Title:   Interest statement for W3C Workshop on Web Device Independent Authoring
Author:  Peter Ferne, petef@atg.com
Version: 0.1
Date:    2000-09-20

1. Background

  ATG (http://www.atg.com) is the vendor of the Dynamo platform, which includes:
  an open J2EE compliant application server; a personalization server; a
  'scenario server' used to track users across sessions and channels; and a
  commerce server.

  I am a consultant/developer working with ATG clients and partners across
  Europe assisting them through all stages of the lifecycle from architecture to
  deployment.  I have been working with wireless Internet technologies on and
  off for the last couple of years.

  Some brief notes on issues which I would like to see addressed follow.
2. Issues

  There is an increasing use of personalization on the Web.  Users have come to
  expect to be able to customize their view of a web application, at least at
  the level of filtering and prioritising the display of content.

  Increasingly markup languages such as HTML and WML are being used not to
  structure static documents but to define the GUI to a web application.

  Some very successful sites, such as Slashdot, consist largely of user
  generated content.

  Skinnable applications have been popular for some time.  With the advent of
  XUL support in Mozilla they are becoming genuinely useful and starting to blur
  the line between the desktop application and the web application.

  Inconsistencies between devices of the same type, e.g. WAP handsets, leads to
  the need to transform/render content on a per device basis rather than per

  The rapid proliferation of devices, formats and platforms creates a need for
  the ability to add support for a new device type post facto.

  There is a widely held belief that it is important to deliver a coherent user
  experience across multiple channels.

  There is increasingly a need to tailor the *flow* of an application, not just
  the rendering and filtering of content.  For example, a registration form
  which is presented as a single page to a desktop Web browser might need to be
  split into two screens for presentation on digital TV and into four for
  presentation on a mobile handset.

  There is a need to do transformation in a manner which provides acceptable
  performance.  This might indicate a requirement to be able to stream the
  resulting output whilst transformation is still underway.

3. Approaches

  Transformation is typically done on a per document basis.

  There is a tension between providing transformation hints within the source
  document, which allows greater control over the rendered output, and providing
  hints in an external document, which may allow for the easy addition of new
  formats and devices.

  In the field transformation logic is often embedded in application code rather
  than encapsulated in annotations.