The Twelfth International World Wide Web Conference
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The Twelfth International World Wide Web Conference 
20-24 May 2003, Budapest, HUNGARY 

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Short Abstract: Volantis' Multichannel Server product provides support for the creation of web sites and applications that can be accessed from a wide variety of different devices. It is based on a number of device-independence principles which have proven themselves in the practical implementation of a significant number of web sites and applications. These sites can be accessed from a wide variety of different devices, including a large number of WAP and i-mode mobile phones, various digital television systems, a wide range of Personal Digital Assistants, personal computers, workstations and even systems that use voice as the only modality.

Key for authors is the device independent markup language, based on familiar standards and incorporating powerful functional abstractions. Additional abstractions are used for device dependent information, such as stylistic specifications and data concerning the physical placement of presentation elements. These abstractions are organised in ways that allow authoring costs to be managed. Definitions can be reused and shared where appropriate, without compromising the ability to provide highly customised presentations where desired.

The adaptation mechanism employs the abstractions together with delivery context, key information about the device and the network in use. The delivery context includes information taken from a comprehensive device repository in addition to information transmitted by the device itself. The authoring tools associated with the products help insulate authors from the need for expert knowledge of the devices in use, while providing information that can be useful to them where necessary. This presentation will describe a number of the fundamental principles on which this particular approach to device independent site authoring is based.

Short Bio: Rhys Lewis is Director of Software Architecture for Volantis Systems Ltd., supplier of presentation management software solutions for the multi-channel Internet. He is responsible for the architecture of Volantis products which provide a cost-effective and flexible approach to the design and implementation of multi-channel 'Device Aware' applications. In his 24 years within the IT industry Rhys has held a wide variety of positions in companies such as Candle Corporation and IBM. In IBM, one of his many roles was as a designer of MQSeries message queueing software. Rhys is an active member of the W3C Device Independence Group (DIWG), chartered with enabling simpler web access from a wide variety of devices with different capabilities, and is editor of a number of the group's documents. Rhys has also written text books on digital image processing and on message queueing.
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