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 Policy
  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

In its first charter, the DDWG published documents on the landscape, ecosystem and requirements associated with mobile device descriptions. The requirements document outlined a set of interface requirements for a repository of device descriptions. Such a repository is intended to be especially useful for adaptation of content.

Under this charter the DDWG will define the interface to such a repository and the nature of the information that will initially populate such a repository. It will encourage the realization of repositories with such interfaces.

2.1 Scope of the MWI DDWG

For the purposes of this charter Mobile devices are Web-enabled devices that are normally used away from fixed locations and are manufactured specifically to be portable and usable while being moved.

The scope of the MWI DDWG includes:

2.2 Deliverables of the MWI DDWG

Deliverables will include:

Deliverables may also include:

2.3 Quality Commitments

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

2.4 Use of existing technologies

The DDWG will not create new technology where existing technologies are adequate. It will exploit results from other Working Groups and fora (both internal and external to W3C) in support of the DDWG work items.

2.5 Priorities

The DDWG shall prioritize its work in order to address the most pressing needs of the DDR actors identified in previous DDWG publications. The work will be further prioritized in accordance with available resources.

2.5.1 Work on the core DDR API

The core DDR API is considered to be the highest priority work item.

2.5.2 Work on the key properties and corresponding vocabulary

The DDWG recognizes the pressing need for basic device descriptions to facilitate content adaptation, particularly descriptions of Web-enabled mobile devices. The identification of the minimum set of device properties is a critical work item, from which the initial core vocabulary will be derived.

2.5.3 Work on structure within device descriptions

Part of the work to be undertaken by the DDWG is to address the representation and use of structure (relationships between device descriptions). The DDWG will engage in work on "device description structures" under the following constraints:

  1. The group has sufficient available resources to assign to the work.
  2. Any structure-related interface resulting from this work will include the core DDR API as a subset.
  3. The work on structures will not adversely affect the work on the core DDR API, in the event of the structure work being delayed or deferred. This requires that the core DDR API will not depend on any representation of relationships between devices.

These constraints ensure that implementations confined to the core DDR API will be compatible with any structure-aware implementations (with the obvious exception that core-only implementations will not engage in any queries/operations relating to structure). Where possible, the work on structures will take place in parallel with work on the core DDR API, and in such circumstances there will be close liaison between the two activities.

2.5.4 Work on the implementation of an instance of the core DDR API.

The DDWG will not commit to implement an instance of the core DDR API. Resources and time permitting, the DDWG will consider an implementation. A public call will be made for external parties to provide implementations.

2.5.5 Work on the deployment of a public DDR

The DDWG will not commit to providing a public deployment of a DDR populated with device descriptions. Any proposed deployment during the chartered period will be considered in light of available resources and available time. A public call will be made for external parties to host a deployment of a DDR instance populated with device descriptions.

3. Duration

This Working Group is scheduled to last 18 months, from November 2006 to May 2008.

4. Success Criteria

The criteria of success for the MWI DDWG are:

5. Milestones

The following milestones are identified for the scheduled period:

6. Confidentiality

Except for those publications that are made public in accordance with Section 10 of this charter, the proceedings of this working group are available only to W3C Members.

7. Patent Policy

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.

For information about patent disclosures or exclusions regarding specifications produced by this Working Group, please refer to the patent policy status page for this group.

8. Dependencies/Relationship With Other W3C Activities

The MWI DDWG expects to maintain contacts with other W3C groups, in particular:

8.1 Mobile Web Initiative (MWI)

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 Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group (BPWG)

The Best Practices Working Group aims to make Web access from a mobile device as simple, easy and convenient as Web access from a desktop device. This includes the publication of guidance for content authors in the form of Best Practices and associated techniques. The BPWG acknowledges the role of adaptation based on device descriptions. Its work on Best Practices enables the BPWG to identify important device properties that can be used by adaptation solutions to improve the quality of Web presentations on mobile devices.

The MWI DDWG recognizes the BPWG as one of the most important consumers of the DDR implementations. For this reason the BPWG is considered to be among the first users of the process defined to request new entries, to fulfill the needs of the Best Practices.

8.3 Device Independence Working Group (DIWG)

The MWI DDWG will consider the relationship of its work items to relevant output and requirements of the Device Independence Working Group. In particular, this includes the DIWG's Core Presentation Characteristics (CPC) (related to the task of creating a vocabulary for the DDR) and the DIWG's Delivery Context Interfaces (DCI, previously known as the Dynamic Properties Framework) (related to the task of creating a DDR API).

The MWI DDWG will review the results of the work of the DIWG and will also request the DIWG to review relevant work of the DDWG. A close liaison will be maintained between the two groups. The MWI DDWG will also review its relationship with the DIWG following the likely rechartering of that group.

8.4 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 may take advantage of the work of the DAWG.

8.5 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.

8.6 Semantic Web Best Practices

The Semantic Web Deployment Working Group provides consensus-based guidance in the form of W3C Technical Reports on issues of practical RDF development and deployment practices in the areas of publishing vocabularies, OWL usage, and integrating RDF with HTML documents. The MWI DDWG will expect input from SWD in work related to vocabularies.

8.7 Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities. It is envisaged that the DDR may be a source of contextual information for assistive technologies, supporting the goals of WAI. The MWI DDWG will consider input from WAI that will help advance mutual concerns.

9. Coordination With External Groups

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

9.1 Open Mobile Alliance

The creation of an initial vocabulary for device properties to be contained within an initial instance of the DDR is an issue of relevance to the MWI DDWG and the OMA. A close working relationship shall be fostered between the MWI DDWG and relevant OMA groups to facilitate the task of creating the formal vocabulary.

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

In the interest of greater public involvement, it is expected that all technical discussion will take place in public through a number of channels, although any member has the right to keep any information or discussion to member-only channels.

10.1 Email

A public, archived mailing list <> is used to conduct technical discussions, publish approved minutes of group meetings, track issues relating to material previously made public, distribute public versions of documents, conduct public discussion on published documents, 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 public Working Group pages. These shall be regularly updated and will reflect the current status of the group and provide summaries of ongoing activities, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, documentation and other resources related to the group tasks, including relevant submissions from the public.

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. Approved minutes of these conference calls shall be made public.

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 section 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.

Rotan Hanrahan <>, MobileAware Ltd
Cédric Kiss <> and Masayasu Ishikawa <>, W3C Contacts

14. Acknowledgements

The significant effort and contributions of the DDWG participants in drafting this charter document is hereby acknowledged. The contribution of the participants at the DDWG Workshop is also acknowledged.

15. References

W3C International Workshop on the Implementation of a Device Description Repository, 2006. A workshop of the DDWG. (See
OMA UAProf Charter, 2005. (See

$Date: 2006/12/05 22:17:20 $

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