How do some programs seem to 'know' that if Condition A exists, then clauses 1, 2 and 3 should be inserted (or that new sub-question C posed to the end user), but if Condition B exists, only clause 2 and 4 should be inserted (or sub-question B posed to the end user)? Do these programs somehow possess an intuition-like quality?
Well . . . . no!
They 'know' what to do because somebody sat down and programmed appropriate logic into the document necessary to make those 'decisions.'
'Document logic' (also called a"Menu Driven Document Assembly") is a wonderful tool, and can make the document assembly process much easier than having to select each clause one-at-a-time. It is document logic that, to many people, make or break a document assembly project. But document logic can be tough. It requires an understanding of a new 'language,' and lots and lots of testing to make sure that the various commands and 'equations' are properly constructed. Nowhere is "GIGO" (garbage in, garbage out) more applicable.
Some document automation programs require document logic as a necessary part of their basic setup. No embedded logic, no action! That drove many people to forgo implementing document assembly from the 'get go.' Not so with Pathagoras. If you want it, its there. Don't want or need it, don't worry about it.
Because Pathagoras is 'plain text,' its form of document logic (and your ability to create and edit the logic equations on the face of the document) is unparalleled Here are some of the benefits:
•You can see the logic equation by just looking at the document. Everything is facial. This is exclusive to Pathagoras.
•You can edit the logic equation on the face of the document itself.
•Since only plain text characters are used, you can edit the logic equation straight from the keyboard.
•Since everything is facial and easy to edit, it is also easy to test, reedit, retest, etc., in many cases without ever closing the document.
•You can test bits and pieces of document logic by simply highlighting, cutting and pasting the section you want to test into a new document. (Other programs require a link to an ancillary document, or embed additional code into the parent document. This prevents this kind of 'small snippet' testing.)
•You can even edit logic equations on a machine on which Pathagoras has not been installed! (Of course, to test your work, you will need a Pathagoras computer.)
•Because only plain text characters are used, you can 'paint' the various elements of the equation so they stand out and apart from each other. (Pathagoras has a built in 'painter' that will do this for you.) Hidden fields are always plain gray. (Let's offer a bit of information right here. On the following pages, you will see 'painted' elements of various equations. The colors are for illustration and sample purposes. While they should be helpful to you, the colors are meaningless to Pathagoras -- and are certainly not a required part of logic equation building -- and will not be carried into any final document.)
•Document logic can be implemented from the simplest to the most complex levels. It is not an all or nothing proposition with Pathagoras. Start simple and the build to as fancy and complex as you want.
Let's examine several 'document logic' approaches offered by Pathagoras, from the simplest to the most complex.
(We discuss our philosophy toward Menu Driven Document assembly (aka, Document Logic) in a White Paper so titled. Click here to read.