ReverseORC: Reverse Engineering of Resizable User Interface Layouts with OR-Constraints Inproceedings

Yue Jiang, Wolfgang Stuerzlinger, Christof Lutteroth


Reverse engineering (RE) of user interfaces (UIs) plays an important role in software evolution. However, the large diversity of UI technologies and the need for UIs to be resizable make this challenging.
We propose ReverseORC, a novel RE approach able to discover diverse layout types and their dynamic resizing behaviours independently of their implementation, and to specify them by using OR constraints. Unlike previous RE approaches, ReverseORC infers flexible layout constraint specifications by sampling UIs at different sizes and analyzing the differences between them. It can create specifications that replicate even some non-standard layout managers with complex dynamic layout behaviours. We demonstrate that ReverseORC works across different platforms with very different layout approaches, e.g., for GUIs as well as for the Web. Furthermore, it can be used to detect and fix problems in legacy UIs, extend UIs with enhanced layout behaviours, and support the creation of flexible UI layouts.

Date of publication: May - 2021
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