The PlumbingXJ Approach for Fast Prototyping of Web Applications

Antonio Navarro, Baltasar Fernández-Manjón, Alfredo Fernández-Valmayor, José Luis Sierra


The paper presents the PlumbingXJ approach for fast prototyping of hypermedia Web applications. PlumbingXJ is a process model driven by the use of the hypermedia-oriented model Pipe. Pipe is a formalised graphical notation that splits the characterisation of hypermedia applications into two parts: the contents graph and the navigational schema. The contents graph is focused on the contents of the application and their semantic relationships. The navigational schema is focused on the characterisation of the graphical user interface, and the navigational relationships among the elements of this user interface. Both components are related with the canalisation functions that describe the navigational interpretation of the contents and relationships in the user interface. In addition, Pipe presents a default browsing semantics that describes the behaviour of the application after an anchor has been selected. The use of the Pipe model at the conceptualisation stage of a well-known process model produces the Plumbing process model. Our approach uses a specialised Plumbing process model using XML and Java to materialize the Pipe structures at the prototyping stage, obtaining another process model called PlumbingXJ. The paper describes the graphical notation associated with Pipe, the Plumbing process model, and how the use of XML and Java at the conceptualisation stage in PlumbingXJ produces a viable approach for fast prototyping of Web applications. The XML and Java techniques are compared with several markup technologies available for the development of hypermedia and Web applications.

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