Visualization of Web Site History

Abstract

The economic relevance of web sites has increased for several companies, which incorporate sophisticated technologies into complex and large web based systems. As a consequence methodologies and tools are required for their design, implementation and maintenance.

In this paper the evolution of web sites is analyzed, with the purpose of supporting maintenance activities. Colors are exploited to visualize modifications that take place on the site over time. Such analysis may reveal changes not corresponding to the original design or producing undesirable effects.

A tool was developed to implement the analysis of web site evolution. Its application to some examples downloaded from the Web highlights several areas where the extracted information can improve the control on the maintenance phase and provide valuable support.

Postscript version of the paper.