On the Architecture of Interactive Software Systems
The notion of Software Architecture is becoming more and more important in order to achieve flexible and maintainable systems with a long life time. A good portion of interactive software systems is devoted to man - machine interaction. Traditionally the interaction part and the "main" part of the application is often separated and different methodologies and tools are used for their respective design. Man modern UIM or UID tools generate from a graphic description of the interaction part a considerable part of a corresponding software component. This component handles many standard activities of modern window system [sic]. However, this approach also leads to strong separation between the application specific part and the interaction part. Many tasks e.g. interactive graphic editors for CAx techniques like CASE or CAD require a tight cooperation between the interaction part and the "main" application part of the software system. This fact and the fact that two different methodologies are used for integral parts of a software system may lead easily to difficulties when interactive systems have to be evolved. In this paper we propose an integrated architectural view covering both aspects - design of interaction and design of software - in a combined and modular way. First we present a brief analysis of the architectural weaknesses of traditional approaches followed by a presentation of our scheme. We conclude with a discussion of our ongoing work.
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