Archives for: 2007

Friday, December 14th 2007

Permalink 23:45:47, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 10 Dec 2007

[Meeting Summary - 10 Dec 2007] Early start, Requirements and Vocabulary to be published, Call for API work, meeting schedule. No problems were reported with the early start time of the weekly call. [Requirements] Following an update to the Requirements document on the wiki, the group has resolved that the text of these wiki pages shall be recast in formal W3C style and published as soon as possible. The new document represents a high-level view of the DDR requirements, showing via use cases how these requirements are motivated. [Vocabulary] The most recent editor's draft of the Core Vocabulary, incorporating editor's notes, has been accepted by the group as a good initial publication and the group has resolved that it shall be published as soon as possible. [API work] With the work on the document publications decided, the group returns its focus to the development of the API. This work is currently being conducted via Java as a concrete design environment. To this end, sample code has been stored in public space within W3C, and this code is also being in an Open Source external environment. Members and observers will be encouraged to work with this code. Unfortunately, the group does not feel that the material is in a sufficiently stable state to justify publishing a formal document describing the work. Instead, the effort shall be directed towards technical development, with most of the work being conducted via the public mailing list. The next task in this work is to address the nature of the Property class. [Schedule] The last call of 2007 shall be Monday 17 December. The first call of 2008 shall be January 7. There is a publication deadline of 19 December, by which the group aims to have the Requirements and Vocabulary documents ready for publication. Attendees: Martin, Rotan, Matt, Dimitar, Rafa, Jose Cantera, Anders, Rodrigo, Nacho, Jo.
Rotan Hanrahan

Thursday, December 6th 2007

Permalink 09:54:30, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 3 Dec 2007

[DDWG Teleconference summary – 3 Dec 2007] Cross-referencing the ontology, populating the ontology, property names, XSD data types, Requirements, implementations, weekly calls [Cross-ref] The DDWG vocabulary needs to reference the UWA ontology for definitions of concepts and data types. However, a recent decision of the group was to refer to device information via "properties within aspects". This means that the mapping of DD properties to the ontology is no longer one-to-one. For example, a Vendor property can be applied to the hardware aspect (thus identifying the manufacturer) or to the browser aspect (thus identifying the origin of the software). The ontology has two different properties for these two vendor concepts. One approach to mapping DD items to corresponding items in the UWA ontology is to create a table that shows how the combination of DD properties and DD aspects map to the UWA ontology properties. It was proposed that this mapping could be part of the Vocabulary document. Three parts are identified: the DD properties, the aspects and the mapping to the ontology. Resolving these details could take some time, but meanwhile there is an initial draft of the vocabulary that is getting close to publication. It was agreed that this document should continue towards publication, with editor's notes to highlight areas of ongoing discussion. [Populating] It was noted that the UWA Ontology has information in it already, although it is understood that the intention is that the ontology will evolve based on the needs of respective vocabularies. The DD group needs to take care not to let the initial (experimental) information in the ontology control the evolution of the DD vocabulary. Instead, the group will continue to identify properties and aspects as it deems necessary to support content adaptation, and these will then be mapped to the ontology. If there are omissions in the ontology, these can be resolved in due course. [Names] A minor issue of the names of properties was raised. With the introduction of aspects, it is important not to have aspects appearing in the property names, For example, browserVersion would not be a good DD property name because it includes the browser aspect in its name. One example that occurred in early drafts was screenColorDepth. This was recently changed to displayColorDepth. The intention here was to replace the mention of the screen aspect with a term to describe how colour depth is transmitted as output. However, the word "display" could be seen as synonymous with "screen" so this might need to be reconsidered. [XSD] In early drafts of the vocabulary, data types were mentioned as String, Boolean, Integer etc. The group resolved that these data types should be formalised by reference to the XML Schema Data types (XSD). [Requirements] A recent update of the requirements document on the wiki was noted, and commended. Members will review the text, with the intention of agreeing to publish. The new version uses use cases to explain the motivations behind certain DDR characteristics. [Implementations] It was noted that there is growing Open Source activity in support of the DDR API. It is expected that during 2008 there will be free, commercial and Open Source implementations of the API. Announcements of these have been made on the public mailing list. [Weekly call] With some participants attending the weekly call very late at night in their time zone, it was resolved to move the call time forward an hour from this point onwards. Attendees: Rotan, Jo, Dimitar, JongPil, Rafa, Matt, Pontus, Jose Cantera, Martin, Rodrigo.
Rotan Hanrahan

Sunday, November 25th 2007

Permalink 15:07:57, Categories: Meeting Summaries

DDWG F2F summary published

A summary of the November DDWG Face-to-Face meeting was reported recently on the public mailing list: There was considerable progress during the meeting, and some drafts of the DDR API interface were developed. Publications are expected soon. Read the report for more details.
Rotan Hanrahan

Friday, November 2nd 2007

Permalink 10:51:07, Categories: News

New DDWG publications

It has just been announced on the DDWG public mailing list that revisions of two of the group's documents have been published: The first versions of these documents appeared about two years ago. The new updates fill in the gaps. If you are wondering why the DDWG is doing what it is doing, these documents will help you understand.
Rotan Hanrahan

Wednesday, October 24th 2007

Permalink 22:09:47, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 22 Oct 2007

[Meeting summary - 22 October 2007] End of properties, Korea agreed, Boston scheduling, Publications. [Properties] The wiki now reflects the state of the group regarding decisions about properties that are to be part of the Core Vocabulary. It was decided that next Monday would be the end of this round of deliberations on the vocabulary, with all future discussions to take place from January. This will give space to the group to concentrate on the API. One of the issues not yet resolved is the significance of device "brand" and "model". As the association of hardware/software to brand/model is not one-to-one, is unpredictable and is not generally not essential for real time adaptation, it's value as a core property is questionable. However, for non-realtime authoring phase use, the brand/model is very useful. It was suggested that perhaps the group's work on structures could provide a mechanism for associating brand/model information with entries in a repository. This remains an open issue. [Korea] Following a group vote, a decision was reached to accept the invitation to hold a face-to-face meeting in Korea next March. [Boston] An ongoing poll reveals that there will be several active DDWG participants at the Boston face-to-face in November, but (not surprisingly) several are also engaged in work with other W3C groups during that week. The group chairs will coordinate their respective agenda to make optimal use of member availability. [Publications] The two legacy documents are on track for publication. A draft of the Core Vocabulary document will be attempted during the F2F. With the discussions on the vocabulary being parked from next Monday, there should be an opportunity now to concentrate on the API document. Meanwhile the group also hopes to close the discussion on the outstanding high-level Requirements document during the F2F. [DOM bindings] A recent (Oct 17) draft document from the CSS Working Group includes several items of interest regarding the use of IDL for specifications involving DOMs. Some of this information can inform the DDWG's work on drafting an API for the DDR. An issue has been raised to ensure that members of the group become familiar with the document. [Admin] The group's internal tracker now has the means to flag items for review. There has also been some progress on the merger of the group wiki to a new platform. Attendees: Anders, Andrea, Bryan, Dimitar, Jo, Matt, Martin, Mike, Rafa, Rotan.
Rotan Hanrahan

Thursday, October 18th 2007

Permalink 15:54:45, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 15 October 2007

