Jan Stelovsky Department of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Hawaii, USA
With the advent of Java Foundation Classes (or Swing). Java applications and applets can use virtually all the sophisticated features of modern graphical user interfaces, such as iconic buttons, combo boxes, nested menus, toolbars, internal windows with menus, tables, hierarchical displays reminiscent of the "Windows Explorer", and World-Wide Web (WWW) browsers. As a consequence, we see the emergence of advanced applications written entirely in Java - word processors, spreadsheets, databases - whose user interfaces approach quickly the complexity of the comparable standard tools for desktop computers.
The Java Development Kit now includes a set of "reflection" classes which give a developer the unique opportunity to write a program that examines all objects within a software system. In particular, we can provide a "monitor" program that traverses the hierarchy of user interface elements and attaches itself as a "listener" of the events that constitute the user's interaction with the system. Such a generic monitor program can be attached to a wide variety of new tools written in Java -- whether WWW applets or stand-alone applications - and log the interactions or replicate them remotely on another computer on the network.
Eye tracking equipment provides uh with a wealth of data about the focus of the user's attention. We can analyze the eye positions to filter out the eye fixations. The integration of the stream of eye fixations with the user interaction events enhances the basis for the empiric analysis and interpretation of subjects' interactions with a variety of emerging user interfaces.