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A method of enabling collaborative development of web applications Disclosure Number: IPCOM000188624D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Oct-15
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Oct-15
Document File: 8 page(s) / 319K

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In web application development, developers need to get feedback from testers and end users in the whole development cycle. Common method includes translation testing, user interface test, etc. Normally the testing feedback will be provided through other system or tool like defect tracking system, feedback collection tool or email to developers. Developers need to get relative information about the development artifact they are responsible for and fix or enhance the software. The pain for developers is to find right place to update of software for specific customer comments. There is no way to directly link customer comments to the context that users are using the software.

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A method of enabling collaborative development of web applications


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Fig 1. System Overview

Identify 'runtime collaboration elements '. e.g. (input box, images, buttons, links, text in special tags, etc.) , upon which users could enter comments, or event give contribution (e.g. the translation of certain text is not correct , the user directly inputs the correct translation). Create a specific mapping between development artifacts (page, UI controls in source code , image file, PII, etc.) and runtime components in web application . Mark the components in runtime with certain ID .

An add-on in IDE 'Publish tool' (101) contains the following function . This will be done through a pre -compilation script to add a special HTML attribute to the elements that could be collaborated . Inject a special JavaScript file to each page to support the collaboration features, a 'screw driver' icon and a 'comment' icon will be displayed when users hover mouse cursorto any 'collaboration elements' on each page. The developer could user 'Publish tool' to build and deploy the compiled web applicationwith collaboration features added .

Another 'collaboration moderator' (102) will be hosted together with the deployed web application . It's used to collect all user comments and contribution associated with specific 'collaboration elements'.

In developer IDE, another add-on application (e.g. Eclipse plug-in) 'retrieving tool' (103) could talk to the server 'collaboration moderator' application to retrieve specific comments for specific 'collaboration elements' and map that to development artifacts . The 'retrieving tool' will display user comments (together with other user information ) in two ways: 1) in the IDE editor, when an associated development artifact gets focused ; 2) in the target application which runs in a 'debug' mode, meaning developer can launch target application in IDE and revisit some user scenarios , and the comments will show as each web page is went through .

Implementation details on Mapping Development Artifacts to Runtime HTML Elements --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One issue about the embodiment is how to refer back to design artifacts when user commenting on a runtime HTML element ....