[Meeting Summary - 15 Oct 2007] Vocabulary resolutions, Korea F2F. [Vocab] This week’s conference call was energetic and productive. The main topic on the agenda was to make decisions on the many proposed core vocabulary properties, taking into account the many responses and other comments received to date. Over the past week, the group had been voting to identify those properties that were core, not core and deserving of further debate. It was assumed that those who had engaged in the voting had strong opinions to express. The first property discussed related to H.264 (Baseline Profile Level 1.0). This deals with streaming video rates. It was felt that this property was outside of the scope of a core vocabulary that was focussed only on the essential properties for adapting Web content for mobile delivery contexts. The group intends to respond to the proposal by indicating how domain specific, custom and advanced vocabularies can be created; and the role of the UWA ontology in this regard. It was resolved that H.264 is not part of the core vocabulary. The next property was the DOM Level of the browser. It was felt that the DOM Level did not have a strong bearing on the adaptation of content. Knowing the DOM Level might be useful in adapting scripts that access the DOM. In the same vein, the group considered the XMLHTTPRequest support of the browser, and again this was felt to be a script-oriented property. Both of these properties would be considered core to an adaptation process for mobile Ajax, but not for a simple adaptation process that is dealing with simple Web content. It was decided that these properties would be communicated to the OpenAjax Alliance, with a view to encouraging them to create a vocabulary for adaptation of Ajax, following the example of DDWG. Support for ECMAScript (or JavaScript) was also discussed. It was felt that knowing that a browser supports scripting is beneficial for more than just Ajax applications. It was therefore resolved that this property should be in the core vocabulary, but there would still need to be further discussion on whether it should represent ECMAScript and/or JavaScript. The proposed property of Characters Per Line was debated. It was suggested that this property would be useful for pagination. However, it was also seen as a throwback to the old days of WML content, where fonts were very simple and the character density was an important property. Today, with variable fonts and more complex layouts, character density is less precise. In the absence of exact font information, and approximation based on screen resolution would probably suffice. To do things like sophisticated line wrapping, you would need much more detailed information about the fonts, which the group agreed would go far beyond a simple adaptation. For simple adaptation, the screen width would be a sufficient means to approximate the character density and thus the Characters Per Line property was resolved to be non-core. It was pointed out that no matter what the DDWG decides will be in the core, there will be people who will say some properties are missing. The best that the group can achieve is a basic vocabulary that will support simple content adaptation, and be sufficient to demonstrate the operation of the DDR API. This needs to be explained in the Vocabulary document. The group then turned its focus on some properties that all agreed were core: the dimensions of the screen. The width and height were seen by everyone as essential for content adaptation. While previous proposed properties were rejected from the core, these two properties were immediately resolved to be core properties. With this practice on the decision process, the group agreed to take the discussion to the electronic forum, where the remaining candidate properties would be debated, and some further resolutions taken. This debate, and the conclusions, would be visible on the public mailing list and the wiki. [Korea] Finally the group acknowledged an invitation to hold a face-to-face meeting in Korea in 2008. The group will send a formal response after polling the members. Attendees: Matt, Andrea, Pontus, José, Jo, Rotan, Martin, Dimitar, Kevin, Jongpil, Bryan, Nacho
Rotan Hanrahan

Thursday, October 11th 2007

Permalink 11:26:46, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 8 October 2007

[Meeting summary – 8 Oct 2007] Vocabulary contributions, Screen orientation, Publications, Documents status. After a pause in the teleconference schedule, DDWG resumes its regular weekly meetings. [Contributions] Many new vocabulary properties were proposed from the MyMobileWeb project. Some of the project’s properties come from WURFL and some are specific to the project. A number of the properties were considered to be core to the MyMobileWeb project and have been submitted for consideration in the DDR Core Vocabulary. Some of the submitted properties deal with simple features, while others deal with bugs and limitations. The UWA ontology can represent these properties. It is expected that any of the recent submissions that are not eventually made part of the DDR Core Vocabulary will still be represented in the UWA ontology. One submitted property was Preferred Image Format. It was pointed out that the preferred format might also depend on what was in the image itself (a face, or a diagram, or text) and not just on the rendering ability of the device. This is an example where the application context can also influence adaptation. In general, accessing the delivery context is more than just accessing the static properties that would be stored in a DDR. A generic delivery context API is outside the scope for the DDWG, but is likely to feature in any particular adaptation implementations. In some contexts, the value of certain properties can be known a priori, and therefore can be recorded in a repository. Some properties vary from context to context, but remain static in any particular context. Some properties cannot be known in advance, but may have a default value that can be overridden when the actual value is discovered. Access to all these properties cannot be satisfied by the DDW API, whose scope is for those properties whose value can be known in advance. [Screen orientation] On a related topic, the OMA has asked for feedback on developments regarding the access to screen orientation information. This is a property that for some contexts is static, while for other contexts it is dynamic. The DDWG will provide some feedback to the OMA on this matter, particularly on how the orientation information is handled in dynamic contexts. [Publications] The group has resolved to publish the final versions of the Landscape and Ecosystem documents, with congratulations to the editors (past and present) and contributors. Publication is expected before the end of the month. [Vocabulary document] The wiki pages of the vocabulary have been updated to include all (except today’s) recent submissions. The group must now evaluate and decide upon the properties, which are considered to be core, and which are not. All will be forwarded to the UWA for consideration in the ontology. The names of the properties have not yet been decided. An attempt will be made to ensure that there is some agreement on naming between the vocabulary and the ontology, but such agreement is not essential. Where there is the possibility of confusion, or where unnecessary complexity can be avoided, appropriate alternative names may be used. For example, the issue of “supported features” has been discussed recently and the group decided that it makes more sense to record “features that are claimed to be supported” rather than “features that are fully 100% verified to be supported”, given that the latter would probably be empty in many real-world cases. However, for the DDR Core Vocabulary it may make more sense to use the name “supports”, while mapping it to the ontology definition for “claims support for”. The group will commence its deliberations on the recent vocabulary submissions immediately. [API document] There was an editors call about two weeks ago, but no substantial progress since then. The editors are committed to making progress as much as possible, and will aim to have publishable material this month. Present: José, Rotan, Matt, Martin, Anders, Bryan, Jo, Pontus, Andrea, Rodrigo, Jongpil, Nacho
Rotan Hanrahan

Tuesday, October 2nd 2007

Permalink 02:40:08, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Summary of Joint Call (DDWG+UWA) - 24 September 2007

[DDWG and UWAWG Joint Meeting Summary – 24 September 2007] The DDWG and UWAWG held a one hour joint call to discuss matters of mutual concern. In particular, issues relating to the UWA ontology and its relationship to the planned DDR Core Vocabulary were discussed. What follows is representative of that discussion. The DDWG plans not only to create a vocabulary of device properties, whose semantics will be captured in the UWA ontology, but also to create an API with which the value of such properties can be obtained. Developers are generally expected to require simple data types and uncomplicated methods. When retrieving information from the repository, simple Boolean results will suffice. Questions like “Does the current device support GIF images?” will be asked. It is possible that such questions may be followed by more in-depth questions, such as “Does the device’s support for GIF include Animated GIF?” [Note: for much of the discussion, the participants used "supported image formats" as a key example, while acknowledging that the issues go much further than images.] It may seem from the point of view of the API that these properties are all Boolean in nature, that the data to answer such questions is stored as Booleans and that the ontology represents concepts such as “support for an image format” as Booleans. However, this is not the case. From the point of view of the ontology, support for one or more image formats is best represented as an enumeration, whose permitted members may extend as new image formats (or sub-formats or classifications) are identified. With this approach, the ontology does not need to be rewritten to accommodate new image formats. New image formats may occur because a vocabulary may be revised to encompass more than its predecessor. New image formats can also occur as a result of advances in image technology, which prompts the revision of the vocabulary. The way in which the vocabulary and the ontology represent properties (such as supported image formats) does not determine how the corresponding data is stored in a repository. Only the mapping between the concepts represented in the ontology and the values represented in the vocabulary are important. It was agreed that this mapping should form part of the vocabulary definition. There may also be metadata associated with vocabulary items. Once again using supported image formats as an example, a device may support several image formats but in certain contexts it is preferable to use one format over another. Such preferences may be represented in many ways. The example of HTTP “q values” was mentioned. An ordered list is another possibility. If this metadata is represented in the ontology in a particular manner, it is possible that the API will represent the same information in a different manner. It is a role of the vocabulary definition to ensure that there is a mapping between the two. This assumes, of course, that the API designers choose to expose such metadata via the API. While it is possible, and likely, that DDR API will have a simplified view of the data described in the UWA ontology, there is no requirement that the DDR API can also provide a view that is directly mapped to the ontology. For example, if the API may represent “support for feature X” as a Boolean method while the ontology uses enumerations for the same data, then it is not necessary that the API also provide the means to access this data as an enumeration. Nevertheless, there are use cases where accessing the data in the manner represented by the ontology is preferable. The DDR API is intended to support the adaptation of Web content, but this may happen at run time and/or at design time. Boolean methods are likely to be preferable for run time use, but there are design time questions that will require enumerations. For example: “What image formats are supported by this (category of) device?” It will up to the DDWG to determine how complete such methods will be in the core API. It is unlikely that the DDWG will attempt to create an API of extreme complexity and sophistication with respect to accessing ontologies. Other groups and existing technologies are better placed to provide these solutions. Assuming enumerations of values will be found in the ontology, the source of the permitted members of such enumerations must be determined. Using the familiar image formats example, it was pointed out that the DDWG may decide that “GIF” is a sufficient value to represent support for all variants of the GIF format. However, another group that is also contributing to the UWA ontology may, for its own reasons, decide that it needs “GIF” and “GIFa” to distinguish the static and animated variants. This would introduce a conflict in the semantics of “GIF”, and the ontology cannot permit such conflicts. The participants discussed ways to resolve this. The most obvious solution is that the ontology does not capture specific values, and instead relies on these being defined externally. It is only necessary that the ontology know the “type” associated with these values, and that an implementation can uniquely and unambiguously reference these typed values. URIs were designed for such a purpose. Thus the ontology could represent supported image formats for a device as an enumeration of URIs where each URI identifies a typed value. The issue of the definition of “GIF” is therefore resolved, because the two groups would use different URIs for “GIF”. The DDWG could define a namespace for the properties in the core vocabulary, and apply this namespace to “GIF” to distinguish it from a similarly named “GIF” belonging to a different vocabulary in a different namespace. While this sounds like a reasonable resolution to the problem, the participants were cautioned not to devise a solution that that could lead to the creation of many namespaces. Sticking to one is preferred, such as a common namespace for MIME types. The DDWG expects that the vocabulary will reference the ontology for the semantics of the data held in the repository. However, it is expected that both the vocabulary and the ontology will evolve over time. Different versions of each will be released as new requirements are addressed. This leads to an issue of versioning. There was a short discussion on the manner in which a particular version of the vocabulary would reference a particular version of the ontology, but it was inconclusive. To make the work more concrete, the participants were asked to consider some examples of how the DDR API would deal with the Boolean method of determining support for a feature. It is assumed that a Delivery Context Key has already been obtained as a result of device recognition. Here are the three method formats that were suggested to answer the query: “Does the current device support GIF?” supportsGIF(thisDC) supports(thisDC, “cv:claimsGIFSupport”) supports(thisDC, “cv:claimsImageFormatSupport”, “cvif:GIF”) The three proposals were discussed briefly. The first was considered to be inflexible, because new image formats would require new method names to be created, and therefore a new API to be drafted. The second is more extensible, but the third is even more extensible. In order to learn in a practical way if the third format is appropriate for the DDR API, the DDWG members present resolved to incorporate this into the next published draft of the API. Feedback will help refine this approach and make progress. The hour allocated to the meeting rapidly expired and the participants closed the meeting at this point. The next opportunity for a joint meeting will be in November. Attendees: Andrea, Bryan, Jo, Jose, Kevin, Martin, Matt, Mike, Rhys, Rotan, Steph, Rafa, Dave
Rotan Hanrahan

