by Omar N.
What is a Mashup? To those who are savvy to the music industry, a mashup typically refers to the joining of two or more popular vocal or instrumental tracks to create a unique song. For an application developer, however, it’s a bunch of applications that get remixed, rather than Michael Jackson and Britney Spears songs.
The article “Next in Mashup Development: User-Created Apps on the Web” discusses the future of how web applications may be developed. By creating web development tools where little to no programming knowledge is required, it is possible for end users to become a part of the development process. An advantage of this over the traditional development cycle is that it takes less time to get a working product out. Once it is out, it can continuously be improved while it is already in use. Giving end users the power to shape the application not only has the added benefit of receiving immediate feedback, but it also gives them the opportunity to customize their own experience. As mentioned in the article, two such tools already in development are mashArt and DashMash. MashArt will help IT professionals quickly build mashup applications, while DashMash will apply the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) style of development to help the inexperienced user build an application. While there are already some tools that have mashup capabilities, there currently isn’t a strong end-user community to support it.
I really like the idea of adding end user input into applications. After all, it is them that are going to be using it. I compare it to some games like Starcraft where players are given the ability to create custom maps and share them with other players. Often times, these user created maps are more innovative and played a lot more than the standard built-in maps. This would not likely be possible if the game developers did not add these tools to be available to the end users.
Daniel, F., Matera, M., & Weiss, M. (2011). Next in Mashup Development: User-Created Apps on the Web. IT Professional Magazine, 13(5), 22-22-29. doi:10.1109/MITP.2011.85