Web of Devices

W3C is focusing on technologies to enable Web access anywhere, anytime, using any device. This includes Web access from mobile phones and other mobile devices as well as use of Web technology in consumer electronics, printers, interactive television, and even automobiles.

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W3C promotes “One Web” that is available on any device. W3C’s Mobile Web Initiative helps ensure the best user experience on mobile devices, taking into account device capabilities, location, and other context information.

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The W3C Speech Interface Framework is a suite of specifications (e.g. VoiceXML) integrating Web technology and speech interaction. VoiceXML, PLS, SISR, SRGS, SCXML, and CCXML all contribute to the Speech Interface Framework.

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Devices come in many shapes, capabilities and sizes which define constraints on the content these devices can handle. Device descriptions, content transformation guidelines, device APIs and CC/PP help developers to optimize the user experience.

Multimodal Access Header link

Increasingly, interactions with devices doesn’t only happen with a keyboard, but also through voice, touch and gestures. The W3C Multimodal architecture and its components (EMMA, InkML) allow developers to adapt applications to new interaction modes.

Web and TV Header link

With the advent of IP-based devices, connected TVs are progressing at a fast pace and traditional TV broadcasting is quickly evolving into a more immersive experience where users can interact with rich applications that are at least partly based on Web technologies. There is strong growth in the deployment of devices that integrate regular Web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and SVG, coupled with various device APIs.

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See the program.The keynote speaker will be Alolita Sharma, Director of Language Engineering from the Wikimedia Foundation. She is followed by a strong line up in sessions entitled Developers, Creators, Localizers, Machines, and Users, including speakers from Microsoft, Wikimedia Foundation, the UN FAO, W3C, Yandex, SDL, Lionbridge, Asia Pacific TLD, Verisign, DFKI, and many more. On the afternoon of the second day we will hold Open Space breakout discussions. Abstracts and details about an additional poster session will be provided shortly.

The program will also feature an LD4LT event on May 8-9, focusing on text analytics and the usefulness of Wikipedia and Dbpedia for multiilngual text and content analytics, and on language resources and aspects of converting selected types of language resources into RDF.

Participation in both events is free. See the Call for Participation for details about how to register for the MultilingualWeb workshop. The LD4LT event requires a separate registrationand you have the opportunity to submit position statements about language resources and RDF.

If you haven’t registered yet, note that space is limited, so please be sure to register soon to ensure that you get a place.

The MultilingualWeb workshops, funded by the European Commission and coordinated by the W3C, look at best practices and standards related to all aspects of creating, localizing and deploying the multilingual Web. The workshops are successful because they attract a wide range of participants, from fields such as localization, language technology, browser development, content authoring and tool development, etc., to create a holistic view of the interoperability needs of the multilingual Web.

We look forward to seeing you in Madrid!

This is the 28 March – 4 April 2014edition of a “weekly digest of W3C news and trends” that I prepare for the W3C Membership and public-w3c-digest mailing list (publicly archived). This digest aggregates information about W3C and W3C technology from online media —a snapshot of how W3C and its work is perceived in online media.

W3C and HTML5 related Twitter trends

Nothing stood out particularly this week; I noted a few mentions of:

Net Neutrality & Open Web

W3C in the Press (or blogs)

6articles this week. A selection follows. Read more and find keywords on our Press clippings.

We would like to remind you that the deadline for speaker proposals for the 7th MultilingualWeb Workshop (May 7–8, 2014, Madrid, Spain) is on Friday, March 14, at 23:59 UTC.

Featuring a keynote by Alolita Sharma (Director of Engineering, Wikipedia) and breakout sessions on linked open data and other critical topics, this Workshop will focus on the advances and challenges faced in making the Web truly multilingual. It provides an outstanding and influential forum for thought leaders to share their ideas and gain critical feedback.

While the organizers have already received many excellent submissions, there is still time to make a proposal, and we encourage interested parties to do so by the deadline. With roughly 200 attendees anticipated for the Workshop from a wide variety of profiles, we are certain to have a large and diverse audience that can provide constructive and useful feedback, with stimulating discussion about all of the presentations.

For more information and to register, please visit the Madrid Workshop Call for Participation.

This is the 21-28 February 2014edition of a “weekly digest of W3C news and trends” that I prepare for the W3C Membership and public-w3c-digest mailing list (publicly archived). This digest aggregates information about W3C and W3C technology from online media —a snapshot of how W3C and its work is perceived in online media.

W3C and HTML5 buzz in Twitter

[What was tweeted frequently, or caught my attention. Most recentfirst (popularity is flagged with a figure —number of times the same URIs or tweet was quoted/RTed.)]