Thursday, September 20th 2007

Permalink 09:40:25, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting summary - 17 Sept 2007

[Meeting summary - 17 Sept 2007] Supports vs Claims, Booleans vs Enumerations. Today's entire teleconference was dedicated to issues 20 and 21 on the issues list. Issue 20 is about the use of simple Boolean representations, in contrast to structured representations such as sets. The usual example is the representation of support for image formats. Should one have a separate Boolean property for each format (supportsGIF, supportsJPEG, etc) or should one have a set (["GIF","JPEG",...]) that then needs to be scanned to see if your specific format is supported? Meanwhile, issue 21 deals with the meaning of these Boolean values. Does "Supports XHTML" mean that the entire XHTML specification is supported 100% by the browser? If so, then unfortunately (almost) all browsers will have a FALSE value. The alternative interpretation of the property is that this is what is *claimed* to be supported, and any deviations from the claim (where true) will have to be investigated via more refined queries to the repository. Andrea supplied some background to the WURFL experience in this area: "In WURFL we found that there were many different interpretations of tags so members tried to summarise this. XML was chosen to communicate the information because of widespread support, and we went with very simple property names, and we went with Boolean values because of ease of management." Developers demonstrated a preference to work with simple Booleans, and therefore this is an important consideration for the design of the DDR API. Rotan proposed that the same degree of simplicity could be provided via the API, while still permitting the ontology to represent unbounded properties as sets/enumerations. In effect, the API can hide the nature of the ontology for those developers who prefer to keep things simple. Similarly, in cases where the entire set of values is required, the API can provide this too. Assuming the API can provide the desired Boolean values, how should developers treat these values? In practice, if a value of TRUE indicates support for a feature, it does not necessarily mean that the support is complete (e.g. GIF but not animated GIF, XHTML tables but not nested tables). Furthermore, as Bryan noted, in cases where there are alternative supported formats, the Boolean values do not indicate which of the supported formats are preferred. This idea is already present in HTTP's "q values". It may be possible to answer a question about feature support by supplying a list ordered according to preference. As a further refinement of the idea, a Boolean value could be accompanied by metadata to indicate that more information is available. For example, support for XHTML may be indicated as TRUE, but a refined query may reveal that certain XTHML features are not (properly) supported. This was described as the "yes, but" approach. Jo pointed out that if we accept the idea of representing properties as members of enumerations, we should consider the possibility that these enumerations may be extended independently by different groups. For example, one group (the DDR Core Vocab team) may decide that "GIF" will represent support for any GIF format, whereas another group may decide that "GIF" means single-frame images while "GIFa" means multi-frame (animated) images. The conflicting semantics of "GIF" means that these cannot be resolved in the same ontology, unless something like namespacing is employed. It was generally agreed that extensibility is desirable, as is simplicity. Where individual vocabularies decide to create their own values, it should be easy to do so, subsequently easy to create mappings between values known to the vocabulary and corresponding values in the ontology, and finally this extensibility should not negatively impact other groups who employ the common ontology. The group decided that this debate was a good candidate for the agenda of the joint teleconference scheduled for next week. Attendees: Matt Womer (W3C) Martin Jones (Volantis) Andrea Trasatti (dotMobi) Jongpil Yi (Samsung) Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Jose Manuel Cantera Fonseca (Telefonica) Anders Ekstrand (Drutt) Bryan Sullivan (AT&T) Rafael Casero (SATEC) Jo Rabin (dotMobi) Pontus Carlsson (Drutt) Rodrigo Garcia Acevedo (CTIC)
Rotan Hanrahan

Monday, September 17th 2007

Permalink 19:47:48, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 10 Sept 2007

[Meeting summary - 10 Sept 2007] DD/UWA meeting, Next F2F, Deadline for contributions, Resolved issues [DD/UWA] Following the recent decision to host a joint meeting on the 24th with the UWA Working Group, the DD participants considered a number of topics of mutual concern to include in the agenda. This includes clarifying responsibility for the ontology, the means by which vocabularies reference the ontology, and the means by which the ontology is populated. [F2F] The next face-to-face meeting of the DDWG will take place in November in Boston, during the week in which many other W3C groups will gather for the Technical Plenary. The DDWG will take this opportunity to share information with the other groups. The agenda for the meeting will be drafted over the coming weeks. [Deadline] The properties that have been contributed to the vocabulary are now appearing on the DDWG wiki. A deadline of approximately two weeks will be established for public comments. [Resolutions] The following resolutions were made: - ISSUE-1 (the use of naming conventions in the vocabulary) has been concluded with the agreement at the London F2F that each property will have only one normative name, and all others are merely informative. - ISSUE-2 (keeping the OMA informed of DDWG progress) is concluded because two members of DDWG are now taking the role of information conduit to the OMA. - ISSUE-7 (managing aliases in the ontology) is closed because we have agreed that a property can have only one normative name. All others are merely informative. - ISSUE-9 (identifiers for HW and SW and possibly other aspects) is closed because the group has agreed that the context key should be an opaque object whose structure is therefore unknown, and undiscoverable. Attendees: Matt Womer (W3C) Rodrigo Garcia (CTIC) Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Dimitar Denev (Fraunhofer) Kevin Smith (Vodafone) Jose Manuel Cantera Fonseca (Telefonica) Anders Ekstrand (Drutt) Bryan Sullivan (AT&T) Jo Rabin (dotMobi) Andrea Trasatti (dotMobi) Jongpil Yi (Samsung) Pontus Carlsson (Drutt)
Rotan Hanrahan

Sunday, September 16th 2007

Permalink 19:10:38, Categories: News

DDWG blog activity

It has been an interesting time on the DDWG blog. As you know, this is the blog where regular updates on ongoing DDWG work. It is available to anyone who would prefer not to be signed up to the public mailing list. Of course, you can always view the various archives to see what has transpired, or visit the wiki to see some of the latest technical work. So why has it been interesting on the blog? Mainly because it has attracted some attention. Unfortunately, not the right kind of attention. The blog is generally open to comments, but to date the only substantial comments to be received have come via the tried-and-trusted public mailing list. The blog comments, almost 100% of them, are spam. The DDWG blog is monitored and moderated, so none of this spam is getting through to our readers. We may have to disable commenting in light of the rise in spam, but rest assured that the public mailing list will remain available. Meanwhile, further updates on recent meetings are on their way.
Rotan Hanrahan

Thursday, August 30th 2007

Permalink 00:08:19, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting summary - 27 August 2007

