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Rapid Interface Builder

Rapid Interface Builder (RIB) is a browser-based design tool to quickly prototype and create the user interface for web applications. It supports UI design by dropping widgets onto a canvas, running the UI in an interactive "Preview mode" and then exporting the generated HTML5 and Javascript.

Introducing RIB

BY Geoff Gustafson ON Apr 13, 2012

I'm proud to introduce Rapid Interface Builder (RIB). This is the first preview of the tool, which is working well enough to accomplish some useful things, but has plenty of rough edges and limitations.

For Users

RIB is a graphical tool for prototyping the user interface for a web application. It is a "generation" tool, not an "iteration" tool. It generates the initial HTML framework corresponding to what you design, and you can preview what you've done. Then you import the code into your favorite editor and fill in the details, such as generating dynamic content from an online source. We expect that some of the generated code will remain as it is, and that you will use other parts as templates for your dynamic HTML construction.

Today, the application supports most of the widgets provided by jQuery Mobile. It supports configuring some of their properties, but not all. And some complexities, such as nested lists, are ignored entirely. But there is enough support to quickly try out a lot of what jQuery Mobile offers. RIB also includes limited support for an additional widget set called the Web UI Framework, under active development by some of our colleagues. The version used by RIB at the moment is a bit out of date. In the near future, we plan to:

  • Update the included jQuery Mobile version
  • Update the included Web UI Framework version
  • Support more properties and additional jQuery Mobile widgets
  • Support additional Web UI Framework widgets
  • Support inserting custom HTML blocks
  • Develop a sample application and illustrate using RIB to build it

Some longer-term goals include: