WWW2007: Rhys Lewis on “Device Description: Important New Work in Progress, Why We Need your Participation”

Note: These are rough notes from the WWW2007 conference.

There is such a diversity of devices.  Some people want big phones and some people want small phones.

If you really want to tailor an experience, you need to know a lot about that device.  Funny that the biggest money is selling wallpaper and ringtones to teenagers.

All the device characteristics communities now are focusing on ways to give APIs to get information on device information.   There are three groups that are working on this: W3C MWI DDWG, OMA, and W3C UWA DCCI.

They are also building an ontology so that the different APIs will talk the same way.  They are looking for people to contribute characteristics needed in the ontology.

WWW2007: Shadi Abou-Zahra on “Describing, Exchanging, and Aggregating Test Results”

Note: These are rough notes from the WWW2007 conference.

There are some overlap between Web accessibility and mobile accessibility.

EARL is a machine readable language for expressing test results.  We want to be able to exchange test results.  It is currently in last call working draft.  Hopefully it will get implementers soon.

There is an asserter, subject, criterion, and test result. The asserter uses foaf person.

EARL could be used throughout the mobileOK process: validation, authoring, testing.


WWW207: Dan Appelquist on “Towards a mobileOK Web”

Note: These are rough notes from the WWW2007 conference.

On cost… the industry is moving towards flat rates.  Vodafone is going to be making announcements soon.  The costs are coming down.

The W3C Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group has been hard at work developing Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 document.   Thematic consistency is huge.  Its a big tenant of the oneWeb principle.

mobileOK is a set of conformance tests.  There are 2 levels, basic and pro.  There is also a machine-readable trust-mark.

In the future, they’re finishing up mobileOK or guidelines for more advanced devices (i.e. scripting, css.)

Mobile widgets is also the future.  The Apple iPhone is making this popular.  It’s desktop functionality on your phone.

WWW2007: Sir Tim Berners-Lee on “The Two Magics of Web Science”

Note: These are rough notes from the WWW2007 conference.

At the beginning of the conferences, there was a big bunch of energy but then it died down.  It was confused whether to be a trade show or an academic show.

The Web and the papers hasn’t always fit into core Computer Science, sociology, or economics.

What’s interesting is the jump between the micro to the macro of the Web.

There are so many things that have been built for the Web everyday.  Within engineering, you design a system and protocols.  The Web works because of social rules and social conventions.  It plays within the system.

If you look at the Web at the macro-level, it’s a phenomenon.   We’re not very good at looking at the macro-level.  We need to see if we’re achieving our issues based on our values.

Part of why we’re here is to discuss the macro level issues.  We can deal with these issues based on our creativity to come up with great ideas, solving problems.

The two areas of magic are the understanding between the macro and micro level of understanding of the Web and the creativity which allows you to solve the big problems.

The model is that we have the science, understanding the problems, and the engineering, creating the solutions,  of the Web.  E-mail really followed the path of having social and technical design issues.  It used both science and engineering.

The idea of the WWW started from a high-level problem that needed a micro-level engineering solution.  The WWW created new high level problems that needed microlevel solutions.

It created the problem of not being able to find stuff.  This is where the Google guys came in.  They engineered a solution based on who was linking to who.  This caused people to use the Web in an entirely different way.

You can look at blogs, wikis, and the Semantic Web.  They all started with problems.  It drove engineering solutions which drove new problems.

The Web has to be a Web because everything is connected together.  Prior to the Web, everything was pretty linear.  Everything was in matrices, tables, and trees.

The shape of the Internet is a net.  You may cut one link but the net still holds together.   There is always a certain amount of redundancy.

What shape is the Web?  The Web is much more lumpy.  It is a fractal tangle.  The Web should be a fractal tangle.  We should engineer for it.

There are some challenges in Web Sciences.

  • User Interface: how are we going to allow people to visualize the data that we present?  They need to be able to slice, dice, and make new queries.
  • Information Policy: How do we do this stuff responsibly?  How do you trust something?  How do you express trust in a machine readable fashion?
  • Resilience: There is internet breaking (slashdotting).  There is 404 because of lack of URL persistence.  There is spam and wiki spam because there are psychopaths.
  • Collective quality assessment: All over the Web, people are playing with new democratic systems.
  • New devices: Cell phones are becoming ubiquitous.  Will your identity be held in your cell phone?
  • Collective creativity: We need to find a way to connect our half formed ideas together with other peoples half formed ideas.

MobEA V: Julia Kuck on “A Collaborative and Feature-based Approach to Context-Sensitive Service Discovery”

Note: These are notes from the MobEA V: Mobile Web in Developing Worlds Workshop, which is located with WWW2007.

We use mobile computing many different ways, getting info, navigational, entertainment, payment, or keys.  There is a high potential for understanding current use context.  They can be adaptive.

In the developing world, don’t need consistent electric power, they’re easily shareable, and don’t need a lot of technical support.

The devices could use Web services to provide functionality.  Computational power could be shared across countries.

The service is XML centric…written in WSDL.  There is message interaction to between the client and the service.  This is done in SOAP.

You can build complex web services.  It is highly flexible.  They’re not dependent on each other.  We can create new functionality.

How can we find adequate Web services?  There are yellow pages for Web services.  There are also search engines.

For a family vacation, you could have one service which delivers museums and one that delivers cultural activities.  You can add and take away different Web services.  The new ones would be available for discovery.