[Meeting summary - 27 Aug 2007] Scribing. Acknowledging contributions. API draft. Other publications. UWA/DD call. Wiki migration. [Scribing] For most participants, this is the end of the vacation season so work is getting back on track. Meeting attendance will increase and we will need more people to keep minutes. This is an important task as the meeting records enable the group to produce summaries for public consumption (including this summary). We also expect to see more comments from meetings appearing on the public lists. A new scribe rota will be in place for next week's call. [Acknowledgements] For the DDR API document, a specification that is on the W3C's Recommendation track, it is proposed that notable contributions to the work will be acknowledged in the published document, in addition to the customary summary of participants. We hope that the list of notable contributions will be big, as more group members actively participate. [API draft] The API document has been evolving in recent weeks in preparation for its first formal publication at the end of September. The chair noted that the TOC was now quite extensive, though perhaps an extra section on the deployment scenario would be useful (to explain the role and use of the context key). All of the group participants are being encouraged to contribute to the document. Comments will appear on the public list. [Other publications] The legacy documents (Landscape and Ecosystem) are being processed for publication. The few remained incomplete subsections, which have not attracted any comments, shall be removed as being unnecessary. What remains will form the final version of these documents. [UWA/DD] It is hoped that a joint call between DDWG and UWA can be arranged for some time in September to discuss common matters relating to the ontology. [Wiki] In an attempt to improve the presentation of the DDWG wiki, an experiment is underway to migrate the current pages to an alternative platform, while retaining the original URLs (as far as is technically possible). If successful, this might also be adopted by other groups. Attendees: Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Mike Smith (W3C) Matt Womer (W3C) Rodrigo Garcia (CTIC) Anders Ekstrand (Drutt) Pontus Carlsson (Drutt) Rafael Casero Escamilla (SATEC)
Rotan Hanrahan

Monday, August 13th 2007

Permalink 17:26:56, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 6 August 2007

[Meeting Summary - 6 August 2007] API spec activity. CC/PP to be referenced. Publications on track. Joint meeting with UWA proposed. [API] Despite August being vacation month for many participants, the DD group will have one or two people actively working on the API document. The editors' drafts will continue to be visible to the public during the editing phase. A first version has already been released. The document will include informative references to related technologies/activities such as CC/PP and the OMA DPE. (Public contribution to the work of the editors is always welcome.) The context key was mentioned again, in light of recent discussions. The opaqueness of the key was reaffirmed, even to the point of not suggesting an underlying data type. This will be discussed in the API document. [Publications] Some technical work is ongoing to extract the material from the wiki in order to generate the final versions of the legacy documents to be published soon. As a byproduct of this work, the means of porting the wiki contents to a new wiki platform are at an advanced stage. Work on this task will resume in two weeks. [DD/UWA] It was suggested at a recent UWA meeting that a joint call with the DDWG would be useful. This will be investigated at the end of August with a view to an early September call. Furthermore, as there is no scheduling overlap for meetings in November, the possibility of a face-to-face meeting with UWA will also be investigated. The next two regular group meetings have been postponed. The regular weekly slot has been made available to the editors of the API during this time. Attendees: José Manuel Cantera Fonseca [Telefonica] Pontus Carlsson [Drutt] Rotan Hanrahan [MobileAware] Martin Jones [Volantis] Matt Womer [W3C] Bryan Sullivan [AT&T] Andrea Trasatti [dotMobi]
Matt Womer

Saturday, August 4th 2007

Permalink 09:39:04, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 30 July 2007

[Meeting Summary - 30 July 2007] F2F Review. Confirmed publications. Outstanding issues re normative names. Renaming Requirements. Target languages. Opaque context key. Problem with ANY. XPath/JSON? [Review] This was the first conference call of the DDWG since the London face-to-face meeting. The group considered the summary that was intended for publication this week. It was time to review the decisions made, and issues uncovered, during that meeting. [Publications] Four new publications were noted. The first two will be the final publications of Landscape and Ecosystem. It is expected that this will occur sometime in September after the formatting and proofreading is complete. The first draft of the API specification will occur around the end of September. A new WG Note has been agreed, to cover the result of the research into the use of IDL. [Names] It has been agreed that the normative names for properties will be located within the UWA's ontology. However, there still remains the issue of named concepts in the DDWG vocabulary that might not be identified with a single property in the ontology. For example, the vocabulary might contain the concept of "supported animation" as a named item. This would identify the list of animated image formats supported by a device (GIF 89a, MP4, etc.). However, this is an aggregate derived from an analysis of the complete list of supported image formats. The vocabulary item does not therefore have a one-to-one mapping to the ontology, although it references the ontology "under the hood". The ontology is intended to be a normative specification, while the DDWG Core Vocabulary is being presented via WG Note. It is unclear what status would be given to names that are defined in the vocabulary but not in the ontology. [Rename] Given the change in focus of the Requirements document, it has been proposed that the group consider a new title that reflects the emphasis in this document: High-level Requirements for DDR implementations. In the meantime, the group will continue to use the generic "Requirements" title. [Targets] The group has agreed that the IDL will be designed with several target languages in mind, although in theory any programming language should be supported. The target languages are: WSDL (normative), Java (possibly normative), [Key] The context key is an opaque object that identifies sufficient information from the delivery context to enable a DDR instance to retrieve information about that context. A particular context key is likely to be a structured object, but the details of that structure are only known to a Discovery process and a corresponding DDR implementation. Context Keys should be unique, so that different delivery contexts will imply different Context Keys. The comparison of Context Keys is an operation that can only be performed by Discovery and/or DDR instances. It is necessary to represent the Context Key in the API. This will permit the key to pass from the Discovery process to the Repository as part of the request, in situations where these two are visible separately. [ANY] The group considered how a Context Key should be described. A generic object type should suffice, although it would be given a specific name. In IDL, the use of "ANY" is suggested. However, the group noted that there could be problems mapping ANY in a WSDL binding and therefore agreed to do some more investigation. [XPath/JSON] On the matter of representing a collection of devices (contexts) based on property values, the group acknowledged that both JSON and XPath are promising. The normative use of XPath in DISelect was noted, though it was also noted that no new expression language was proposed therein, and therefore the expressions would still be written in the established XPath format. JSON is another expression language that may find favour with developers, given its JavaScript roots. It was noted that the group should avoid creating a new expression language. Further investigation into the use of the XPath and JSON languages was recommended. Attendees: Cosmin Basca (DERI) José Manuel Cantera Fonseca (Telefónica) Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Martin Jones (Volantis) Rhys Lewis (Volantis) Kevin Smith (Vodafone) Mike Smith (W3C) Andrea Trasatti (dotMobi) Matt Womer (W3C)
Rotan Hanrahan

Wednesday, August 1st 2007

Permalink 11:56:00, Categories: News, Meeting Summaries

DDWG API for September

The DDWG recently posted a summary of its July Face-to-Face meeting in London. Among the highlights is a decision by the group to publish a first draft of the API by the end of September. It will require a lot of input to make this happen, so hopefully the Web community will come on board to help. There were several other developments during the meeting. Check out the summary for details. ---Rotan.
Rotan Hanrahan

Thursday, July 12th 2007

Permalink 14:28:59, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 9 July 2007

[Weekly conference call, 9 July 2007] F2F preparations. More vocab contributions. Wiki-to-doc. Working with OMA. Recording bugs and limitations in the vocabulary. Using DI docs. Requirements, conformance and assessments. Details follow. [F2F] The face-to-face meeting is next week in London. The agenda for the two day event is now complete, though the order of topics still needs final confirmation. [Vocab] Two more contributions to the DDR core vocabulary were received recently. These will now be transferred to the public wiki, and may be discussed on the dedicated mailing list. Andrea has agreed to do the wiki editing for these contributions. Meanwhile, the BPWG is currently discussing some potential contributions to the core vocabulary. DDWG looks forward to receiving these from BPWG. [Wiki] Some documents on the wiki will need to be transformed to XMLSpec in advance of formal publication. The technical challenge of achieving this will be investigated by some group members. [DDR/DPE] The relationship between the DDWG and the OMA DPE group was discussed. Both groups are working on technologies to enable solutions take advantage of device properties. DDWG is working primarily on access to "a priori" information, whereas DPE is working on "real time" information. (This is a loose approximation.) There is an opportunity to avoid unnecessary incompatibilities between the two technologies, and indeed there is already a forming agreement to consider a common ontology. DDWG awaits further information from DPE in this regard. Meanwhile, the scope of work of the two groups does not necessarily ensure a complete solution for contextually adaptive technologies, the respective charters do not make this a requirement, and the use cases for the respective specifications are unbounded (thanks to the imagination of "customers"). The best we might offer is an informal statement of intent: to work seamlessly together. This will be a topic of discussion at the face-to-face. [Properties] There was a comment recently regarding the specificity of properties. The example cited was "table support" in browsers. From practical experience, it is often not enough merely to assume that support for a particular markup language (that includes tables) is enough to determine that the browser supports tables. There are often limitations and bugs. These are important data for adaptation technologies. How should these data be represented in the DDR? Should there be a new property introduced for each limitation discovered? This topic will also be considered at the face-to-face. [DI] It was decided that in order to explain how the API would assist content adaptation, it would be good to make reference to the previous publications of the DIWG with respect to "DI Challenges" and "DI Techniques". Furthermore, the DISelect specification (originally from DIWG and now being managed by UWAWG (UbiWeb)) is designed to be extensible, so it was agreed that when the DDR API is complete, some effort should be made to extend DISelect to support the DDR API. This would provide a simple adaptive technology based purely on W3C specifications, that could be used in profiles with other markup languages. [Requirements] It was recently agreed between editors of Requirements and API that the description of "API Conformance Requirements" should be made part of the API document, and that the existing Requirements document should focus on "Assessment Criteria" for judging the quality (and expected behaviour) of a DDR instance. One of the assessment criteria would have to be that the DDR instance meets the conformance requirements listed in the API document. [Attendees] Rodrigo Garcia (CTIC) Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Martin Jones (Volantis) Rhys Lewis (Volantis) Jo Rabin (dotMobi) Mike Smith (W3C) Andrea Trasatti (dotMobi)
Rotan Hanrahan

