Reducing authoring complexity on the web with a relational layer for web content
Author(s)Benson, Edward, 1983-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
David R. Karger.
MetadataShow full item record
When we browse the web, we experience rich designs and data interactivity. But our creation efforts of such content are often hampered by the great engineering effort required. As a result, novices are largely limited to authoring read-only content from within content management systems, and experts must rely on complex software toolchains like Ruby on Rails to manage software complexity. These application-level strategies have enabled tremendous creative output, but they only alleviate, rather than eliminate, core sources of web authoring complexity. This work shows that adding a declarative, relational layer to the web stack reduces the complexity of authoring and reusing web content by providing a way to reason about how structures on the web fit together and what should happen when they change. For static content and design, I demonstrate new and more usable authoring and deployment techniques. For dynamic content, I demonstrate how a relational layer can transform HTML and spreadsheets into read-write-compute web applications without any procedural programming at all. User studies show that HTML novices can learn to apply these techniques in only a few minutes, increasing their creative capacity beyond read-only rich text. And professionals can use this approach to drive a development process based on full-fidelity design mockups rather than code fragments.
Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2014.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 183-191).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.