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2013/05/28, MC103, 12 - 12:30

Developing Rich, Web-based User Interfaces with SCXML and SCION
Jacob Beard , former MSc student at SOCS

Abstract:

User interfaces (UIs) comprise reactive systems whose behaviour often involves a complex notion of timing and state. Implementing this logic directly in a general-purpose programming language can be nontrivial, leading to applications that are slow to develop and error-prone. Previous work has demonstrated that Statecharts, a graphical language for modelling timed, reactive, stateful systems, can be used effectively to design, prototype, and synthesize complex user interfaces. This reduces the accidental complexity involved in user interface development, allowing developers to focus only on the remaining essential complexity, which ultimately leads to greater developer productivity, and faster, more robust UIs.

Web user interfaces are built on a standard suite of Open Web technologies, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and in order to run Statecharts effectively on the Web, a Statecharts interpreter or compiler implemented in JavaScript is first needed. SCION is a liberally licensed open source project which provides an implementation of Statecharts in JavaScript. More specifically, SCION implements the SCXML draft specification, an emerging W3C standard which provides an XML syntax and semantics for Statecharts.

This talk will provide a practical examination of techniques to apply SCXML and SCION to real-world UI development today.