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|Title: ||Widget set independent layout management for UIML|
|Authors: ||VERMEULEN, Jo|
|Issue Date: ||2005|
|Abstract: ||The growing diversity of computing environments requires a new, more efficient
methodology for developing user interfaces. With traditional techniques
one develops a user interface per computing platform. There is a
plethora of existing research available on the development of multi-device
user interfaces. We can conclude that it is mostly clear how to deduce a set
of generic widgets. It is however difficult to generalize the different layout
mechanisms widget sets use.
We present a generic, constraint-based layout mechanism. It relies only
on the least common denominator of layout management: absolute positioning.
A constraint solver is used to find values for the position and size
of each widget, while adhering to the imposed constraints. These positions
and sizes are then set using absolute positioning.
Automated layout management, although greatly improving on speed
compared to designing a layout by hand, is not guaranteed to produce satisfying
results. Human interference is usually still needed. There are many
recurring tasks in user interfaces (e.g. providing a username and password).
For each task, a suitable layout must be determined. Our method supports
layout patterns which enable the designer to reuse existing layouts which
have proven to be usable and aesthetically pleasing.
Our method will be based on the UIML language. While succesfully
achieves abstraction in many ways, there is no generic way to specify the
layout. This makes it more difficult to use one UIML document for several
widget sets, since each widget set requires its own specific layout description.
We do not seek to complement the UIML specification with a generic,
multi-modal layout mechanism though: it is limited to 2D graphical user
For the practical part of this thesis, we integrated the layout specification
in Uiml.net, an open source renderer for UIML [LC04]. We also developed
Cassowary.net, a port of the Cassowary constraint solving toolkit to the
.NET platform, which is used to solve the layout constraints.|
|Type: ||Theses and Dissertations|
|Appears in Collections: ||Master theses|
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