Report Number: CSL-TR-88-369
Institution: Stanford University, Computer Systems Laboratory
Title: Composing user interfaces with interviews
Author: Linton, Mark A.
Author: Vlissides, John M.
Author: Calder, Paul R.
Date: November 1988
Abstract: In this paper we show how to compose user interfaces with InterViews, a user interface toolkit we have developed at Stanford. InterViews provides a library of predefined objects and a set of protocols for composing them. A user interface is created by composing simple primitives in a hierarchical fashion, allowing complex user interfaces to be implemented easily. InterViews supports the composition of interactive objects (such as scroll bars and menus), text objects such as words and whitespace, and graphics objects such as circles and polygons. To illustrate how InterViews composition mechanisms facilitate the implementation of user interfaces, we present three simple applications: a dialog box built from interactive objects, a drawing editor using a hierarchy of graphical objects, and a class browser using a hierarchy of text objects. We also describe how InterViews supports consistency across applications as well as end-user customization.