Thursday, June 28th 2007

Permalink 06:58:46 pm, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 25 June 2007

[Weekly conference call, 25 June 2007] F2F well subscribed. TP topics. Normative names? Vocab contributions. Two docs to be published soon. Problem with tools for mapping IDL to languages. Details follow: [F2F] We expect 10+ members to attend the London F2F next July. An agenda is being determined this week. [TP Topics] The W3C is holding a Technical Plenary meeting in Boston in November and groups are being asked to consider topics for discussion. The harmonization of markup languages (XHTML-MP/Basic) is one possibility. Another is the (probable) false impression that having one markup language for all browsers is enough to ensure the success of the mobile Web. Other W3C groups need to be educated on the findings of DIWG/UWA, BPWG and DDWG in this regard. [Names] There was a proposed resolution put to the group that only the identifier names in the ontology would be normative. Such names could be used (as strings) in API calls to identify the properties being stored/requested. However, the ontology might contain alternatives that could be useful for convenience in various programming languages (e.g. a camel-case version, an underscore_separated version, etc.). However, it was noted that other vocabularies could operate concurrently with the DDR Core Vocabulary, and the group has yet to consider issues such as namespacing to avoid confusion between vocabularies. Would the name include a namespace? Would the namespace be a separate parameter? Is there an alternative to namespacing? It was decided that the group would keep the proposed resolution on the table and wait until a better understanding of the naming needs of the API was achieved. (Generally, however, there was much sympathy for having normative names as part of the specification.) [Vocab] The public vocabulary contribution process is active, as is the discussion mailing list. Everyone is encouraged to contribute. Rhys and Kevin are already preparing new material, and others are expected to follow. [Publications] There were few wiki updates this week, but two of the legacy documents (Landscape and Ecosystem) are now substantially complete. The group is aiming to agree to publish these as final versions at the F2F. Some extraction from wiki to XMLSpec will be necessary as part of the publication process. Everyone is encouraged to do one last proof-read of the texts. [IDL Tools] The group has identified a problem regarding tools to map IDL to implementation languages. Unfortunately, the tools that W3C has used in the past are no longer supported, and cannot be made to work properly. Nacho proposed that an XML version of IDL be used, from which various language mappings could be obtained via XSLT. Such a tool would be useful to the group to see how the API would appear in different programming languages, without having to develop/maintain these by hand. It was also proposed that the group use Java as a sample target programming language, and possibly even design/prototype via this language, though keeping the IDL as the normative definition. The question of how to determine if an implementation was conformant to the final IDL was also discussed. As the mappings are not unique (i.e. alternative mappings from IDL to Language-X are possible), it was suggested that black-box (functional) behaviour might be the only means to determine conformance, rather than inspection of the mappings. [New Actions] (ACTION-51) Kevin to send e-mail reminder to group to review requirements doc. [Attendees] Jose Manuel Cantera Fonseca (Telefonica) Rafael Casero Escamilla (SATEC) Dimitar Denev (Fraunhofer FIT) Anders Ekstrand (Drutt) Rodrigo Garcia (CTIC) Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Martin Jones (Volantis) Nacho Marin (CTIC) Eman Nkeze (Boeing) Jo Rabin (dotMobi) Mike Smith (W3C) Andrea Trasatti (dotMobi/WURFL)
Rotan Hanrahan

Wednesday, June 20th 2007

Permalink 20:59:30, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 18 June 2007

[Weekly conference call, 18 June 2007] Welcome Matt. Top N to be contributed by group. Ecosystem updated on wiki. Issues discussed: ontology annotations, property aliases, static/dynamic terminology, DOMString/wstring/etc in IDL. Taskforce report. Details follow: [Matt] Matt Womer joins the DDWG as the W3C's staff contact, and is already clocking up action items. [Vocab] Volunteers from the DD group will add entries to the vocabulary this week, based on suggestions derived from the Top N properties cited in charter 1. To avoid overlaps, the chair shall distribute suggested entries. The form will be updated to draw submitters' attention to the ontology in progress, so that new entries can be devised in light of existing entries. [Ecosystem] The Ecosystem document is near completion. Some final inputs to the Trust section and References will complete the document and it will then be ready for consideration by the group for publication as a Working Group Note. [Annotations] The issue of meta-metadata was considered. For example, the origin of contributed vocabulary entries, or the origin of the values for such entries. It was concluded that such information does not directly serve the needs of content adaptation and therefore is probably best served as an administrative feature. Such information could be used by an administrator to determine the trust to associate with different sources of data. The ontology may have more data (and types of data) than are directly accessibly by the eventual DDR API. [Aliases] The group RESOLVED that alternative names for properties (e.g. as might be used in implementations in different programming languages) would not be represented via sameAs or equivalentProperty mechanisms. Instead the group will use the current annotation-based mechanism (i.e. a "see also" reference). This means that reasoning systems are restricted to the normative property identifiers, and will be unaware of the alternative names. [Static/Dynamic] The problem of terminology (static vs dynamic) was again raised. As an example, the group considered the screen height as a property which normally has a fixed value, but for some devices the screen can be adjusted (e.g. via a flip-out component) and therefore it has more than one value. In such cases a default value may be useful if you cannot determine the current value. Meanwhile, on the client side, this is a value that can be read directly without recourse to a device description repository. Such properties blur the distinction between static and dynamic. It was decided that a wiki page to explore these issues would be created. [Strings] The issue of string representation in IDL was considered. Unlike the W3C DOM-related IDLs, the DDR API is a server-side API that has no immediately obvious need for DOMString. Nevertheless, the normal IDL "string" may not be sufficient to represent certain values that may be returned by the API. Therefore some consideration must be given to the options that are available, including string, DOMString, wstring and some custom definition that the DDWG may create itself. Furthermore, the issue of character encoding for wstring types was also considered (and seen to introduce more questions). A call was made to find more authoritative information on the use of strings in IDL. [Taskforce] The new taskforce met last week and there are some draft conclusions. It is suggested that the context key should be opaque. An approved version of the conclusions will be circulated soon for comments. The results of the taskforce are on schedule for delivery to the F2F meeting scheduled for mid-July. [New Actions] (ACTION-49) Matt to set up registration for July F2F. (ACTION-51) Rotan to start a Static vs Dynamic wiki entry. [Attendees] Pontus Carlsson (Drutt) Rafael Casero Escamilla (SATEC) Dimitar Denev (Fraunhofer FIT) Rodrigo Garcia (CTIC) Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Martin Jones (Volantis) Rhys Lewis (Volantis) Nacho Marin (CTIC) Jo Rabin (dotMobi) Mike Smith (W3C) Andrea Trasatti (WURFL) Matt Womer (W3C)
Rotan Hanrahan

Thursday, June 14th 2007

Permalink 21:50:03, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 11 June 2007

[Weekly conference call, 11 June 2007] Taskforce work commences. Recent and future meetings. Au revoir Cedric. Wiki updates. Vocabulary form is active. Details follow: [Taskforce] The taskforce is discussing the issue of the "context key" and has started to contribute ideas to the wiki. The design goals will be added to the page, against which the various ideas can be judged. [Meetings] The group will be polling for attendees to them planned July meeting. Meanwhile, the UWA workshop and face-to-face has recently completed. Some DD members attended. Among the topics discussed was the fledgling ontology. We await the report from the UWA. [Cedric] We learned this week that Cedric Kiss will be leaving W3C. Cedric has been the group's staff contact through the transition to the second charter, and has been a valuable member of the team. We wish Cedric good luck for his future endeavours. [Wiki] Ecosystem document is close to completion, and will be converted to the W3C publication format when ready. The same may apply to Landscape. We are awaiting comments on the Requirements doc (via the public list). There is a possibility of migrating to a MediaWiki environment instead of moin-moin. This will be investigated. [Vocabulary] The form is now active, and contributions from the OMA are arriving. A wiki page to explain the form will be prepared, and a public announcement made via the public mailing list. There was a slight delay to this announcement due to a minor security configuration issue. [New Actions] (ACTION-46) Mike to create a poll for attendance at the July F2F. (ACTION-47) Mike to look at removing unwanted pages from the wiki. (ACTION-48) Rotan to draft introductory page for Vocab Form [Attendees] Pontus Carlsson (Drutt) Anders Ekstrand (Drutt) Jose Manuel Cantera Fonseca (Telefónica) Rodrigo Garcia (CTIC) Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Martin Jones (Volantis) Jo Rabin (dotMobi) Mike Smith (W3C) Matt Womer (W3C)
Rotan Hanrahan

