Visual Environment for DOM-Based Wrapping and Client-Side Linkage of Web Applications

Visual Environment for DOM-Based Wrapping and Client-Side Linkage of Web Applications

Kimihito Ito (Hokkaido University Research Center for Zoonosis Control, Japan) and Yuzuru Tanaka (Meme Media Laboratory, Hokkaido University, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-762-1.ch010
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Web applications, which are computer programs ported to the Web, allow end-users to use various remote services and tools through their Web browsers. There are an enormous number of Web applications on the Web, and they are becoming the basic infrastructure of everyday life. In spite of the remarkable development of Web-based infrastructure, it is still difficult for end-users to compose new integrated tools of both existing Web applications and legacy local applications, such as spreadsheets, chart tools, and database. In this chapter, the authors propose a new framework where end-users can wrap remote Web applications into visual components, called pads, and functionally combine them together through drag-and-drop operations. The authors use, as the basis, a meme media architecture IntelligentPad that was proposed by the second author. In the IntelligentPad architecture, each visual component, called a pad, has slots as data I/O ports. By pasting a pad onto another pad, users can integrate their functionalities. The framework presented in this chapter allows users to visually create a wrapper pad for any Web application by defining HTML nodes within the Web application to work as slots. Examples of such a node include input-forms and text strings on Web pages. Users can directly manipulate both wrapped Web applications and wrapped local legacy tools on their desktop screen to define application linkages among them. Since no programming expertise is required to wrap Web applications or to functionally combine them together, end-users can build new integrated tools of both wrapped Web applications and local legacy applications.

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