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This is the Preamble to the document. See the DeviceDescriptionStructures overview.


Developing Web content for mobile devices is more challenging than developing for the desktop Web. Compared to desktop Web clients, mobile Web devices come in a much wider range of shapes, sizes and capabilities. The mobile Web developer relies upon accurate device descriptions in order to dynamically adapt content to suit the client.

Furthermore, there are different situations where it is needed to group different kind of devices to create categories, families, hierarchies or clusters of devices. There are in the market different propietary solutions for structuring devices, that rely on propietary mechanisms, which makes it hard to portate different groupings and device structures between different device description solutions.

The MWI-DDWG is charterted to the simplification and standardization of issues around device description for content adaptation. As a result it is needed to define standard and portable mechanisms for describing device structures and groupings. This Note is devoted to different technical approaches for solving those issues. Additionally, this Note defines an standard API that can be used in the development of applications that exploit device structure information for adaptation or other purposes.

This Note should be read in conjunction with:

  • the Delivery Context Ontology [DDWG-Ontology] document.
  • the DDR-API W3C Recommendation

Status of this Document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at

Publication as a Working Draft does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress.

This document is a First Public Working Draft and has been produced as part of the W3C Mobile Web Initiative, Device Description Working Group [DDWG], following the procedures set out for the W3C Process. The authors of this document are members of the W3C Mobile Web Initiative, Device Description Working Group ( members only ). Feedback can be directed to the DDWG Public Mailing List, which is also archived.

The Device Description Working Group does not intend this document to become a W3C Recommendation. Therefore the document has no associated W3C Patent Policy licensing obligations.