FormGen: A Generator for Adaptive FormsAlfons Brandl,Gerwin Klein Institut für Informatik, Technische Universität MünchenAs a common task in modern applications users need to enter, edit or browse
large, complex, maybe even recursive data structures. Many users prefer form
based user interfaces. The form fillin interface style ( Szekely 1998) is in
widespread use e.g. for database queries, e-commerce orders etc. and exploits
the user's familiarity with the paper equivalent. Many use cases are cumbersome
on actual paper forms (e.g. "fill in lines 7-9 only if you answered yes to
question 6, proceed to 10 if you answered no") but can be handled quite
elegantly with electronic forms by displaying relevant sections only-depending
on the users former input. Those forms are called adaptive ( Frank and
Szekely 1998) or dynamic ( Girgensohn,
Zimmermann et al. 1995).Coding adaptive forms by hand or implementing them with a layout based
development too] can grow rather expensive for large and more complex data
structures. This paper focuses on how the development of adaptive form based
user interfaces can be supported by the automatic code generation tool FormGen.Apparently there are three points to consider when developing a form based UI:
Based on EasyGUI
|• ||the application domain, i.e. the data structure to be edited,|
|• ||the dynamic behavior and|
|• ||the layout of each form to be displayed.|
In the case of form fillins, layout and dynamics of the user interface can be quite
easily deduced from the logical structure of the application domain. Given the
form paradigm, the data type determines to a very large degree what to present
to the user at a given time. It also determines in which order data needs to be
entered and which parts can be entered independently of one another.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Human-Computer Interaction:Ergonomics and User Interfaces.
Contributors: Hans-Jörg Bullinger - Editor, Jürgen Ziegler - Editor.
Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Place of publication: Mahwah, NJ.
Publication year: 1999.
Page number: 1172.
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