Monday, June 11th 2007

Permalink 23:18:13, Categories: News

Announcing DDR Core Vocabulary Process

The DDWG is pleased to announce the opening of its process to gather contributions to the Device Description Repository (DDR) Core Vocabulary. The process is open to everyone, including non-W3C Members. The purpose of the process is to create an initial vocabulary for the proposed Repository. The vocabulary will represent device properties that are considered essential to the successful adaptation of Web content for mobile devices. It is hoped that public instances of the DDR, implementing the API to be published by the DDWG, will be hosted following the creation of the API, and that these instances will support the core vocabulary. A public mailing list has also been prepared to support discussion of information submitted via the process. Details of the process have been placed on the DDWG wiki. [1] On behalf of the DDWG, --- Rotan Hanrahan, Chair. [1]
Rotan Hanrahan

Monday, May 28th 2007

Permalink 12:00:00, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 28 May 2007

[Weekly conference call, 28 May 2007.] Next F2F in July, Taskforce commencing, Wiki updates (IDL, Ecosystem), IDL tools. Details follow: [F2F] Following a poll of the group members, the majority of respondents agreed that July 16–17 was the right time to hold the summer face-to-face. We will be hosted by Vodafone, who have kindly offered a room and meeting services. Some participants will be missing, which is unavoidable during the vacation season. [Taskforce] Three volunteers have indicated they will join the "Context Key Taskforce". A number between 3 and 5 is desirable. A wiki page has already been prepared to record the results of the taskforce. A deadline for a report has been set for the week before the July face-to-face. [IDL] Nacho announced several updates to the wiki covering IDL issues. A W3C tool has been identified that can assist in the production of documented IDL material, but the tool is 5 years old and may be difficult to get working again. Volunteers will look into the code, and try to get help from W3C editors who have used the tool in the past. The tool, if we can get it to work properly, will help as the complexity of the IDL resources grow. Given the lack of guarantee of getting this tool to work, other possibilities have been suggested, such as using Java as a design language from which the IDL can be derived (namely because more people understand Java and tools are available to assist). [Ecosystem] Several new updates have been added to the Ecosystem document. The updates can be seen marked in the Ecosystem wiki pages, and in the wiki diff tool. The "Business Model" section seems out of place, and as it was intended to deal with commercial matters, it might not be a topic with which the group can speak with authority. Therefore the section has been made a candidate for removal. [Requirements] The requirements document has received major updates recently. Some checks will have to be made to ensure that the requirements agreed during charter 1 are still reflected in the updated charter. [New Actions] (ACTION-45) Rotan to follow up on the possibility of the specification being made via Java-to-IDL. [Attendees] Anders Ekstrand (Drutt) Rafael Casero Escamilla (SATEC) Jose Manuel Cantera Fonseca (Telefónica) Rodrigo Garcia (CTIC) Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Cedric Kiss (W3C) Nacho Marín (CTIC) Jo Rabin (dotMobi) Mike Smith (W3C)
Cédric Kiss

Monday, May 21st 2007

Permalink 12:00:00, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 21 May 2007

[Weekly conference call, 21 May 2007.] Vocabulary process to be active this month. Taskforces to be set up. Seed IDL. F2F schedule. Details follow: [Vocabulary Process] Following a short assessment of the proposed Core Vocabulary Process, a decision was taken to launch the process in public. This means setting up a Web form via which anyone can contribute, subject to having or obtaining a W3C account. If necessary, the form will also have an email equivalent. Contributions will be semi-formal. It will be the responsibility of the DDWG members to process the contributions. The form will be accompanied by an example to illustrate the process. Discussion of the contributions will take place on a public email list. It is hoped that the process will be running before the end of the month. [November F2F] The group agreed to co-locate a face-to-face meeting with the W3C Technical Plenary scheduled for November. [Summer F2F] The timing of the summer face-to-face provides some scheduling challenges. Following an examination of the options, a late July meeting appears to be the leading preference, but we need to take a poll of the group to be sure. Getting a venue will be the next challenge. Given the decision attend the November TP (in Boston), a European venue for summer is indicated. [Group Status] The recently blogged group status was seen as a fair reflection of the work to date. Group members were encouraged to take a more active part in the group blog. [Taskforce] In order to focus on particular issues, the Chair proposed that one or more taskforces be established within the group. These would comprise people who had particular expertise and experience relevant to the task. The first taskforce to be set up will be one to examine the issue of a "key" to represent the context (device and/or software) in which data is stored or retrieved. [Seed IDL] An initial IDL for a minimal repository was circulated on the public list to foster discussion. The group is now consuming this new material and is expected to respond later. [Documents] Two of the legacy documents have not progressed recently, but the Requirements document has moved since the recent F2F. New material is being entered into the wiki this week. The editing is taking place on the wiki in order to provide a public view of the process. The final document will be derived from the wiki and represented in the normal HTML format used for official W3C documents. The API document is expected to progress once the IDL discussion gets under way. [New Actions] (ACTION-40) Rotan to work with Cedric to get form set up this week. (ACTION-41) Rotan to take e-mail poll about July f2f. (ACTION-42) Rotan to contact DanA/Vodafone about possibility of hosting next f2f at Vodafone. (ACTION-43) Rotan to initiate TF to investigate resolving key issue. (ACTION-44) Kevin to update the Wiki pages with notes he has take on Requirements doc.
Cédric Kiss

Saturday, May 5th 2007

Permalink 12:32:58, Categories: News

State of Play, May 2007

The DDWG maintains a wiki in public, has a public mailing list and (of course) this blog. But that is not all. The group also has regular teleconferences, some face-to-face meetings and there’s a fair amount of email traffic between the members outside of the normal public channels. I have pulled all these together to get an overall picture of the state of play in DDWG. What I find is this: The group work commenced properly in January 2007, around the time of the first face-to-face. The Top N Properties information was to be published within 2 months, and was actually released via the wiki in February. It was decided that IDL would be used to define the API and that the vocabulary should be developed through RDF/OWL. The vocabulary would need to be consistent would other technologies that deal with device characteristics that were in development, or being planned, by other groups. It was agreed that we needed a common ontology of device information. Work on the ontology commenced immediately. The work proceeded from February until responsibility was transferred to the newly chartered UWA group. The ontology is currently being developed as a joint UWA/DDWG project. Meanwhile the DDWG has continued its work on definitions of terms, revising the requirements and other legacy documents. Even the meaning of "Device Description" became the topic of intense debate. The work on DD Structures commenced in March. This deals with the issues of grouping device descriptions in a portable fashion, so that one can (for example) retrieve information about a device family, such as a PDA. Like all other DDWG work, you can view the details on the wiki. One of the tricky issues being addressed by the DDWG at this time is the "identity" of a device. The charter requires the group to decouple the concept of the physical device from the software (user agent). This is important because in order to insert or retrieve information to/from the DDR it will be necessary to unambiguously identify the "device" to which the data is associated. Given the malleability of mobile hardware and the configurability of mobile software, devices have become a bit of a fuzzy concept. Consequently, a unique key to identify these things has become hugely complex. This issue consumed a whole day of debate at the April face-to-face meetings. In the end, we decided that the key would likely be a compound derived from contextual information, mainly something to identify the physical device together with something that identifies (characteristics) of the software. The DDWG might have to mandate a key generation algorithm to accompany the core vocabulary, though this will require much more debate, given that the DDR is supposed to be extensible. The details of the keying mechanism have been set aside while the shape of the API is developed. This will be done in tandem with the completion of the requirements document, which is being recast to clarify its relationship to the DDR and the API. Meanwhile the process of creating the core vocabulary has commenced. Behind the scenes, the group is testing a contribution process, to verify that it can gather the right information for the core vocabulary, and can feed into the UWA ontology. This will be tested for a little while, and then it will be launched in public, empty and waiting for contributions. Expect to see the first signs in May 2007. As chair, I am pleased to see that the foundations for the API design and the core vocabulary are fitting into place, and happy to see that DDWG will soon be collecting the elements of the core vocabulary. The challenges of the API design, the device identity mechanism and the device description structures are going to be tough, but I believe we have the team to succeed. Finally, I hope to see more public engagement in the DDWG work, so please pay regular visits to the wiki and subscribe to the mailing list. Your contributions are very welcome. Rotan Hanrahan, Chair of DDWG.
Rotan Hanrahan

