DeviceDescriptionLandscapeRecommendations

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This is the Recommendation section of the document. See the DeviceDescriptionLandscape overview.

Recommendations

In the review of Device Description technologies, we have identified a number of common trends, and 'best practices' in the storage and usage of Device Descriptions. This section is designed to articulate some of the high level recommendations that should be considered when creating Device Description repository requirements. The following recommendations will be used as a basis for the DDWG Repository Requirements document.

Data structures

A successful Device Description technology will have many of the following characteristics with respect to its data structure:

  • Capacity - the ability to store descriptions for at least thousands of devices and hundreds of attributes
  • Extensibility - the ability to add new attributes to the Device Description, including attributes related to non-Web features
  • Programmability - the ability to have data inserted, extracted, and queried through one or many interfaces
  • Fallback on recognition - the ability to provide, or reference, alternative Device Descriptions when an exact match is not available
  • Strong Data Typing - the ability to constrain the Device Description data to particular data types with unambiguous units

Data integrity and capture

A successful Device Description technology will generally have the following characteristics with respect to the integrity and recording of device description information into its repository:

  • Strong Data Typing - the ability to constrain the input data to particular data types and unambiguous units
  • Accuracy - a process or methodology that ensures the recording of reproducible device description data
  • Precision - the ability to capture and record data precise enough to be useful for content adaptation
  • Auditability - the ability to record the origin of, and subsequent changes to, device description data

Query and access

A successful Device Description technology will generally have the following characteristics with respect to the ability to query or access data from its repository:

  • Strong Data Typing - the ability to constrain the input data to particular data types and unambiguous units
  • Readability - data formatting (or reporting) that allows human-readership of device description data. (not mandatory)
  • Header keying - the ability to provide a Device Description in response to a query comprising the device user agent or other other information included in the request from the client
  • Inheritance on query - the ability to logically associate a device with a similar device's description, or to be able to cascade attributes from parent device classes
  • Auditability - the ability to trace and track the origin of, and subsequent changes to, device description data