MIT EECS — Cisco Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Cascading Tree Sheets: A Reusable Language for Web Templates
David R. Karger
Cascading Style Sheets improved on the modularity of web development by largely separating code for styling web pages from the HTML that provides structure. However, much of the HTML consists of scaffolding for the web content instead of the content itself. Cascading Tree Sheets aim to separate out this presentational HTML from the content HTML. With CTS, even users with little web programming experience are able to use professional style and themes in their own web pages by including a link to the corresponding tree sheet. Taken a step further by linking up with a data storage service, users can build rich data-driven web applications without server-side frameworks. By maximizing learnability and ease of use, both novice and expert users can quickly author new web content using CTS.
I enjoy building websites but sometimes find it time-consuming and frustrating to debug the presentational HTML. Since I have dealt with this problem before, I can see firsthand the benefits of a viable solution. It would also encourage novices to pick up web development. I hope to learn more about designing languages with regards to usability through the CTS project.