1 A Minimalistic Approach towards design of advanced Hypermedia
Development of a Java hypermedia application differs from WWW hypermedia development. Where most conventional WWW applications focus on the server, in advanced hypermedia development the focus is on the client application. In addition, development with Java is not based on existing components but will usually be implemented from the ground up. With Java, application design is more extensive. The object-oriented nature of Java encourages a fully object-oriented design.
We present the Minimalistic Java Approach (MJA) as a framework that links the advanced Internet hypermedia design process with implementation in Java. MJA does not intend to be a general hypermedia design methodology, since several extensively-used platform-independent methodologies already exist for hypermedia. Instead, MJA is result-driven and specifically aimed towards implementation. It is minimalistic because it does not rely on any specific development tool. All activities in MJA are based on a strong bottom-up and object-oriented approach to software engineering.
1.1 Consequences of Implementation in Java
Three aspects, specific for Java hypermedia, are addressed in MJA. They are the availability of development tools, the hypermedia authoring bottleneck, and integration with existing hypermedia:
1.2 The In- and Output of Java Hypermedia Design
MJA follows the waterfall model of software engineering,
with seven development phases [Figure 1]. The top two layers display the
design-input elements. The top input layer display is specific for Java;
the second layer contains general design input. In seven phases, Java classes
are defined, and after repeated refinements integrated in one prototype
application. In MJA, Java source code has a role as a tool-independent
design formalism. The language dependency of MJA promotes the direct implementation
of abstract concepts from object-oriented modeling, closely integrated
with the Java key technologies. The strong bottom-up approach, combined
with prototyping and inclusion of two hypermedia design methodologies aims
to overcome the incompleteness of abstract object-oriented software design,
which are insufficient when used in isolation [Bryant and Evans 1994].
We have introduced Java as a mature platform for advanced Internet hypermedia. With its platform independence, continuously increasing multimedia capabilities, and flexible distributed architecture, a hypermedia browser implemented with Java can eliminate various limitations of WWW hypermedia.
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