Position paper for the "Mobile Web workshop", www9 conference

Is there a mobile web?

Yes or No - or Yes and No?

No:

There is only one web - of everyting

The same information set is the source for all views

Yes:

Because the information set is different (e.g. position-dependent)

Because the presentation is different (e.g. WAP)

Yes and no:

All information has the same source

Mobile is one view of it

To write for the mobile web, you need to think differently

How do I control the presentation?

Using CC/PP and transformations, you create an optimized view for each client.

As content author, you can direct how that view should be optimized.

The different aspects of presentation

Presentation consists of style and navigation

Style is separated from content using style sheets

To enable navigation, content must be changed  - a typical WAP device can only display half the first line on a typical PC browser

This means that the navigational tools need to be different - the user can not get an overview of the information otherwise

Some use cases are better suited to some presentation formats

You want to know the task the user wants to perform and the situation he wants to perform it in to be able to create the optimal presentation

Standing at a street corner, balancing an umbrella with one hand, you will want to use WAP

Sitting in your car, cruising down the highway, you want voice

At a parisian café table, you want quarter-VGA

At your desk, you want a multimedia presentation

CC/PP solves the description problem

CC/PP lets you describe the capabilities and properties of a device - and the users preferences for how they should be used.

Example: You use your WAP device to recieve information while you walk down the street - but when you enter your car and puts in the cradle, you want it to switch over to voice presentation. The capabilities have not changed, but your preferences for their use have.

How do I need to write differently?

In a contextualized presentation, you have to create alternatives instead of a linearized presentation

E.g. if it rains, I do not want to go to the beach - I may want to go to a museum

You need to think in terms of user interactions instead of documents

E.g. what is important when you fill out a form: Where the fields are, or what is in them and in which order? If it is the former, it is hard to present as other than PDF or SVG; if it is the latter, you can segment the form fill by field.

This is not as hard as it sounds - you just need to apply everything we have learned about hypertext during the years.

How can I create different presentations from the same content?

Or, to put it otherwise: Do you mean I do not have to create different presentations for different presentation formats?

Yup.

One way is to use XSLT as a filter and reordering mechanism, essentially recreating your presentation for the device (essentially creating the rules by creating the transformation sheets)

Another way is to create a conditional presentation, containing markup where you want things to happen (e.g. as attributes), and then apply a general transformation sheet

There are more methods - we are researching them now.