trip report from the ninth World Wide Web conference in amsterdam, the netherlands
tuesday 16-may-2000: first day
home - opening session - keynote: "making the Internet mobile for everybody" - W3C track: future of the Web - W3C track: Web accessibility & device independence - keynote: "the spirit of the WWW in the corporate Intranet" - W3C track: building a "Web of Trust"
opening session with pauline krikke, vice-mayor for economic affairs and employment, greater amsterdam, had to be cancelled due to a tragedy in her family.
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egbert-jan sol explained that the wireless telephony is a huge database: it knows who is where. with wired telephony, you have to ask: "is bill there ?", whereas with mobile telephony, you may ask: "can you talk right now ?". he believes this is the main reason for the huge success of the mobile telephony. according to his numbers, the success is indeed huge: last year, the industry sold 100 million PCs, but 275 million mobile phones.
each new technology spreads faster than previous technologies. examples of time frames until a 50 million users penetration of emerging technologies were reached:
- radio: 35 years
- television: 15 years
- World Wide Web: 5 years
- mobile phones: 3 years
the future success of the mobile telephony will be fueled by much higher bandwidth:
- today: 9600 bps with GSM
- near future: up to 115 kbps with GPRS (GSM packet radio)
- far future: up to 2 Mbps with UMTS (but shared within a cell, may be increased with multiple antennas)
egbert-jan sol believes, in 2005 we will have 5 Mbps committed bandwidth in every household, which will be enough to support personalized TV. in his vision, these are the steps in the evolution of the mobile communication:
- passed generation: SMS based on packet switched network
- current generation: WWW/WAP based on GSM
- future generation: VHE (Virtual Home Environment) based on UMTS and Bluetooth (wireless link up to 10 m)
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- device independency: dream or reality ?
write once - view anywhere, would make the authors live much easier
- visual and aural Web pages
most Web pages offer content, navigation etc. through rich graphical means, new skills are needed for aural presentation
- what can the device tell about itself ?
capabilities (hardware, software, features), personal preferences (e.g. graphical versus audio presentation), location
idea: the server shall provide the content in a matter that fits the capabilities of the presentation device. this will be achieved through CC/PP (Composite Capability/Preference Profiles)
- transform content
idea: layout done by a gateway between server and the user's device
- importance of dialog
multi-modal: point & speak, show & tell. voice recognition makes it easier to enter information on small devices. application and user take turn to speak
- separate presentation, data and logic
W3C's next generation forms (working draft)
this presentation is available on the Web.
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judy brewer gave an overview of the achievements of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and their WAI guidelines.
two of the main issues that are common between accessibility and device independency are:
- independency: less assumptions on the device's and user's capabilities
- redundancy: provide alternate content and methods of access
common functional requirements include:
- small screens are similar to magnified screens
- low memory / bandwidth (use text rather than graphical presentation)
- noisy / silent environment (requires equivalent for sound)
principles of accessible design:
- provide alternate content
- follow specifications (W3C and others)
- use style sheets
- device independency in the user interface (e.g. do not assume mouse)
- use system conventions
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the speaker believes, these are the major reasons for the tremendous success of the World Wide Web:
- easy to use technology
- no boundaries
- no law (and no taxes)
- compress space and time
m. graeber jordan helped to set up the Intranet at Boeing, one of the largest Intranet sites in the world. inside their firewall, there are about 2200 websites with 1'400'000 documents indexed by the internal search engine, the same order of magnitude as our own webspace (there are approximately 700 websites and about 1'000'000 documents within ethz.ch and the associated institutes).
today, the Web at Boeing is so fundamental, if the Web would stop, the production would stop. also the world wide collaboration of the international space station is based on the Web.
Boeing sells spare parts for about USD 1 mio per day over the Web. since they started to use web-based education, they safe about USD 8 mio per year because they have no longer to produce video tapes for training.
if a large company wants to use the Web for internal communication, it is important to find the right organizational structure to support this project. at Boeing, they broke the corporation into building blocks and to each block, they assign a person to be responsible for that block. in addition, they identified the business critical blocks which needed special attention.
a major concern within the top management was control. the Web has the reputation of being a chaotic place. one has to find the right balance between
- no control versus chains
- wasted resources versus wasted intellect
- entrepreneurs versus bureaucracy
the keys to a successful implementation are:
- provide a robust, centralized technical infrastructure
- apply the Web to a business process which involves any employee at any level
note: IT shall be responsible for providing a reliable infrastructure (24x7), but NOT for content !
it is important to recognize that the Web is a tool, not a product. the future strategy for success with the Web is: stay loose !
- field a good team
- know the rules
- think on your feed
- keep the goal post in view
- use the best equipment
- have a well maintained stadium
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XML signatures shall become a proposed standard in june 2000.
the platform for privacy preferences project (P3P) offers an easy way for websites to store and communicate privacy policies in a machine readable way based on XML. these are the steps required to implement P3P:
- translate it into P3P format
- put it on the website (multiple policies are possible)
- associate policy or policies with objects
what does a P3P policy say ?
- who is collecting data
- what data is collected
- for what purpose
- is there an ability to change preferences
- who receives the data
- to what data does the collector provide access
- what is the retention of the data
- how will disputes about the policy resolved
P3P should become a candidate recommendation soon, see http://www.w3c.org/p3p/ for details.
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this trip report was written on a Vadem Clio C-1050 running Windows CE with Pocket Word. It was then transferred to a DELL Latitude notebook and modified as needed. this document is supposed to be HTML V4.0 compliant.