DIREWOLF: A FRAMEWORK FOR WIDGET-BASED DISTRIBUTED USER INTERFACES

  • DEJAN KOVACHEV Advanced Community Information Systems (ACIS) Group, RWTH Aachen University Ahornstr. 55, Aachen, 52056, Germany
  • DOMINIK RENZEL Advanced Community Information Systems (ACIS) Group, RWTH Aachen University Ahornstr. 55, Aachen, 52056, Germany
  • PETRU NICOLAESCU Advanced Community Information Systems (ACIS) Group, RWTH Aachen University Ahornstr. 55, Aachen, 52056, Germany
  • ISTVAN KOREN Advanced Community Information Systems (ACIS) Group, RWTH Aachen University Ahornstr. 55, Aachen, 52056, Germany
  • RALF KLAMMA Advanced Community Information Systems (ACIS) Group, RWTH Aachen University Ahornstr. 55, Aachen, 52056, Germany
Keywords: distributed user interface, Web widget, inter-widget communication, XMPP, WebRTC

Abstract

Web applications have overcome traditional desktop applications especially in collab- orative settings. However, the bulk of Web applications still follow the \single user on a single device" computing model. Therefore, we created the DireWolf framework for rich Web applications with distributed user interfaces (DUIs) over a federation of heterogeneous commodity devices supporting modern Web browsers such as laptops, smart phones and tablet computers. The DUIs are based on widget technology coupled with cross-platform inter-widget communication (IWC) and seamless session mobility. Inter-widget communication technologies connect the widgets and enable real-time col- laborative applications as well as runtime migration in our framework. We show that the DireWolf framework facilitates the use case of DUI-enabled semantic video annotation. For a single user it provides more exible control over dierent parts of an application by enabling the simultaneous use of smart phones, tablets and computers. We con- ducted a technical evaluation and two user studies to validate the DireWolf approach. The work presented opens the way for creating distributed Web applications which can access device specic functionalities such as multi-touch, text input, etc. in a federated and usable manner. In this paper, we also sketch our ongoing work to integrate the WebRTC API into DireWolf, where we see opportunities for potential adoption of DUI Web applications by the majority of Web users.

 

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Published
2014-02-28
Section
Articles