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Using dynamic analysis for generating end user documentation for Web 2.0 applications

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3 Author(s)
Domenico Amalfitano ; Dipartimento di Informatica e Sistemistica, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Napoli, Italia ; Anna Rita Fasolino ; Porfirio Tramontana

The relevance of end user documentation for improving usability, learnability and operability of software applications is well known. However, software processes often devote little effort to the production of end user documentation due to budget and time constraints, or leave it not up-to-date as new versions of the application are produced. In particular, in the field of Web applications, due to their quick release time and the rapid evolution, end user documentation is often lacking, or it is incomplete and of poor quality. In this paper a semi-automatic approach for user documentation generation of Web 2.0 applications is presented. The approach exploits dynamic analysis techniques for capturing the user visible behaviour of a web application and, hence, producing end user documentation compliant with known standards and guidelines for software user documentation. A suite of tools support the approach by providing facilities for collecting user session traces associated with use case scenarios offered by the Web application, for abstracting a Navigation Graph of the application, and for generating tutorials and procedure descriptions. The obtained documentation is provided in textual and hypertextual formats. In order to show the feasibility and usefulness of the approach, an example of generating the user documentation for an existing Web application is presented in the paper.

Published in:

2011 13th IEEE International Symposium on Web Systems Evolution (WSE)

Date of Conference:

30-30 Sept. 2011