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Visual Formalisms as Application Frameworks

Nardi, Bonnie A.; Zarmer, Craig L.

HPL-90-211

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Abstract: In order to construct applications that successfully capture task and domain semantics, programmers need support at a higher level than that provided by general programming languages and toolkits such as the X Toolkit. We propose visual formalisms as application building blocks that provide higher level support. Visual formalisms are generic/semantic computational structures that can be specialized to reflect specific domain semantics. We discuss how visual formalisms serve as application frameworks that effectively structure and present the semantics of users' problems. Our implementation of a Table Visual Formalism is described to show the potential for visual formalisms to serve as reusable computational structures that support the development of specialized applications.

11 Pages

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