Programming by a Sample: Rapidly Creating Web Applications with d.mix

Björn Hartmann, Leslie Wu, Kevin Collins, Scott R. Klemmer
UIST: ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, 2007
Source-code examples of APIs enable developers to quickly gain a gestalt understanding of a library’s functionality, and they support organically creating applications by incrementally modifying a functional starting point. As an increasing number of web sites provide APIs, significant latent value lies in connecting the complementary representations between site and service — in essence, enabling sites themselves to be the example corpus. We introduce d.mix, a tool for creating web mashups that leverages this site-to-service correspondence. With d.mix, users browse annotated web sites and select elements to sample. d.mix’s sampling mechanism generates the underlying service calls that yield those elements. This code can be edited, executed, and shared in d.mix’s wiki-based hosting environment. This sampling approach leverages pre-existing web sites as example sets and supports fluid composition and modification of examples. An initial study with eight participants found d.mix to enable rapid experimentation, and suggested avenues for improving its annotation mechanism.


This project is known for: mashups tool web