What were the design specifications and programming code for the Search-As-You-Type algorithm?

Pal thought about the problem and there were two ways around controlling user input. One was to create further ‘interrupts’ such as the ‘keyboard interrupt’ which was already there and the other was to change the style the program was written. Pal decided to opt for the latter. Through the Keypress function he created a ‘repeat loop’ and monitored and processed each key that was pressed. He then called the various Procedures and Functions at each stage from this loop and displayed the results.

Apart from the original 50 page specification Pal created for Autodispens in 1988 for the conversion of the code from Basic to Turbo Pascal there was no formal blueprint or design specifications. As soon as an idea came to Pal he implemented it quickly in the program himself. Below are just two examples how new ideas were implemented.

1. While dispensing one day, Pal made a mistake on selecting a drug. The drug should have been Loprazolam 1mg tablet. Pal dispensed Lorazepam 1mg tablets. There are other drugs like Lormetazepam which also sounds similar. Pal created a ‘dangerously similar drug’ function in the program to intercept such errors!

2. On another occasion Pal misspelt a patient name and the system couldn’t find the record. Pal created his very own ‘soundex search’ routine in-order for the system to be forgiving of such minor errors.


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