Expression of interest in participating in the Workshop

Claudio Venezia
Telecom Italia, Italy

Participant's interest

WW3C is providing both standardized APIs to gain access to device capabilities and Widgets to create fancy presentations, this unblocks new opportunities for the creation of richer UI. Context Awareness and Augmented Reality impose requirements of dynamicity and flexibility to devices' interactive system and interoperability is the real challenge to be mastered. Telecom Italia believes that model based User interfaces are the optimal ways to provide useful abstractions for defining the core aspects and properties of an interactive system along with its design. These abstractions should then be supported by tools to create a concrete user interface, granting the maximum interoperability among devices and straightforward ways for switching between views. Despite several isolated initiatives as documented by the W3C Model-based User Interfaces Incubator Group the main limitation has always been the lack of reusability of best design practices due to the lack of support of proprietary Model Based user interfaces generators for the various platforms.


Telecom Italia believes that Web enabled devices will be the future, browsers will be the platform and W3C should enable the creation of a standard baseline for the next generation User Interfaces and foster its adoption and support. HTML5 will be the mainstream for creating concrete interfaces and could surely benefit from requirements arisen by future standards for Model/Based UI. Mash Ups and Augmented Reality applications are more and more demanding in terms of interactive systems capable of reacting to users' context and desired goals. In the area of context adaptive mobile Web user interfaces, W3C DAP is already providing some useful standard interfaces to access device capabilities which enable retrieving in real time some important information about device system status. GUI could leverage on this info to adapt themselves accordingly, for example automatically switch to a lightweight version of the graphical interface in case of critical battery status. Model Based User Interface should endow mechanisms for UI developers to define under which device context a given graphical view should be adopted and rendered, without forcing them to deal with the various platform peculiarities. Furthermore today's best practices tend to present information by means of overlay graphical layers, User Interface developers should be able to define them at a reasonable level of abstraction without having to deal with the complexities of platform specific presentation languages.


W3C Model-based User Interfaces Incubator Group has carried out an excellent state of the art analysis. Telecom Italia believes that is could be now timely to collecting punctual requirements and drafting out an XML syntax to describe these model based User Interfaces along with the guidelines to implement a HTML5 concrete interface generator. The modeling language should be simple and Human readable and should not force the interface modeler to go into cumbersome details. The formalization of the XML based modeling language should grant the maximum interoperability with existing languages used in software engineering to model interfaces and interactive systems. Tools for modeling the user interface’s structure should build, as much as possible, on the functionalities of existing tools for defining user interfaces. As said User interfaces should seamlessly adapt to the device status and to the actual task the user is willing to perform therefore there is a need for defining combined task-status-user interface models still keeping them conceptually separated. Last but not least concrete interfaces generator implementations are the real challenge. Telecom Italia expects that W3C will foster the adoption of this approach by the major device vendors besides providing technical guidelines and tools. Telecom Italia sees the W3C Model Based UI workshop has an important first step in this direction.