Mobile Web Initiative Device Description Working Group Charter (DDWG)

This charter is written in accordance with section 6.2.6 of the W3C Process Document.

Table of Contents

  1. Mission Statement
  2. Scope and Deliverables
  3. Duration
  4. Success Criteria
  5. Milestones
  6. Confidentiality
  7. Patent Disclosures
  8. Dependencies/Relationship With Other W3C Activities
  9. Coordination With External Groups
  10. Communication Mechanisms
  11. Voting Mechanisms
  12. Participation
  13. How to Join the Working Group

1. Mission Statement

The mission of the MWI Device Description Working Group (DDWG) is to enable the development of globally accessible, sustainable data and services that provide device description information applicable to content adaptation.

2. Scope and Deliverables

Data services and applications which provide browser-based user interfaces are generally built and tested for one or two browsers and assume a "form factor" of a PC with a pointing device (such a a mouse) and keyboard and a screen of certain dimensions. Mobile devices with embedded browsers have a multiplicity of input and output capabilities, screen sizes and other usability factors. In order to dynamically adapt across a range of devices, content authors and run-time systems need access to consistent vocabularies, schemas and device descriptions built on top of these.

The main objective of the MWI Device Description Working Group (DDWG) is to foster the provision and access to device descriptions that can be used in support of Web-enabled applications that provide an appropriate user experience on mobile devices.

A "mobile device" shall be interpreted as a Web-enabled device that is normally used away from fixed locations and has been manufactured specifically to be portable and usable while being moved. Typical mobile devices include Web-enabled cell-phones (mobile phones) and Web-enabled pocket-sized Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).

There are existing groups and fora that develop descriptive device and browser schemas and vocabularies. The scope of the DDWG is not to invent new ones but to make use of these already existing technologies and to package them specifically for the task of authoring and content adaptation.

2.1 The scope of the MWI DDWG includes:

NB: The following are an indicative list of the areas within the general scope of the DDWG. The specific deliverables for the first year are articulated below.




2.2 Deliverables of the MWI DDWG

First year deliverables will include:

Follow-on deliverables may include:

2.3 Quality Commitments

In its operations, specifications, and test materials the MWI DDWG will comply with the relevant quidelines of the W3C Quality Assurance Working Group (QAWG).

2.4 Use of existing technologies

The DDWG will not create new technology. Rather it will exploit results from other Working Groups and fora (both internal and external to W3C) in support of the DDWG work items. This will be in keeping with an MWI guideline to re-use existing technology and to work in concert with other fora. When a need for a new technology is identified through gap analysis, the group will identify a working group that is working in this area and work with that working group to develop that technology.

3. Duration

This Working Group is scheduled to last 12 months, from May 2005 until 31 May 2006.

4. Success Criteria

The criteria of success for the MWI DDWG are:

5. Milestones

The following milestones are identified for the scheduled year:

6. Confidentiality

W3C, and all W3C Working Groups, are accountable to the Web community as a whole for the quality of W3C technical work. In support of this public accountability, and to ease cooperation with external bodies, the Working Group makes early working drafts of its documents publicly available. Feedback and discussion on early drafts will be encouraged on the group's public mailing list (see communications). This charter is also public.

Other email discussions, such as those concerning administrative arrangements, discussions prior to releasing early drafts and reviews of documents from other groups, are accessible to W3C Members only.

All documentation, test suites, and validating tools produced by this Working Group will be publicly accessible.

7. Patent Disclosures

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version).

To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis. Consequently, this Working Group will operate on a Royalty-Free basis.

8. Dependencies/Relationship With Other W3C Activities

The MWI DDWG expects to maintain contacts with the following groups within W3C:

8.1 Mobile Web Initiative

The Mobile Web Initiative Device Description Working Group exists within the framework of the Mobile Web Initiative and will maintain contact with all groups within the Initiative. The DD Working Group chair will sit on the MWI steering committee.

8.2 Device Independence Working Group (DIWG)

One of the responsibilities of the Device Independence Working Group is developing recommendations associated with Delivery Context., which includes information about device characteristics. In particular, DIWG develops specifications for the vocabulary of characteristics in its work on Core Presentation Characteristics (CPC). It also develops specifications associated with their representation and transport, in its work on CC/PP. DIWG develops specifications concerning access to these characteristics from markup in its work on DI Selection, and from programming environments in its work on the Dynamic Properties Framework (DPF). Such access to contextual properties is regardless of the origin of the information or its vocabulary. Given the significant roles that these technologies will play, the DDWG will work very closely with DIWG to determine how best to exploit these technologies.

The MWI DDWG will review the results of the work of the DIWG, will provide timely feedback and may raise requirements for consideration by DIWG in anticipation of using DIWG output in DDWG work.

