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I strongly believe UI usability and consistency would benefit a lot from frameworks able to generate high-quality GUI skeletons starting from formal specifications of data and processing requirements.

Think about the "scaffolding" concept of Ruby on Rails for basic CRUD operations pushed further. A few years ago in a project for a policy administration system we created a concept of "GUI scenario" covering things like:

Intra-page behaviours:

  • master-slave field selections
  • help access
  • key shortcuts (for field or actions tagged "important")
  • ...

Multi-step interactions:

  • search flow: search criteria --> results --> detail
  • add new item flow: multi-step wizard with commmit / abandon logic
  • edit item flow
  • ...

Even though the framework was lacking generality it was extremely successfull in enforcing (low-cost) a consistent GUI adhering to the project standard.

Do you know any good examples of such implementations worthwhile looking at?

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closed as not constructive by JonW Mar 21 '12 at 9:33

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1 Answer

If I understand your question, it sounds like your asking for code, or at least architecture frameworks, which generally doesn't belong here.

We've used what is now Sencha's Ext GWT framework for a few products now and appreciate the pre-built components and UI elements for common-action roughing.

Haven't read it, but this paper purports to discuss GUI scenarios.

In the end, I think any CMS should provide a meaningful case study in common action skeletons, like Drupal or Wordpress.

If by "data and processing requirements" you mean to the detailed level of object and software modeling, your interface (and program, frankly) can be written in UML and generate a program. I can't attest to the usability of any of these generators.

If you're asking about a program into which you put requirements ("User can save the page," or "page opens a pop-up") and are given front-end code, on that I really haven't the foggiest. Kinda the "people" part of software design.

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