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Informatik 5
Information Systems
Prof. Dr. M. Jarke
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Prof. Dr. M. Jarke
RWTH Aachen
Informatik 5
Ahornstr. 55
D-52056 Aachen
Tel +49/241/8021501
Fax +49/241/8022321

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DireWolf: A Framework For Widget-based Distributed User Interfaces

Year 2014

Web applications have overcome traditional desktop applications especially in collaborative 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 collaborative 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 flexible control over different parts of an application by enabling the simultaneous use of smart phones, tablets and computers. We conducted 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 specific 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.


Journal of Web Engineering (JWE), 13(3&4):203-222, 2014.

Published in

Journal of Web Engineering (JWE) , volume 13 , p. 203-222 .

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