A Rapid Development Paradigm for the Implementation of Document-Editor Style Applications

M. Turner and M. Hobbs (Australia)


Electronic Document, Document Editor, Rapid Application Development, Design Pattern, Fourth Generation Language, Compiler.


Many companies require the rapid development of software for the construction and editing of proprietary document formats. For several years now, Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools have provided developers with a great deal of leverage over the construction of GUIs and applications that interface with external database management systems [1]. However, the time consuming and potentially error-prone task of constructing the document, the principle data storage sub system of the application, has largely remained the responsibility of the developer. A RAD tool that serves the creation of such a sub-system is highly desirable. This paper presents a new software development paradigm currently being explored at Deakin University. This paradigm addresses the lack of automated programming tools and languages for the development of a document editor [2], one of the most commonly used application architectures. This paper discusses the design of a simple Fourth Generation Language (4GL) used to describe the document as a high level data structure comprised of a hierarchy of common data structure primitives. A specialized compiler translates this 4GL definition into C++, automatically adding services such as undo and serialization, with provisions for efficient interactive & multithreaded editing, compound document management, automation, and internationalization. Using this language, developers are afforded a great deal of leverage, promoting higher degrees of experimentation and faster application development.

Important Links:

Go Back