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16th IEEE International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering (ISSRE'05) (2005)
Chicago, Illinois
Nov. 8, 2005 to Nov. 11, 2005
ISSN: 1071-9458
ISBN: 0-7695-2482-6
pp: 31-40
Sebastian Elbaum , University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Kalyan-Ram Chilakamarri , University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Bhuvana Gopal , University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Gregg Rothermel , University of Nebraska-Lincoln
End-user programmers are increasingly relying on web authoring environments to create web applications. Although often consisting primarily of web pages, such applications are increasingly going further, harnessing the content available on the web through "programs" that query other web applications for information to drive other tasks. Unfortunately, errors can be pervasive in web applications, impacting their dependability. This paper reports the results of an exploratory study of end-user web application developers, performed with the aim of exposing prevalent classes of errors. The results suggest that end-users struggle the most with the identification and manipulation of variables when structuring requests to obtain data from other web sites. To address this problem, we present a family of techniques that help end user programmers perform this task, reducing possible sources of error. The techniques focus on simplification and characterization of the data that end-users must analyze while developing their web applications. We report the results of an empirical study in which these techniques are applied to several popular web sites. Our results reveal several potential benefits for end-users who wish to "engineer" dependable web applications.

S. Elbaum, K. Chilakamarri, G. Rothermel and B. Gopal, "Helping End-Users "Engineer" Dependable Web Applications," 16th IEEE International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering (ISSRE'05)(ISSRE), Chicago, Illinois, 2005, pp. 31-40.
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