Net Neutrality & Open Web

W3C in the Press (or blogs)

10articles this week. Find keywords on our Press clippings.

We are please to announce that Alolita Sharma, Director of Engineering for Internationalization and Localization at Wikipedia, will deliver the keynote at the 7th Multilingual Web Workshop, “New Horizons for the Multilingual Web,” in Madrid, Spain (7–8 May 2014).

With over 30 million articles in 286 languages as of January 1, 2014, Wikipedia has now become one of the largest providers of multilingual content in the world. Because of its user-generated and constantly changing content, many traditional processes for managing multilingual content on the web either do not work or do not scale well for Wikipedia. Alolita Sharma’s keynote will highlight Wikipedia’s diversity in multilingual user-generated content and the language technologies that Wikipedia has had to develop to support its unprecedented growth of content. She will also discuss the many challenges Wikipedia faces in providing language support for the mobile web.

The Multilingual Web Workshop series brings together participants interested in the best practices, new technologies, and standards needed to help content creators, localizers, language tools developers, and others address the new opportunities and challenges of the multilingual Web. It will provide for networking across communities and building connections.

Registration for the Workshop is free, and early registrationis recommended since space at the Workshop is limited.

There is still opportunity for individuals to submit proposals to speak at the workshop. Ideal proposals will highlight emerging challenges or novel solutions for reaching out to a global, multilingual audience. The deadline for speaker proposals is March 14, but early submission is strongly encouraged. See the Call for Participationfor more details.

This workshop is made possible by the generous support of the LIDER project, which will organize a roadmapping workshop on linked data and content analytics as one of the tracks at Multilingual Web Workshop.

In February, VisionMobile published Developer Economics Q1 2014: State of the Developer Nation, which “presents the latest trends in app development, based on our survey of over 7,000 developers” from 127 countries. I spoke with Matos Kapetanakis (Marketing Manager) and Dimitris Michalakos (Web Technology Lead) about key findings from the survey, especially related to the Open Web Platform.

IJ:What do you want to accomplish with the survey?

MK:Our Developer Economics series, now in its 7th edition, is an ongoing research project about the App economy, based on the largest developer surveys. Our goals are to track how developer trends evolve over time and to investigate the important issues of platform, monetization, and tools. Our aim is to help drive awareness of the developer ecosystem, as well as to help developers make the best choices. For this edition we surveyed 7000 developers, making this the largest developer survey to date. Developer Economics is freely available for download thanks to our partners.

IJ:What does the report say has changed in the past year?

MK:Because many of the questions (for example, on platform mindshare) have remained the same across previous editions, we were able to easily identify some trends. For example, one year ago around 50% of developers were targeting tablets. In Q3 2013 70% did. The most recent data show 83% of developers are targeting tablets. Smartphones, however, remain the preferred device: 93% of developers target smartphones first.

IJ:How do developers think about smartphones and tablets differently?

MK:It’s a matter of prioritisation. A total of 93% of developers are targeting smartphones – 72% as a primarydevice, that is, they first build their app for a smartphone and 15% as a secondary device. The situation is reversed for tablets. Just 12% of developers treat tablets as a first priority, while 57% treat them as companion development devices.

IJ:What did you learn about platforms?

MK:The leading players in terms of developer mindshare remain unchanged compared to other surveys: Android leads, followed by iOS and HTML5. What’s interesting to note is that Windows Phone has picked up mindshare compared to the 6-month-ago survey, rising from 21% to 25% of developers. While these figures are lower than the leading platforms’ it’s quite telling this is the first time Windows Phone managed to convert interest in the platform into actual Mindshare. The timing is not a coincidence, as we’ve seen an increase in device sales for Windows Phone, which managed to outsell iOS in 19 or so countries. What we see here is network effects, meaning that more device sales attract more developers, which in turn should help sell more devices.

IJ:What are the key strengths of the Web compared to native?

DM:Reach, meaning cross-platform and cross-screen code portability, open source licensing and a large developer community.

IJ:Your research and other reports cite “monetization” as an area where the Web needs to improve. What are some of your key monetization findings?

MK:One interesting insight relates to the percentage of developers above the “app poverty line” of 500 USD per app per month. It’s actually the minority of developers that are over this line. If you take the median revenues from respondents per platform, it is interesting to note that iOS has the largest number of developers above the “app poverty line”, followed by HTML5.

DM:I would also note that the median revenue for HTML5 app developers is quite high compared to other platforms. This suggests that contract work in large enterprises is lucrative.

