Is There Convergence in the Field of UI Generation?

Publisher:
Elsevier Inc.
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Systems and Software, 2011, 84 (12), pp. 2079 - 2087
Issue Date:
2011-01
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For many software projects, the construction of the User Interface (UI) consumes a significant proportion of their development time. Any degree of automation in this area therefore has clear benefits. But it is difficult to achieve such automation in a way that will be widely adopted by industry because of the diversity of UIs, software architectures, platforms and development environments. In a previous article, the authors identified five key characteristics any UI generator would need in order to address this diversity. We asserted that, without these characteristics, a UI generator should not expect wide industry adoption or standardisation. We supported this assertion with evidence from industry adoption studies. A further source of validation would be to see if other research teams, who were also conducting industry field trials, were independently converging on this same set of characteristics. Conversely, it would be instructive if they were found to be converging on a different set of characteristics. In this article, the authors look for such evidence of convergence by interviewing the team behind one of the research community's most significant UI generators: Naked Objects. We observe strong signs of convergence, which we believe signal the beginning of a general purpose architecture for UI generation, one that both industry and the research community could standardise upon.
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