Monday, April 2nd 2007

Permalink 12:00:00, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 2 April 2007

[Weekly conference call, 2 April 2007.] Ontology files to go public. Web form for Vocabulary submissions. And more. Details follow: [Ontology] After several iterations of an experimental ontology project in Protégé, the group believes that the material is ready for its first public airing and is expected to be placed onto the wiki very soon. A specific extension to generate a summary as a Web page appears to work well, though still needs some polishing. A successful Ontology-to-Hierarchy-Image "proof of concept" was also created during the week, and this may also be made available. The aim is to enable the public to replicate the procedures being used in the group to experiment with ontology/vocabulary design processes. [Vocabulary] As an adjunct to the proposed Core Vocabulary Process, a wiki page summarising the kind of information expected from submissions to the process will be created. Later, a Web form on the W3C site will be set up to automate the submission of vocabulary contributions. [OMA] The group has been debating internally the material indicated recently in the OMA liaison statement. This ongoing debate is unlikely to conclude soon, but the group is aware that there will be OMA meetings in a few weeks. Therefore the group has decided to draft a summary of the items that have not raised any (major) concerns/issues, and to mention those items that we are still discussing. A full response will come at a later date. [Wiki] There have been several advances in the wiki documents. The Landscape pages just need a Conclusion page, and there will be a Change Log page for the many updates to the Requirements pages. Use Cases for the Structure pages are progressing. It is expected that about 5 cases will be sufficient to describe the expected functionality. Contributions are invited. The API pages are also expected to start this week. Group members were reminded to subscribe to wiki pages of interest, and to consider publishing some blog posts. [F2F] The group is putting together the agenda for the Face-to-Face planned for later in April. Among them is (hopefully) the completion of the updated Requirements document. [New Actions] (ACTION-24) Jo to liaise with Andrea, Rhys and Rotan to draft a summary about the OMA. (ACTION-25) Rotan to work with the editors of the API doc. [Attendees] Carlsson, Pontus (Drutt) Casero Escamilla, Rafael (SATEC) Ekstrand Anders (Drutt) Cantera Fonseca, José Manuel (Telefónica) Hanrahan, Rotan (MobileAware) Kiss, Cedric (W3C) Lewis, Rhys (Volantis) Nkeze, Eman (Boeing) [remote] Rabin, Jo (dotMobi) [remote] Smith, Mike (W3C)
Rotan Hanrahan

Monday, March 26th 2007

Permalink 12:00:00, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 26 March 2007

[Weekly conference call, 26 Mar 2007.] “Device Description” described! Initial ontology almost ready for publication. Reviewing OMA documents. Need public input to vocabulary. Details follow: [DD Defined] A text to describe what is meant by “Device Description” has been formally agreed by the group and will become part of the DD group terminology. The definition will require an update to the DI Glossary. The key part of the definition is this: "A device description is a formal definition within some context of the named attributes and their permissible values [which may take the form of lists, ranges, or other patterns] which are applicable to entities of interest in that context," and goes on to mention the role of 'device' and the scope of the DDWG with respect to this definition. The full text will be made public on the wiki. [Ontology Documents] A set of Protégé files capturing an initial ontology have been created by Rhys, together with a sample XHTML document to summarise the information in a human-readable form. Rotan will be looking into providing an automated visual representation, and the set of documents are expected to be made public soon. This is not the Vocabulary, but a framework in which the DDR Vocabulary can be defined. [OMA Liaison] In response to the recent OMA liaison, a formal acknowledgement will be posted on the public mailing list. Furthermore, two members of the group (Jo and Andrea) will be reviewing the OMA documents as requested in the liaison statement. [Vocabulary] It was noted during the meeting that the group could use some more public input, so expect members to mention the DDWG process in blogs and other public channels over the coming weeks. [New Actions] (ACTION-21) Rotan to Liaise with DI and successors ref this definition (of DD). (ACTION-22) Rotan to "Dot-ify" section 3 from the ontology document to make graphical version. (ACTION-23) Jo to work with Andrea to prepare a draft response to OMA Liaison - and review architecture document. [Attendees] Rodrigo Garcia Acevedo (CTIC) Pontus Carlsson (Drutt) Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Martin Jones (Volantis) Cedric Kiss (W3C) Rhys Lewis (Volantis) Jo Rabin (dotMobi) Kevin Smith (Vodafone) Mike Smith (W3C) Andrea Trasatti (M:Metrics/WURFL)
Rotan Hanrahan

Monday, March 12th 2007

Permalink 12:00:00, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 12 Mar 2007

[Weekly conference call, 12 Mar 2007.] Defining Device Descriptions. Editor for the formal ontology. OMA Liaison. Requirements on wiki. Details follow: [DD Definition] There was considerable debate in this week's call regarding the role of "ontology" in the definition of a "Device Description". For some, an ontology may be inferred, or could be created, in support of the concept of Device Description, but this does not mean that a formal ontology document has to exist. For others, the use of "ontology" in defining the concept of Device Description implies that an instance of a formal ontology exists. It is also recognised that in the context of the W3C, mention of "ontology" generally implies RDF. Eventually the attendees reached an agreed position where the glossary definition of "Device Description" would use the phrase "formal definition". It is hoped that this term will embrace those who would work with Device Descriptions from an RDF perspective, and others who may be less inclined towards RDF but nevertheless have good reason to work with machine readable information. A full text will be put to the group during the week, and if approved will be forwarded for consideration in the DI Glossary. [Ontology Editor] Having reached a (likely) agreement on the meaning of Device Description, the group agreed a process to deal with the practical issue of creating a formal definition (an RDF/OWL representation of the ontology in support of the Core Vocabulary). The group has already agreed to use Protégé as a tool to assist in the creation of RDF/OWL (because working visually is usually easier than working with raw XML). Unfortunately, Protégé does not support "team editing". Nevertheless, the tool is easy enough to use that a single person could merge team contributions on their behalf. Therefore, the group has agreed to use Protégé individually to investigate the ontology evolution, but to contribute to a central version via text in emails on the list, which will be managed by a volunteer. (Rhys is first to step forward.) For more complex contributions, the group might consider an XML-diff approach, though this could be challenging for RDF due to multiple possible serialisations. [OMA Liaison] The OMA has sent a liaison statement to the group. Some related documents are also expected soon. When all documents have been received, they will be discussed by the group. [Requirements] The wiki now contains a version of the DDR Requirements, which will be reviewed and evolved towards a stable final version. [New Actions] (ACTION-14) Jo to summarize the proposal for compromise definition of device description. [New Resolutions] To record contributions to ontology via text in mailing list [Attendees] Pontus Carlsson (Drutt) Rafael Casero (SATEC) Anders Ekstrand (Drutt) Jose Manuel Cantera Fonseca (Telefónica) Rodrigo Garcia (CTIC) Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Cedric Kiss (W3C) Rhys Lewis (Volantis) Nacho Marin (CTIC) Jo Rabin (dotMobi) Kevin Smith (Vodafone) Andrea Trasatti (M:Metrics/WURFL)
Cédric Kiss

Monday, March 5th 2007

Permalink 12:00:00, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 5 Mar 2007

This brief summary was posted to the public list shortly after the weekly meeting. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Definition of "Device Description" ---------------------------------------------------------------------- - We have agreement that we can't start building an ontology until we have a common understanding of "device description" - We seem to have agreement about the need to make the definition of "device description" more generic than just being limited to the delivery of a web page, but instead to any aspect, but with the DDWG as a group focusing on the specific aspect that has to do with adaptation. RESOLVED: Do one more iteration on a proposal what is meant by "device" and "device description" and send out for public discussion by end of this week. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Starting the ontology work ---------------------------------------------------------------------- We're using the Protege application and need to understand how to break up Protege projects for group work. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Reports from editors. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- - Ecosystem: we had a contribution related to this on the internal mail list and are continuing to discuss it - We made some updates to the wiki (uploaded "Top-ten properties" on wiki) - responded to OMA - API and structure have not started yet ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Attendees ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pontus Carlsson (Drutt) [scribe] Martin Jones (Volantis) Andrea Trasatti (M:Metrics/WURFL) Cedric Kiss (W3C) Kevin Smith (Vodafone) Rafael Casero (SATEC) Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Jo Rabin (dotMobi) Rodrigo Garcia (CTIC) Nacho Marin (CTIC) Michael(tm) Smith (W3C) [late]
Rotan Hanrahan

Monday, February 26th 2007

Permalink 12:00:00, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 26 Feb 2007

