Device Independence Working Group

Progress Report - June 2003

1 Introduction

The Device Independence Working Group (DI WG) is a Working Group as defined by the W3C Process.

The mission of this Working Group is to study issues related to authoring, adaptation and presentation of Web content and applications that can be delivered effectively through different access mechanisms.

The group was rechartered for two years commencing June 2002. We believe it is appropriate to provide a progress report at the end of the first year of this current charter.

This document provides a brief summary of our progress in the first year of the current charter, and our plans for the second year, as discussed at the Group's Face to Face meeting on 16-18 June 2003. A revised table of deliverable milestones is also provided.

2 Progress and plans

Progress is given in most cases under headings which provide links to the descriptions of the work items in the current charter. In some cases, the titles used here have been changed to correspond to those of the associated deliverable documents.

During the first year of the current charter, the Group has published three Working Drafts, published one Last Call Working Draft, and hosted a public Workshop and a Test Meeting.

2.1 Delivery context

Delivery context, in the scope of device independence, relates to the definition, transport and use of device capabilities. From March 2003, the DI WG took over the work of the Composite Capabilities/Preferences Profile Working Group, and in particular the responsibility to progress CC/PP Structure and Vocabulary along the recommendation track. An additional work item has therefore been added to reflect this.

2.1.1 Work item: Delivery context overview

This work item will produce a W3C Note that provides an overview and positions the different technologies that are involved in the description, transport and use of device capabilities.

Progress: Delivery Context Overview Working Draft was published on 13 December 2002.

Plans: It is intended to revise the document to align it with the Glossary (see 2.4.1) and publish it as a completed W3C Note in July 2003.

2.1.2 Work item: Core presentation characteristics

This work item (originally called core device attributes) is following a W3C Recommendation track to define a set of Core Presentation Characteristics.

Progress: Core Presentation Characteristics: Requirements and Use Cases Working Draft was published on 10 May 2003.

Plans: It is intended to develop the requirements into a draft recommendation, with a first Working Draft being published in September 2003.

2.1.3 Work item: CC/PP processing and protocol

This work item (originally simply called CC/PP protocol) will deliver processing and protocol proposals to ensure that compatible implementations based on CC/PP can be developed. The proposals are expected to be in two sections: protocol-independent processing and bindings to specific protocols (our first goal being a binding to HTTP 1.1).

Progress: Due to additional work on CC/PP Structure and Vocabularies (see 2.1.4), work on this item was not started until June 2003.

Plans: It is intended to publish a first Working Draft of a Requirements document in September 2003. On completion of the Requirements document, the group intends to seek approval to proceed down a recommendation track for CC/PP Processing.

2.1.4 Additional work item: CC/PP structure and vocabularies

This is an additional work item to continue the work of the CC/PP Working Group in taking CC/PP Structure and Vocabularies through to recommendation. It was originally anticipated, under the CC/PP protocol work item of the current charter, that this work would have been largely completed before hand-over. However, the work was handed over when the charter of the CC/PP WG expired in December 2002, and the CC/PP WG was closed in March 2003.

Progress: CC/PP Structure and Vocabularies Last Call Working Draft was published 25 March 2003. A CC/PP Test Meeting was held on 13 June 2003.

Plans: It is intended to publish an updated Working Draft of the Proposed Recommendation in July 2003 (assuming agreement can be reached on the definition of conformance), and, provided there are no objections to the revisions made as a result of LastCall comments and implementation experience, then request advancement to PR.

2.2 Device independent authoring

Authoring, in the scope of device independence, relates to the way in which existing markup can be used to achieve more effective content delivery across different devices, or to identifying where further markup may be required.

2.2.1 Work item: Authoring challenges

This work item (originally called Authoring scenarios) will produce a W3C Note that sets out the different goals of authors, ranging from those of a small static-content website to those of a website delivering complex interactive applications.

Progress: Authoring Challenges for Device Independence Working Draft was published on 18 October 2002.

Plans: It is intended to revise the document to align it with the Glossary (see 2.4.1) and publish it as a completed W3C Note in July 2003.

2.2.2 Work item: Authoring techniques

This work item will propose some techniques for authors to achieve greater device independence, preceded by a public workshop to gather input from practitioners and technology providers and to capture best practices for addressing the authoring challenges.

