The W3C Device Independence Working Group has published an initial public working draft of Authoring Techniques for Device Independence. The document provides a summary of several techniques and best practices that Web site authors and solution providers may employ when creating and delivering content to a diverse set of access mechanisms. It includes discussions on the features of authoring tools, site creation and maintenance tools, storage, delivery, adaptation, end-user devices and software on such devices. The working draft seeks to identify known, published practices and techniques that address (1) the creation of original, reusable and adaptable content; (2) the representation of author intentions and decisions; (3) creating and adapting navigation features; (4) design and adaptation of interactive content; (5) use and management of contextual information." The W3C Device Independence WG was chartered to "study issues related to authoring, adaptation and presentation of Web content and applications that can be delivered effectively through different access mechanisms. The Working Group has the dual role of monitoring and reviewing the work of other groups from a device independence perspective, as well as proposing solutions for achieving better device independence in areas not already covered by other groups. The long-term objective of the Device Independence WG is to avoid fragmentation of the Web space, making it accessible with various kinds of presentation device. Consistent with this goal, presentation devices should be able to access Web content appropriate for their capabilities and authors should be enabled to create Web content that is deliverable across different presentation devices."
From the Authoring Techniques Working Draft
The WG charter lead to stipulation of the following goals for the draft document:
- Authoring Practice: Identify the current and proposed techniques to support authoring for multiple devices, and present these as abstractions of the process from the original authoring step up to and including the final delivery of content to the access mechanism.
- Adaptation Techniques: Identify the range of content adaptation techniques and how they may be applied at the different stages of the delivery process (from server through intermediaries to the device).
- Requirements: Identify the requirements that should be satisfied by implementations of techniques identified in this document. In particular, this relates to the technical requirements for markup languages and other technologies offered by the W3C.
- XForms: Identify techniques, based on XForms, to support device-independent navigation and interaction. These techniques must support the tailoring of presentation, interaction modes and navigation within form-based Web applications.
Drawing on the experience of technology providers and Web authors, this Note presents an overview of many existing techniques and best practices that may be used to deliver tailored content and applications to a wide variety of devices. It shows, in practical terms, how one might address the problems of content creation, content maintenance and content adaptation. It explores the issues associated with managing an application's interaction with a user where different devices and modalities are present.
This Note is restricted to content and applications that are intended for Web delivery, employing technologies that are associated with the Web, and in particular those technologies that have been recommended by the W3C or are being developed by the W3C. Furthermore, while the Web can be used to deliver a wide variety of media types, this Note shall focus on media that is represented by, or referenced through, markup languages. XHTML and its associated technologies shall play a key role in this Note, but the legacy of older technologies shall be recognized as an important domain of interest.
Implementation-specific issues shall be recognized, but not elaborated, in this Note. This includes issues such as performance and scaling, security, resource consumption etc. It is recognized that different implementations of the same authoring techniques, and their associated adaptation techniques, will have different properties and that these differences provide scope for business opportunities..." [adapted from the Scope and Goals statements]
Device Independence Principles. Edited by Roger Gimson (HP). Co-edited by Shlomit Ritz Finkelstein (invited expert), Stéphane Maes (IBM), and Lalitha Suryanarayana (SBC Technology Resources). W3C Working Group Note. 01-September-2003. Version URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/NOTE-di-princ-20030901/. Latest version URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/di-princ/. Previous version URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/WD-di-princ-20010918/. A diff-marked version is also available.
Authoring Challenges for Device Independence. By Rhys Lewis (Volantis Systems). W3C Working Group Note. 01-September-2003. Version URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/NOTE-acdi-20030901/. Latest version URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/acdi/. Previous version URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2002/WD-acdi-20021018/.
Glossary of Terms for Device Independence. By Rhys Lewis (Volantis Systems). W3C Working Draft 25-August-2003. First public Working Draft. Version URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/WD-di-gloss-20030825/. Latest version URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/di-gloss/.
"Delivery Context Overview for Device Independence." Edited by Roger Gimson (HP). W3C Working Draft. 13-December-2002.
"Core Presentation Characteristics: Requirements and Use Cases." Edited by Markus Lauff and Amy Yu (SAP). W3C Working Draft. 10-May-2003.
- Authoring Techniques for Device Independence. W3C Working Draft 6-November-2003.
- W3C Workshop on Device Independent Authoring Techniques. Held 25-26 September 2002, SAP University, St. Leon-Rot, Germany. See the Final Agenda with links to presentations and discussion notes
- W3C Device Independence Working Group Progress Report. June 2003.
- Mail Archives for 'email@example.com' list. A mailing list "for discussion of general issues relating to Device Independence, and in particular device independent markup and authoring. This list will also be used by the Device Independence Working Group to ask for comments on its public documents relating to DI principles, authoring challenges and techniques and device characteristics."
- Contact: Rhys Lewis (Device Independence Working Group Chair) or Stephane Boyera (Device Independence WG W3C Staff Contact).
- W3C Device Independence WG Patent Disclosures
- W3C Device Independence Activity Statement
- W3C Device Independence Working Group Charter
- W3C Device Independence home page
- "W3C Device Independence Working Group Publishes Specs for a Universally Accessible Web." News story 2003-09-02.
- Update 2004-01-15: "W3C Recommendation: CC/PP Structure and Vocabularies 1.0 Specification for Mobile Devices."