward Systems Group Inc.
DB Expo '97  Original Systems  WizSoft Inc.
EXSYS Inc  OXKO Corporation   
Finance and Technology Pub.  PA Expo '   
Flexible Intelligence Group  PC AI AI Report   
Franz Inc.  Pinnacle Data Corp.   


Objects of Attention

In this issue we examine, once again, object orientation. Fueled by developments in hardware and software, this approach dominates comtemporary software engineering. Early in the life of this paradigm, developers realized that objects are a convenient way to represent the world we see as well as the worlds we foresee. (Some went overboard, saying that object orientation is successful because it represents "the way we think"-and overly presumptuous statement, to say the least.) Workers in Artificial Intelligence were quick to recognize this paradigm's potential: Some of the first well-known object oriented packages were expert system shells.
  Continuing advances in hardware are important for object orientation. Early attempts at OO applications suffered from a common malady: they were just too slow. All the representational efficiencies and catalysts that object orientation brought to the table were lost on the computing machinery of the day. With modern CPU's, storage devices, and display technology, however, object orientation marches on.
  Turnabout is fair play. Just as object orientation thrives on speed, it provides speed, too - it quickens design by offering a conceptually rich metalanguage and heats up software development through object reuse.
  Our articles show the length and breadth of contemporary object orientation. We lead off with Daniel Rasmus' "The Object of Workflow." Dan shows us how objects form the foundation of a technology which organizes and tracks production. In "Objects and the Web," Jean-Marie Chauvet tells us about object orientation's place in, on, and around the Internet. IN our Vendor's forum, Blackboard Technology's Suzanne Tromara reports on features of Generic Blackboard Builder, an OO tool for synthesizing fully functioning AI applications out of potentially disparate components.
  We've got some other objects for your attention. Dustin Huntington ("Web-Based AI") demonstrates an expert system which resides on the World-Wide Web. Tony Chang ("Intelligent Tax Forms") describes an intelligent plug-in which comes in handy around this time of year. Hal Berghel's latest installment of "Cybernautica" reports on a catchy new phenomenon - greeting cards that come to you via the Web.
  We're happy to make two announcements-happier still because they both concern our friend Dan Rasmus. First, this issue marks the debut of Dan's new column, "Agents." In this column, Dan will explore agent technology and its relationship to the field of AI. He'll show you how agents can help you manage the technological and non-technological aspects of your life, and he'll tell you about tools that enable you to build them.
  The second Rasmus-centric announcement? With this issue Dan becomes Senior Editor of PC AI. Dan has been with the magazine from the beginning, providing wise counsel as well as insightful articles. Now he'll be even more of an asset, and I look forward to working with him in his new role.
  Joseph Schmuller

Volume 11--------------------> Issue 1 (Jan/Feb 1997)   Volume 15 Index (2001)
  Issue 2 (Mar/Apr 1997)   Volume 14 Index (2000)
Issue 3 (May/Jun 1997)   Volume 13 Index (1999)
Issue 4 (Jul/Aug 1997)   Volume 12 Index (1998)
Issue 5 (Sep/Oct 1997)   Volume 11 Index (1997)
Issue 6 (Nov/Dec 1997)   Volume 10 Index (1996)
      Volume 9 Index (1995)
      Volume 8 Index (1994)

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