MK:Also, over the past 2 to 3 surveys, we’ve seen changes in which revenue model developers prefer. The in-app purchase and freemium models have gained ground. Pay-per-download and in-app advertising have remained mostly the same. These two ways to monetize apps are the most popular models but not the most lucrative. If we ignore contract work and ecommerce, in-app purchases have a median revenue of $425 per app, per month while the figure is $150 for pay-per-download and in-app advertising. However, looking at median revenues across all revenue models, we see that it’s contract development and e-commerce that generate the highest revenues.

IJ:In March, W3C is organizing a Web Payments Workshopto discuss virtual wallets, secure elements, and so on. What would you tell the attendees about improving monetization on the Web for app developers?

DM:The Web needs a large-scale app store; Mozilla is trying to do this, for example.

IJ:Please tell me why the Web is not yet home to many app stores. In your survey you said, “HTML5 is still far off from being an app ecosystem as it lacks distribution.” Isn’t the Web a tremendous distribution platform? What’s missing?

DM:There are five cornerstones in an app ecosystem: technology, developers, monetisation, distribution and discovery. The Web solves the discovery problem, and does it better than native app stores thanks to URIs and search engines. (Although, the Web was initially made for documents, not apps, and there’s a lot more JavaScript these days.) What is missing is monetization. Payments should be at least as easy as they are on Android/iOS. And on the technology front, you need to standardize the packaging format for “out-of-browser” apps. Right now, vendors (Mozilla, Microsoft, Samsung, Google, etc.) use their own proprietary format, which leads to further HTML5 fragmentation.

IJ:In what other areas do we need to improve the Open Web Platform?

DM:What’s missing —which we know from other surveys— is performance, APIs, and integrated tools.

DM:On APIs: HTML5 is missing a lot of APIs available in native SDKs and there are use cases where the Web is simply inadequate. Tools like PhoneGap are important for filling the gap. And the good news is that PhoneGap follows W3C standards where possible, and gets revised every time an API becomes standard. HTML5 needs to innovate and lead the API race, by embracing new areas of developer interest such as the Internet of Things (IoT).

IJ:And tools?

DM:The HTML5 toolchain is broken. Developers write code on vi or Sublime and debug in the browser. Each browser has its own debugging environment. And even though they generally look alike it’s the tiny differences that lead to death by paper cut. Developers tell us they prefer Chrome and Firefox tools, but also that they are complex for some activities such as for memory profiling. Developers like Yahoo’s YSlow because it is easy to use. So, yes, there are HTML5 tools, but they may not be easy enough to use. In How can HTML5 compete with Native?we recommend a unified API for development tools to connect with browsers for debugging. We claim innovation would fuel competition and produce the HTML5 tools developers much need.

MK:There’s a related 2012 post on what the HTML5 ecosystem needs ( Mozilla Boot2Gecko: can the new HTML5 champion succeed where webOS failed?).

IJ:So the big message is “we need to look at the ecosystem as a whole”?

DM:Apple and Google are working hard to maintain their dominance. They have created a whole ecosystem, not just a technology stack. To change the current duopoly you have to convince developers and OEM manufacturers. You have to bring together a complete ecosystem recipe: technology, developers, monetization (e.g., micropayments, ad networks), distribution, and discovery.

DM:You need the full set of ingredients for the Web. A Consortium of stakeholders could potentially create them. Single players will have a hard time today challenging the duopoly. HTML5 needs to grow into a full platform. It needs a champion.

MK:Or, you erode some control points. For example, Kindle devices are inexpensive; Amazon doesn’t make money from device sales, they care about content consumption. That’s how Amazon inserted itself into the Android ecosystem, by eroding the app discovery, monetization and distribution control points.

IJ:I read in the survey that HTML5 mindshare is stronger in some parts of the world. To what do you attribute this?

DM:Android and iOS devices are less available or more expensive, so that makes HTML5 more popular. But this is changing, and Android is taking the lead.

MK:Note that regional production and regional consumption are different. Apps can be produced in any part of the world for any market. But in South America, a good percentage of app sales also happen outside regional borders. The ecosystem is more global than regional.

DM:HTML5 is established in some regions. I believe it could maintain that lead in some places.

IJ:Your survey focuses on smartphones and tablets. Is there app momentum on other devices?

MK:The survey shows that, despite the buzz, only a small percentage of developers are writing apps for TVs, M2M devices, watches, and e-readers. This could change in the future. A lot of smart TVs have numerous apps, but the cross screen experience is not there yet. As we said a moment ago, the technology capabilities may be there, but it’s still a matter of pulling everything together (devices, store, etc). It’s important to create a unified experience to drive manufacturers and vendors into a complete ecosystem.