Progress: A Workshop on Device Independent Authoring Techniques was held on 25-26 September 2002. Work on the Authoring techniques document has been underway since then, leading to further discussion and clarification on the areas in which further markup might be required.

Plans: It is intended to publish a first Working Draft of an Authoring Techniques document in September 2003, allowing time for public discussion before a completed W3C Note is published around November 2003.

2.2.3 Work item: Markup proposals

This work item (originally called Interaction markup) will focus on the syntax and semantics required to describe interactive web content in a device independent manner.

Progress: Internal reviews of existing markup languages have been continuing since the Authoring Techniques Workshop. Five potential areas in which further markup may be required have been identified: content selection, layout, interaction markup, decomposition directives, and generated markup.

Plans: It is intended to publish Requirements documents for further markup which can be published and presented to other working groups who may wish to consider their inclusion in future versions of existing standards. After discussion with other groups, it will be decided whether any specific markup proposals need to be made by DI WG.

2.2.4 Work item: Document profile

This work item will identify a set of document attributes that can be used, for example, when negotiating document customization for different delivery contexts.

Progress: Due to the amount of Group effort being spent on other work items, work on this item has not yet started.

Plans: It was decided at the DI WG F2F in June 2003 that work on this item would be further postponed since no clear understanding of the requirements has yet been developed. However, it is expected that the work on Core Presentation Characteristics and on Markup evolution for content selection will help clarify needs in this area.

2.3 Reviewing

To promote awareness of, and appropriate support for, device independence in the creation of other recommendations.

2.3.1 Work item: Respond to W3C review requests

We have responded to requests from the Multimodal Interaction WG and from the QA WG to review their Framework documents. At the Technical Plenary in March 2003 we have also held joint meetings with the MMI, CSS and WAI-PF WGs, and held discussions with representatives from HTML and QA WGs. We have established an informal liaison with the MMI WG by each having a representative responsible for monitoring the activities of the other, primarily through the group mailing lists.

We expect, through the Markup extensions work item, to provide more specific input to future recommendations being developed by other groups.

2.3.2 Work item: Review external standards

We have had ongoing informal interaction with members of external groups. In two cases (JSR-188 and UAProf), copyright restrictions on draft documents have prevented us from having detailed discussion of the documents in the whole group. It has been left to individual group members who are prepared to accept the restrictions to provide feedback if they wish.

2.4 Foundation documents

During the production of the Authoring Challenges document, it was decided that rather than replicating the definition of terminology in each document, it would be preferable to produce a common glossary. This has led to two additional work items.

2.4.1 Additional work item: Glossary

This additional work item will collect together definitions of terms used across multiple DI WG documents into a single Glossary document.

Progress: The glossary has been under development for some time, with definitions being replicated in specific documents. Internal drafts of a separate Glossary document have been in preparation since February 2003.

Plans: It is intended to publish the Glossary as a Working Draft in July 2003. Further revisions will be made as necessary to support updated or additional definition of terms.

2.4.2 Additional work item: Principles (revision)

This additional work item will revise the original Device Independence Principles document to bring it in line with the revised terminology of the Glossary (see 2.4.1) and to reference more recent work by the group.

Progress: A first internal draft of the revisions has been prepared.

Plans: It is intended to publish the revised document as a completed W3C Note in July 2003.

3 Revised Milestones

For the work items described above, the progress to date and the revised milestones are illustrated in the following table, which may be compared to the milestones shown in the current charter:

Work Item 06/02 07/02 08/02 09/02 10/02 11/02 12/02 01/03 02/03 03/03 04/03 05/03 06/03 07/03 08/03 09/03 10/03 11/03 12/03 01/04 02/04 03/04 04/04 05/04
Delivery context
WD   Note  
Core presentation
  Requirements 1st WD LC WD CR  
  Requirements REC?
WD Note  
  wkshp WD Note  
  reviews Requirements REC?
  Requirements? REC?

The following additional items have been added, as described above:

Work Item 06/02 07/02 08/02 09/02 10/02 11/02 12/02 01/03 02/03 03/03 04/03 05/03 06/03 07/03 08/03 09/03 10/03 11/03 12/03 01/04 02/04 03/04 04/04 05/04
Struct & Vocabs

LC WD   Test
  WD revisions