WebWriter: A Browser-Based Editor for Constructing Web Applications

Arturo Crespo
Stanford University
email: crespo@cs.stanford.edu

Eric A. Bier
Xerox Palo Alto Research Center
email: bier@parc.xerox.com


Constructing server-based Web applications requires creating both Web pages and programs that generate Web pages. This requires a knowledge of the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) protocol, and a programming language, such as C++, Python, or Perl. While this is not a barrier for programmers, it is for non-programmers. This paper describes WebWriter, an integrated system for constructing Web applications that supports the creation of Web pages by non-programmers. WebWriter includes a direct manipulation Web page editor, the WebWriter Editor, which runs in a Web browser as a CGI service, and the WebWriter Page Generator, which creates new pages as an application runs. As in HyperCard, users create a Web application as a stack of pages, where each page can contain output regions that are filled in at runtime by a script. This paper describes the WebWriter system, issues of server-based authoring tools, and some example applications.

Presented in the Fifth International World Wide Web Conference. Held: Paris, France, 6-10 May 1996.

Published in: COMPUTER NETWORKS AND ISDN SYSTEMS (May 1996) vol.28, no.7-11, p. 1291-306.