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RE: The devices-universal websites "myth" and the semantic web

From: Tom Worthington <Tom.Worthington@tomw.net.au>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2005 10:56:15 +1000
Message-Id: <6.2.1.2.0.20050617101605.01c2f230@fastmail.fm>
To: "Simon, Rainer" <rainer.simon@ftw.at>,<public-bpwg@w3.org>

At 02:04 AM 6/17/2005, Simon, Rainer wrote:
>** Tom Worthington **
>>Yes, but could we have the content and navigation adjust automatically, 
>>by combining the wishes of the content creator ... hinted at ...
>
>... Downsizing a news article by taking only the first paragraph ... works 
>well - but only with a news article or similar content. What about content 
>thats more complex in structure? How handle things like navigation 
>sidebars, etc.? Again, I think most designers will want to control 
>precisely how their content should adapt. ...

Print journalists are used to someone else modifying their work to fit on 
the page. What we need to do is to encourage other content creators and 
designers to give up some of their creative control in return for a more 
flexible result (or convince their bosses it will be a more profitable result).

As an example the designers of the ATutor Learning Content Management 
System <http://www.atutor.ca/> went for flexibility. They encourage course 
authors to use CSS and XHTML to produce accessible content. There are 
options to do things like turn off unnecessary graphics. As a result the 
system will just about work on a PDA. But at the moment there is too much 
of the wrong sort of navigation for a small screen. What is needed is to be 
able to tell the small screen device "if short of space then put this menu 
in first".

Jon Agar's book "Constant Touch" 
<http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1840464194/026-1678011-3269229> 
contains a useful metaphor. He quotes the manager of i-mode as saying that 
PCs are like department stores where you can browse at leisure. But mobile 
phones are like corner stores, with limited goods for those in a hurry.



Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington@tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
http://www.tomw.net.au                PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617
Visiting Fellow, Computer Science, Australian National University  
Received on Sunday, 19 June 2005 23:46:10 UTC

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