University of Lund|
Teknik och teknologier; Graphical user interfaces; GUI; Development tools; Internet of Things; IoT; E-health; End-user composition; Mobile applications; Android; PalCom; Middleware|
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In the context of Internet of Things (IoT), theresearch of this dissertation is concerned with the development ofapplications for end-user devices, i.e. devices through which theend-user directly interacts with systems. The complexity of suchapplications is partly due to network intricacies, and partlybecause GUI (Graphical User Interface) development is generallycomplicated and time consuming. We employ a middleware frameworkcalled PalCom to manage the former, and focus our research on theproblems of the latter, by expanding the scope of PalCom to alsoenable GUI development. In particular, the research goal is a moreefficient GUI development approach that does not require programcode to be written.To enable end-users with little or noprogramming experience to participate in the GUI developmentprocess, we eliminate the need for programming by introducing a newdevelopment approach. We view this approach as inverted in thatthe development focus is on presenting functionality from anapplication model as graphical components in a GUI, rather than onretroactively attaching functionality to manually added graphicalcomponents. The inverted GUI development approach is supported intwo steps. First, we design a language for describing GUIs, andimplement interpreters that communicate with remotely hostedapplication models and render GUI descriptions as fully functionalGUIs. Second, we implement a graphical editor for developing GUIsin order to make the language more accessible.The presentedsolution is evaluated by its application in a number of researchprojects in the domain of e-health. From the GUIs developed inthose projects, we conclude that the GUI language is practicallyviable for building full-blown, professional grade GUIs.Furthermore, the presented graphical editor is evaluated by directcomparison to a market leading product in a controlled experiment.From this, we conclude that the editor is accessible to new users,and that it can be more efficient to use than the commercialalternative.