Mayhem connects graphical programs in a way that is similar to how batch files string together programs in a command-line environment. Developers create modules for specific Windows programs that then can be used within Mayhem to identify events and trigger actions within those programs. "Mayhem is a collection of events and actions you tie together," said Paul Dietz, who is Microsoft's project leader for Mayhem. The applied sciences group first designed the software to expand the use of webcams beyond video chats. They realized that the software could work with any Windows programs. Mayhem "is not as powerful as working with Visual Studio. But not many people are willing to take the effort to become expert programmers, so this provides a tool that allows people to do a lot of stuff very quickly," Dietz said. By placing the program in open source, Microsoft is hoping that more developers will write more modules for Mayhem, expanding the program's applicability.
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