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This paper describes Web-O-Matic, an object-oriented tool for programming dynamic forms and other CGI-based Web applications. Web-O-Matic is based on System Limit Programming, a new programming paradigm, and has several novel features, including its declarative nature and its natural treatment of input and output. It was developed as a tool to help modellers at the Institute for Fiscal Studies connect their economic models to the Web for access by academics and the general public.

I shall start with an account of the motivation, namely the IFS and earlier work on simplifying CGI programming, followed by some remarks on dynamic persistent Web pages. This is background material which can be skipped by those wanting to go straight on to the main subject of this paper. I then move to the idea behind Web-O-Matic, namely object-oriented Web programming. This is followed by a description of Web-O-Matic's programming language WOM, a brief account of the implementation, and some background on System Limit Programming.

I assume a basic knowledge of HTML, the HTTP protocol, the Web and CGI programming, and object-oriented programming (OOP). Those unfamiliar with HTML, HTTP, and CGI will find a wealth of explanatory material available on the Web: it can easily be located via one of the search engines. At the time of writing, the World Wide Web Consortium's page [W3C] also has some useful material.

Jocelyn Ireson-Paine
Sat Oct 12 23:35:52 BST 1996