8.3 RDF Data Access Working Group (DAWG)

The RDF Data Working Group is developing specifications for access to information in ways that take advantage of its underlying semantics. Some of the interfaces to device descriptions are expected to take advantage of the work of the DAWG.

8.4 Hypertext Coordination Group

The Hypertext Coordination Group ensures that all W3C Working Groups creating Document specifications review each other's work. The MWI DDWG expects to be represented on the Hypertext Coordination Group.

8.5 Semantic Web Best Practices

The Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group provides hands-on support for developers of Semantic Web applications. The MWI DDWG will expect input from SWBPD in work related to vocabularies.

8.6 P3P 1.1 Specification Working Group

The P3P 1.1 Specification Working Group defines the P3P specification. The MWI DDWG will coordinate with this group on privacy issues.

9. Coordination With External Groups

The MWI DDWG expects to maintain contacts with the following groups external to W3C:

9.1 Open Mobile Alliance

OMA-BAC-UAPROF Sub-Working Group

The User Agent Profile (UAProf) Sub-Working Group develops device descriptions and vocabularies suitable for use with mobile devices. UAProf technologies have influenced the CC/PP and will continue to play an important part in the communication and use of device information. The UAProf SWG is also chartered to maintain a repository of validated UAProf profiles. The ability to reference or interface with a reliable resource such as this will be a significant consideration for the DDWG.

The DDWG is looking towards the successful completion of the OMA's UAProf validation service and a repository of validated profiles. The DDWG work will rely on this as a definitive source for valid UAProf information. The MWI DDWG expects to coordinate with the UAProf SWG to ensure consistency and to share results.

OMA-BAC-MAE Sub-Working Group

The Mobile and Application Environment (MAE) Sub-Working Group is tasked with taking existing and emerging Web technologies, and adapting them to the mobile environment with maximum interoperability. The MAE SWG promotes open-ended features, applications and technologies that can be used for a multitude of purposes. The MWI DDWG expects to coordinate with the MAE SWG to ensure consistency and to share results.

10. Communication Mechanisms

10.1 Email

A public, archived mailing list <> is used to distribute public versions of documents, for public discussion on them, and for other public communications.

A member-only, archived mailing list <member-ddwg> is used to distribute member-only versions of documents, for member-only discussion on them, and for other member-only communications.

10.2 Web

The group maintains a public Working Group page. In addition, its member-only Working Group page records the history of the group, provides access to the archives, meeting minutes, updated schedule of deliverables, membership list, and relevant documents and resources. The page is maintained by the W3C Team contact in collaboration with the Chair.

10.3 Phone Meetings

The MWI DDWG reserves a one-hour period every week for telephone conferencing, and simultaneous IRC dialog. Telephone conferencing with other W3C Groups and external groups will be encouraged and considered on a case-by-case basis.

10.4 Face-to-face Meetings

Face-to-face meetings will occur about every 3 or 4 months, rotating location between USA west coast, east coast, Europe, and Asia/Pacific/Australia. Face-to-face meetings will be held on at least two separate continents during the year.

The Working Group may schedule face-to-face meetings in a manner that maximizes co-location with events that Working Group members would be attending anyway.

Participation in face-to-face meetings is limited to Working Group participants and individuals invited at the discretion of the Chair to specific meetings, as described in section 3.2 of the W3C Process Document.

Meeting details are made available on the W3C Member Calendar and on the member-only Working Group page.

10.5 Communication with the Public

The MWI DDWG home page is the primary way of communicating the group's progress to the public.

11. Voting Mechanisms

The Group works by consensus. In the event of failure to achieve consensus, the Group may resort to a vote, as described in the W3C Process Document in the secion 3.4. All group participants in good standing are allowed to vote.

12. Participation

12.1 W3C Staff Resource Commitment

It is expected that this Working Group would consume about 0.5 FTE, including administrative logistics.

12. 2 External Participant Commitment (W3C Members or invited experts)

For participation in the DDWG Working Group, the requirements for meeting attendance and timely response are described in the W3C Process Document. This participation (attending meetings, reviewing documents, preparing drafts or tools) is expected to consume the equivalent of one working day per week.

13. How to Join the Working Group

Information about how to join the Working Group is available on a separate How-to-Join page.

Responsible for this draft:

Rotan Hanrahan <>, MobileAware Ltd
Stephane Boyera <>, W3C Contact

14. Acknowledgements

The following people are herein acknowledged for their contributions to this draft:

Philipp Hoschka <>, W3C
Rhys Lewis <>, Volantis Systems Ltd
Daniel Appelquist <>, Vodafone

15. References

OMA UAProf Charter, 2005. (See

$Date: 20-06-2005 - 13:07

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