MK:Overall, the fact that HTML5 is the third platform despite shortcomings is very telling about the value of HTML5. We believe the future of HTML lies beyond the browser.

DM:Keep in mind that a few days ago Google announced the ability to create Android apps with HTML5, using Apache Cordova, the same technology that powers PhoneGap. That should say something for the future of HTML.

IJ:Do you mean you see browsers going away?

DM:No, definitely not. Browsers are here to stay. Pick any modern platform and you will see there’s a browser in it. Even the Wii game console has a browser.

IJ:Are in-browser apps going away?

DM:Again, no.

IJ:So if “the future of HTML lies beyond the browser,” do you mean that you see FirefoxOS, Tizen, etc. flourishing?

DM:Not necessarily. Firefox OS might flourish, even though it is picking up a fight against giants. Tizen has not even launched a device yet. It would not surprise me if the champion of HTML turned out to be Google or Microsoft. As we discussed, Google already allows the creation of Android apps with HTM5. And Microsoft seems to be heading in that direction with Windows Phone 8.1.

DM:HTML is a mature technology with a large developer community. It must continue to grow in the way we’ve described (more capability, better performance, more complete ecosystem) and one of the ways it will grow is through out-of-browser tools like PhoneGap. Tools will play a key role in making HTML competitive with native SDKs.

IJ:Thank you both for your time!

To readers: I also recommend a slide deck with key findings of the Vision Mobile report. as well as W3C’s own Standards for Web Applications on Mobile: current state and roadmap.

The MultilingualWeb-LTWorking Group has been closed, since it successfully completed the work in its charter.

We thank the co-chairs, the editors, implementers and the Working Group for achieving the goal to publish Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) 2.0as a W3C Recommendation, and for doing so ahead of the original schedule.

Work on enlarging the community around ITS, gathering feedback and requirements for future work will now continue in the ITS Interest Group.

This is the 31 January – 7 February 2014edition of a “weekly digest of W3C news and trends” that I prepare for the W3C Membership and public-w3c-digest mailing list (publicly archived). This digest aggregates information about W3C and W3C technology from online media —a snapshot of how W3C and its work is perceived in online media.

W3C and HTML5 buzz in Twitter

em>[What was tweeted frequently, or caught my attention.

Most recentfirst (popularity is flagged with a figure —number of times the same URIs or tweet was quoted/RTed.)]

My pick, a couple tweets in the wake of Microsoft naming CEO Satya Nadella Monday:

Net Neutrality & Open Web

W3C in the Press (or blogs)

5 articles this week.

The LD4LT (Linked Data for Language Technology) Workshop will be held on 21 March, in Athens, Greece, aligned with the European Data Forum 2014 . See the agenda.

The workshop is a free community event – there is no admission fee for participants, but registration is required.

You are encouraged to provide a title for a position statement in your registration form. This is a simple, short statement that summarizes your ideas / technologies / use cases related to Linked Data and Language Technology.

The meeting is supported by the LIDER project, the MultilingualWeb community , the NLP2RDF project , the Working Group for Open Data in Linguistics as well as the DBpedia Project.

As input to the discussion and the work of the LD4LT group, you may also want to fill in the first LIDER survey.

The Internationalization Working Group has published a First Public Working Draft of Encoding.

While encodings have been defined to some extent, implementations have not always implemented them in the same way, have not always used the same labels, and often differ in dealing with undefined and former proprietary areas of encodings. This specification attempts to fill those gaps so that new implementations do not have to reverse engineer encoding implementations of the market leaders and existing implementations can converge.

This is a snapshot of the Encoding Living Standard, as of the date shown on the title page. No changes have been made in the body of the W3C draft other than to align with W3C house styles. The primary reason that W3C is publishing this document is so that HTML5 and other specifications may normatively refer to a stable W3C Recommendation.

Events Header link

  • 2014-05-19 (19 MAY) 2014-05-21 (21 MAY)

    WebRTC Working Group Meeting

    Washington DC, USA


  • 2014-06-25 (25 JUN) 2014-06-26 (26 JUN)

    Workshop on the Web of Things

    Berlin, Germany

    Hosted by Siemens

    Participants in this workshop will examine the potential for open standards as a basis for services, either between devices, at the network edge, e.g. in home hubs, or in the cloud. They will discuss the use of web protocols and scripting languages for implementing services, the need for APIs for implementing drivers for specific IoT technologies, a shared approach to describing services as a basis for interoperability, and the underlying use of HTTP/COAP, Web Sockets, and EXI/JSON for RESTful services.

See full list of W3C Events.