[Weekly conference call, 26 Feb 2007.] Top N mind map to be published this week. Message to OMA to be published this week. New IDL tool considered. Much activity on the wiki. Process for creating Core Vocabulary under construction. Details follow: [Top N] The group has determined that a mind map that resulted from a group meeting during Charter 1 is unencumbered by publication restrictions, and therefore may be published. A resolution passed by the group will see this map published on the wiki this week. [OMA] Following the resolution to release the Top N mind map, the group will now issue its formal response to the OMA. The two are related because the annex of the original OMA liaison statement referred to material that is indicated in the map. All materials will now be in the public domain. [IDL] A new tool has been identified. Details will appear on the wiki. It has been used by W3C as part of the DOM specifications. There are some issues with UTF-16 support, but Nacho and Rodrigo are looking into it. [Documents] Some of the Landscape document and all of the Ecosystem document are now on the wiki, and being updated in public. The Requirements document is expected to appear on the wiki soon. The wiki pages dealing with the Vocabulary are also updated, including new material on the process of adding to the core vocabulary. [Glossary] To ensure we continue to draw from a common pool of technical terms, the group will be making proposals for additions to the Device Independence Glossary. "Device Description" is a term being considered. [New Actions] (1) Andrea to create a page on the Wiki for the CoreVocabularyProcess and send an e-mail to the public list to draw some attention. (2) Kevin to update wikipedia reference to Device Description Repository. (3) Kevin to update wikipedia reference to Device Description Repository. (4) Rotan to move the Wiki help, sandbox and other Wiki-related topics in a new page linked from the homepage. [New Resolutions] The group has resolved to publish the mind map of the "Top N Properties" that resulted from work of the group during Charter 1. The image will appear on the wiki. [Attendees] Pontus Carlsson (Drutt) Rafael Casero (SATEC) Anders Ekstrand (Drutt) Jose Manuel Cantera Fonseca (Telefónica) Rodrigo Garcia (CTIC) Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Martin Jones (Volantis) Cedric Kiss (W3C) Nacho Marin (CTIC) Eman Nkeze (Boeing) Jo Rabin (dotMobi) Kevin Smith (Vodafone)
Cédric Kiss

Monday, February 19th 2007

Permalink 12:00:00, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 19 Feb 2007

[Weekly conference call, 19 Feb 2007.] DDWG agrees response to OMA. More IDL updates. Top N details now on wiki. Working Group Notes now appearing on wiki. Vocabulary process to be discussed. Group meeting for April agreed. Details follow. [OMA] The group has agreed a text to be delivered as an open email to the OMA, in response to the OMA's liaison statement to the group in September 2006. The statement will be copied to the public mailing list. [IDL] New material has been added to the IDL page on the DDWG wiki, and some observations and comments were circulated via the public mailing list. The group will hear from the originators of the IDL information at the next call, in order to make a decision about the possible use of an XML-based IDL tool, or other options. [Documents] The Landscape document will soon appear on the DDWG wiki. The Ecosystem document is already on the wiki. New material for the Core Vocabulary wiki entry was added this week. Placeholders for the API document will also be added. Some technical issues with the wiki system have been resolved. More material is expected to be added as authors get used to the new system. [Vocabulary process] There will be a discussion regarding the creation of the "contribution process" for the new vocabulary. The group must agree a process and publish that process, and then use that process to create/refine the core vocabulary. The discussion will be in public. [Meeting] The group has agreed to meet in April. Two days of intensive face-to-face discussions are anticipated, together with a half-day joint meeting with the MWI Best Practices Working Group. [Actions Completed] (ACTION-4) Response text to OMA agreed, (ACTION-1) Top N properties now in wiki form, (NO_ID) Internal policies on blogging clarified (group members write, but W3C do the actual publishing). [New Actions] (ACTION-5) Andrea to get permission for some charter 1 material to be made public, (ACTION-6) Cedric to agree blog category to enable DDWG appear in Mobile Planet, (ACTION-7) Rotan to provide feedback to other group members re moving W3C documents to the wiki. [Attendees] Pontus Carlsson (Drutt) Rafael Casero (SATEC) Anders Ekstrand (Drutt) Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Martin Jones (Volantis) Cedric Kiss (W3C) Eman Nkeze (Boeing) Kimmo Raatikainen (Univ. of Helsinki) Mike Smith (W3C) Andrea Trasatti (M:Metrics/WURFL)
Rotan Hanrahan

Thursday, February 15th 2007

Permalink 09:00:00, Categories: News

DDWG gets a make-over

This, the second week of February 2007, sees the W3C DDWG get a new look. As indicated in the group's second charter, the technical work of the group will now be conducted in public view. To this end, the group will have a public site, a public mailing list, a wiki in which group contributions can be seen (and to which the public can contribute via the mailing list) and a blog to report news from the group.

Rotan Hanrahan

Monday, February 12th 2007

Permalink 12:00:00, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 12 Feb 2007

[Weekly conference call, 12 Feb 2007.] DDWG responding to OMA. Requirements to appear on wiki. TOC for API to commence mid March. IDL info now on wiki. Details follow:

[OMA] The DDWG received a liaison statement [1] from the OMA in 2006, near the end of its first charter period. This included commentary on the summary of a questionnaire. The document is in the public domain. Many of the items from that summary are included in the OMA liaison annex. Now that DDWG is again operating under a charter, it is appropriate for DDWG to send a formal reply to properly acknowledge the contribution from the OMA. This shall be done soon, and the reply will also be in the public domain.

[Requirements] The Requirements document will be concluded in the current charter. The group has decided to open a wiki article to include UML of the many use cases contained in the Requirements document. Contributions will be welcome.

[API TOC] The API document is a key element of the group charter. A table of contents (TOC) will be created one month from now, and the editors will be given responsibility for specific sections. This will give time to get some input from the updated Requirements document.

[Editors] Some editors are planning to transfer a lot of material to the wiki in order to evolve the material. Work on Structures will commence next month.

[IDL] The IDL section of the wiki now contains a lot more information. It includes a summary of the instances of IDL usage in W3C publications. It appears that OMG IDL is popular. The group will be seeking information from other W3C sources on the use of IDL and associated tools.

[New Actions] (1) Cedric to follow up on a request from Nacho regarding IDL tools in W3C. (2) Nacho to explain the information about IDL usage that he needs as input to his work on IDL. (3) Rotan to draft, with assistance, a formal response to the OMA Liaison Statement of September 2006.

[New Resolutions] (1) Editors to commence work on a Table of Contents for the API document in 4 weeks time.

[Attendees] Anders Ekstrand (Drutt)
Jose Manuel Cantera Fonseca (Telefónica) Rodrigo Garcia (CTIC) Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Cedric Kiss (W3C) Nacho Marin (CTIC) Eman Nkeze (Boeing) Jo Rabin (dotMobi) Kimmo Raatikainen (Univ. of Helsinki) Kevin Smith (Vodafone)

Rotan Hanrahan

Monday, February 5th 2007

Permalink 12:00:00, Categories: Meeting Summaries

Meeting Summary - 5 Feb 2007

[Weekly conference call, 5 Feb 2007.] DDWG launches new home page, wiki and more. Document editors appointed. Preparing for public launch this week. The text below is a brief summary of topics discussed. [Editors] There are six documents being produced by DDWG. All now have one or more editors appointed to oversee them. The details will appear on the wiki, and comments/contributions are welcome. [Public presence] We now have a page template. The home page will have links to the blog and wiki. The home page will try to be good for large and small (mobile) browsers, although adaptation will not be present. [IDL] Rodrigo Garcia outlines plans to set up an IDL page on the wiki, and populate with links, examples, tutorials and other material. Points out two main flavours: OMG IDL and MIDL, noting that OMG IDL is used in W3C specifications. [Top N Properties] The group has material from the previous charter outlining the main properties used by content adaptation specialists as revealed in a public questionnaire. DDWG proposes to put this information into the new wiki. A process for contributions to the vocabulary will be created by the editors. [New Actions] (1) Andrea Trasatti and Martin Jones to put the Top N Properties (from charter 1) onto the wiki as a seed for populating the vocabulary. (2) Cedric Kiss and Mike Smith to resolve Trackbot issues (a tool used in W3C to track Actions). (3) Cedric Kiss to ensure appropriate access rights granted to editors/contributors. (4) Martin Jones to obtain screenshots and related material on Protégé, previously presented by Rhys Lewis to the group. [Attendees] Pontus Carlsson (Drutt) Rafael Casero Escamilla (SATEC) Anders Ekstrand (Drutt) Jose Manuel Cantera Fonseca (Telefónica) Rodrigo Garcia (CTIC) Rotan Hanrahan (MobileAware) Martin Jones (Volantis) Cedric Kiss (W3C) Eman Nkeze (Boeing) Luca Passani (Openwave) Jo Rabin (dotMobi) Mike Smith (W3C)
Rotan Hanrahan