Right now they’re working on Web services composition.   Its like will two web services work nicely together. Their future work is on requesting new Web services composition.

Context information is used within the Web services.  It is handled in a lightweight XML format.  The full context is never submitted to the server.  Popularity and number of queries is also taken into consideration.

MobEA V: Michael O’Farrell from dotMobi

Note: These are notes from the MobEA V: Mobile Web in Developing Worlds Workshop, which is located with WWW2007.

dotMobi is a trade forum on how to use the .mobi domain. The domain is owned by investors. The expectation is to make made for mobile web sites.

Michael represents the advisory group. They talk with people in industry on best practices, policy issues, and how the mobile web gets used. The core values is to include everyone, integrate with others work, and others…

They have over 50 members from around the world.

The consumer needs to know where to go. Web sites are starting to be rolled out as myname.mobi. It’s a trust mark that this Web site works on a mobile phone.

There are tools and resources

  • dev.mobi
  • ready.mobi – full detailed report on how a site would work on a mobile phone
  • guides & white papers
  • certification program

The dotMobi Advisory Group is creating task forces and workgroups to take on issues and interface with other organizations. One issue they’re interested in taking on or collaborating on is the developing world.

MobEA V: Charles McCathieNevile on “Mobile Web in the Developing World @ Bangalore, 2006”

Note: These are notes from the MobEA V: Mobile Web in Developing Worlds Workshop, which is located with WWW2007.

There was a workshop on Mobile Web in the Developing World in Bangalore in 2006. One way the W3C kicks off ideas, is to do a workshop or two around the world.

Charles was at the workshop for Opera. They don’t have the answers to solve all the problems but they do have a great little browser, Opera Mini that runs on a 50% of phones being made.

One problem, if you don’t have a handset with mobile web access then you’re not getting the mobile web. There are some people working on SMS. Opera lives at a baseline where people have Web access.

There needs to be things that will work on SMS and for nothing but for billions of people.

There was a report that came out from the W3C. Their particular interest is in the Web not really SMS or voice. They’re looking at the upper half of the market.

At the workshop, there was a discussion on what the mobile was.

There was a goal of developing a community around people with an interest in this.

Currently there 150 million phones, which is growing at 5 million a month. A minority of these phones are web-enabled. Currently there are less then 50 million web-enabled computers.

Stephane is making a tour trying to talk to people in the developing world. There is a mailing list which has been pretty quiet. He is seeking some EU funding. The W3C also wants expand the number of voices they’re listening to.

MobEA V: Kirthi Ramamritham on “Information Access through Mobiles: Opportunities and Challenges”

Note: These are notes from the MobEA V: Mobile Web in Developing Worlds Workshop, which is located with WWW2007.

What is of interest? How do I get better prices to get better money? How do I deal with the current weather?

For you and I, we’d go directly to the Web. Most of the info is mono-lingual, of low relevance and precision, and assumes good connectivity.

How to do automated translation? How to do multi-lingual search? How do we design interfaces? How do we handle resource-constrained environments?

More and more this is happening through village kiosk services. You can get telephony, e-gov, pricing info, and much more.

The problem is content.

aAQUA (almost all questions answered) is a way that content can be created from the ground up. Its an online forum for asking questions to be answered by experts in the field with assistance. It is accessible by pc or mobile.


Kiosks are increasing in number but they’re not good enough yet.

They find what’s helpful is to provide users with previously answered questions. Users can use their camera phones if that helps to ask a question, like what is this mango tree disease.

Prices for crops are reported by users and made available for a certain locality.

Questions can be sent to aAQUA via SMS.

There are significant bandwidth restraints. You want to make the pages as light as possible. There needs to be cross-language retrieval. This is done through UNL. Often in the same sentance, there will be multiple languages.

From day one, collaboration with people in the developing world has to be assumed in order to be successful.

MobEA V: Galit Zadok on “Mobile Web in the Developing World”

Note: These are notes from the MobEA V: Mobile Web in Developing Worlds Workshop, which is located with WWW2007.

Mobile web in the developing world is about the people. There is a quote from the guardian, “if we wait for aid, we wait forever.”

It really isn’t developing countries. It’s developing regions. There is a big difference between the urban and rural areas.

We can’t impose our solutions on them. We have to understand the people. We have to have a collaborative approach.

By 2015, there will be 5 billion mobile phones. In Nigeria, the biggest selling phone is the Nokia N70. A increase in 10% mobile penetration raises GDP by 1.2%.

Ubiquitous computing will emerge from the developing world. Necessity is the mother of all invention. Technology will take hold where it is depended on.

Keep it simple. Customer experience is key. It needs to be universally accessible. Show the monetary benefit.

Arrived in Banff for WWW2007

I arrived in Banff a few hours ago. It’s been a long day of flying and driving. The rental car company was all out of economy rental cars so they gave me a Pontiac G6. *devilish grin*

From what I’ve seen so far, it is a gorgeous town. You are smack dab in the middle of the mountains.

My hotel’s wifi isn’t working so I have made my way to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. This hotel is ridiculous. It is this amazing castle set in the side of the mountains and they have wifi. 🙂

Tonight I have to finish my slides for tomorrow and maybe explore the town a little.

Update 6:06pm MDT : Just uploaded some photos to flickr.