Mobile AJAX Workshop Position Paper by Ikivo

Ikivo is a mobile solution company offering a broad set of products for creation of rich media applications on the mobile market. The product portfolio addresses three different segments within the area: Authoring tools for application creation, clients for application execution and end user applications.

The portfolio of end user applications consists of Interactive Mobile TV, On Device Portals and Mobile Music applications. Appealing look and feel is a major driving requirement in these applications. The user is looking for responsiveness in the application and concurrently running animations and videos that are not interrupted by page loading. Using AJAX is a major contributor to fulfilling these requirements, traditional techniques would not give a satisfactory result since animations on the page would not run smoothly during loading pages.

Ikivo has focused on solutions based on open standards and uses XML as one the core technologies. XML in conjunction with DOM provides a well integrated application infrastructure. The main focus by Ikivo has hitherto been on SVG Tiny and its subsetted DOM interface. SVG Tiny offers advanced graphical feature suitable for creating good looking graphical interfaces, which also is the main target for the end user applications.

With the gained experience Ikivo foresees that AJAX techniques will be used in most mobile applications released by the company in the near future and it is believed that this will also be the path forward taken by other actors in the market of mobile web applications. To be successful as a technology the interoperability issue is a key factor. The mobile market consists of heterogeneous platforms and the need for well defined and accessible standards is essential. With the standards available today it is possible to create basic applications, but extensions in the scripting interface allowing access to more functionality on the device is highly desirable. Extending the standard based interfaces with proprietary extensions supplying additional functions has been used to prove a number of concepts. Merging these into a standard would open for a new class of standard based applications. These applications can be created in any XML-language supporting scripting and DOM: The right language to choose will depend on which language is dominant on the particular flora of devices the application is targeting. Possible languages in the future might be XHTML, CDF and SVG in conjunction with CSS.

Ikivo has experience from working in standard bodies for the mobile domain such as OMA and 3GPP and for the XML domain in W3C and has a strong interest in continuing developing the standards for mobile XML based applications. With the expected future development of mobile web applications a natural step is to work on extending the available standards with more functionality allowing creation of more advanced standard based AJAX applications.