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Technology-Independent Design of Interactive GUI Applications Disclosure Number: IPCOM000234756D
Publication Date: 2014-Feb-03
Document File: 1 page(s) / 27K

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Modern web programming is plagued by a jungle of heterogeneous programming frameworks and lacks adequate abstractions for end-to-end rapid, structured, design and development. Most frameworks force the developer into low-level nitty-gritty technology-specific details so that they spend inordinate amount of time writing glues to overcome the impedance mismatch between the heterogeneous technologies. We have developed a new programming environment, WEBNAT to simplify end-to-end web development. WEBNAT combines both visual and textual programming with implicit typing, avoids state duplication across multiple tiers and provides multiple abstractions, e.g., first-class views and repeater components that enable succinct specifications of interactive data-driven web applications. WEBNAT is targeted towards computer-literate novices, designers as well as experienced developers.

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Technology-Independent Design of Interactive GUI Applications

This work addresses the problem of design of interactive, GUI-based software applications and in particular web applications independent of the technology using which the application is to be executed and/or deployed.

Existing solutions ask the application designer to specify the application either fully in a textual programming language or a fully WYSIWYG editor by direct manipulation or a combination of both. The textual method is a burden on the designer because views need to be encoded as text and the user cannot visualize dynamically generated views during application development. Similarly, the fully visual method only enables the user to specify a limited sort of interaction via direct manipulation - interactions of views with complex data cannot be specified. The existing specification methods which combine visual and textual specification overcome some of the disadvantages of the pure visual or pure textual methods but are tied to a particular set of low-level frameworks or platforms, using which the application is to be executed and/or deployed.

In summary, existing methods are either too cumbersome for the designers or restrict their freedom during design or are tied to particular technologies, preventing seamless reuse and adaptation of designs across platforms, frameworks and devices.

This work allows the designer to use a combination of visual and textual specification to design an interactive GUI-based application in a technology-independent manner. It consists of...