Human-Computer Interaction Institute
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


The Topes Format Editor and Parser

Christopher Scaffidi, Brad Myers, Mary Shaw

May 2007

Also appears as Institute for Software Research
Technical Report CMU-ISRI-07-104


Keywords: End user programming, end user software engineering, data manipulation, data formats

It is currently difficult and time-consuming to validate and manipulate data in web applications, so we have developed an editor and a parser to simplify these tasks. Our editor enables end-user programmers to create and debug reusable, flexible data formats without learning a complex new language. Our parser uses these formats to turn strings into structured objects and to report its level of confidence that each string is a valid instance of the format. End-user programmers can use our system to create validation code that takes a graduated response to slightly invalid data. We evaluate our system's expressiveness by defining formats for commonly-occurring web data.

19 pages

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