A User Interface for the Visualization and Manipulation of Arrays

Jennifer Leopold, Missouri University of Science and Technology
A. Ambler

This document has been relocated to http://scholarsmine.mst.edu/comsci_facwork/229

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The success of spreadsheets has shown that a visual representation of a 2D array greatly facilitates solving certain problems. However, spreadsheets are not general-purpose programming environments and are not suited to many problems that might naturally be solved using multi-dimensional arrays. Furthermore, spreadsheets employ a textual notation for cell references in formulas. This notation, which adds to the programmer''s burden by distinguishing between relative and absolute addressing, can be difficult to understand and is error-prone even for the most experienced users. In this paper, we present a user interface for multi-dimensional arrays within Formulate, a form-based visual programming language. This implementation avoids textual array notation and supports the application of formulas to logical regions of an array, rather than just to individual elements.