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OpenAjax Seeks feedback on their "Mobile Device APIs Style Guide"

From: Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@nokia.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2008 12:06:14 -0400
Message-Id: <77E1EB17-A720-4405-9CFA-075174E5845D@nokia.com>
To: public-webapps <public-webapps@w3.org>, Jon Ferraiolo <jferrai@us.ibm.com>

All - the OpenAjax Alliance (OAA) is seeking comments on their Mobile  
Device APIs Style Guide:


Please see Jon's e-mails below: first includes some rationale for  
OAA's request and the second identifies some key questions/issues.

If you have any comments, John requests them by November 15. If you  
have write access to mobile@openajax.org, use that address (and  
please CC public-webapps); otherwise send the comments to Jon and CC  
public-webapps, and he will forward your comments to OAA's mobile  
list, archived at:


WG Members - if there is interest in: a) consolidating comments on  
behalf of the WG and/or b) discussing this document in a "meeting"  
then some combination of me, Charles, Mike or Doug will facilitate.  
Please let us know if there is such interest.

-Regards, Art Barstow

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "ext Jon Ferraiolo" <jferrai@us.ibm.com>
> Date: October 17, 2008 11:18:15 AM EDT
> To: Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@nokia.com>
> Cc: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, Mike Smith  
> <mike@w3.org>, Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>, "Pollington, David,  
> VF-Group" <david.pollington@vodafone.com>, "Appelquist, Daniel, VF- 
> Group" <Daniel.Appelquist@vodafone.com>, "Nick Allott"  
> <nick.allott@omtp.org>
> Subject: Re: Request for W3C review of the OpenAjax Mobile Device  
> APIs Style Guide
> (Add Dan and David from Vodafone and Nick from OMTP)
> Art,
> The primary reason for asking W3C to review the OpenAjax style  
> guide isn't because OpenAjax wants feedback, it is because it  
> appears that there are fragmentation of API approaches across  
> various W3C and OMTP efforts, and the style guide provides a  
> vehicle for focusing on those differences and working towards  
> consistency in the efforts by those two organizations.
> The primary motivation behind requesting group discussion within a  
> committee setting versus public mailing list is because we think  
> that will be an effective process to achieve the end result of  
> avoiding fragmentation of API approaches. If the discussion only  
> occurs on the public mailing list, then some people will say A,  
> others will say B, and others will say C, with no conclusion.  
> Remember how unsuccessful Access Control was in reaching  
> unification on the public lists? It wasn't until people sat  
> together in a room face-to-face that decisions were made. Access  
> Control reflecting fragmentation of opinion within a single  
> technology area. Things are worse here because you have multiple  
> spec, multiple working groups and multiple standards organizations,  
> particular, W3C and OMTP. If people don't agree on overall  
> approaches for APIs, then you'll have strong personalities on each  
> separate committee trying to ram through the API approach that they  
> like, and hoping that they can force the rest of the world to match  
> their vision by stonewalling behind arguments such as "too late to  
> change" and "devices are already shipping with these APIs".
> Consistent APIs are important on their own, but because of security  
> implications around allowing web pages and web-connected widgets to  
> gain access to device capabilities, the industry needs to converge  
> on a common approach to how to establish security frameworks and  
> policies. Such a common approach will be challenging enough even if  
> there are consistent APIs across across the range of device APIs,  
> but will be true chaos if each different spec takes a different  
> approach.
> I'm OK with whatever you decide to do, but our feeling over at  
> OpenAjax Alliance is that the industry is more likely to arrive at  
> a good outcome at an early date by making sure that all of the  
> groups involved in device APIs recognize the need for consistent  
> APIs, become aware of the other similar initiatives in the industry  
> (particularly, making sure W3C committees are aware of OMTP's  
> initiatives with BONDI), and are aware of the different API  
> approaches that are under consideration.
> Thanks.
> Jon
> Begin forwarded message:
> > From: "ext Jon Ferraiolo" <jferrai@us.ibm.com>
> > Date: October 16, 2008 3:30:07 PM EDT
> > To: Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@nokia.com>, Charles McCathieNevile
> > <chaals@opera.com>
> > Subject: Request for W3C review of the OpenAjax Mobile Device APIs
> > Style Guide
> >
> > I am writing this email on behalf of the OpenAjax Alliance.
> >
> > The OpenAjax Alliance' Mobile Task Force requests that the W3C Web
> > Applications WG review and send formal feedback to the OpenAjax
> > Alliance on the following document that we have written:
> >
> > * http://www.openajax.org/member/wiki/Mobile_Device_APIs_Style_Guide
> >
> > The above document provides a set of guidelines to the industry
> > about how to design good JavaScript APIs for mobile device
> > services. OpenAjax Alliance has developed this wiki page in
> > response to requests from some of the leadership at OMTP, which
> > requested guidelines from the Ajax community on how to design
> > friendly and useful APIs. The recommendations reflect our best
> > understanding of requirements around Mobile Device APIs found in
> > the BONDI documents, and also informed by earlier requirements work
> > down at OpenAjax Alliance. Note that our guidelines are totally
> > JavaScript-centric because that's our focus area. We recognize that
> > W3C has a broader constituency, and therefore some of our proposed
> > guidelines might not be the optimal direction for W3C due to
> > various factors that OpenAjax Alliance did not take into account.
> >
> > The main reason for requesting formal review is to promote early
> > discussion across the W3C, along with OMTP, about some key API
> > design questions that effect multiple technology initiatives at the
> > two organizations that involve providing script access to device
> > capabilities (e.g., location, address book, file system, phone
> > dialer, connectivity status, battery status, bluetooth, camera,
> > local email, and local messaging such as SMS and MMS). We can all
> > agree that the industry should have consistency across similar
> > APIs; however, due to simultaneous work efforts across multiple
> > working groups within two major standards bodies (W3C and OMTP),
> > there is a risk of different API approaches coming out of the
> > different working groups.
> >
> > The key activities at the W3C that I believe are most relevant are:
> >
> > * The WebApps WG, which of course is working on a variety of APIs
> > * The Widgets subgroup within the WebApps WG, which defines widget
> > APIs
> > * The Geolocation WG, which has an initial set of location APIs,
> > but doesn't appear to be meeting at the Tech Plenary
> >
> > Probably the most important question is whether device APIs should
> > be use direct approaches (e.g., the geolocation spec include this
> > API: navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition(): see [1]) or
> > indirect approaches (e.g., the Widgets APIs spec involves
> > requesting an API handler and then invoking APIs off of that
> > handler: see [2]). However, we would appreciate feedback on all of
> > the key points within the style guide document.
> >
> > We believe that the best process is to it to get various key
> > stakeholders participants in a cross-group discussion (the WebApps
> > guys, the Widgets guys, the Geolocation guys, and people from the
> > OMTP) to see if this issue can be resolved. The Plenary offers a
> > unique opportunity for such a discussion. However, if this request
> > is coming in too late or the WebApps WG is fully booked already and
> > has no open slots, then as a backup we recommend a cross-group
> > coordination phone call soon after the Plenary.
> >
> > If you feel it is appropriate, feel free to forward this email to
> > the appropriate WebApps mailing list.
> >
> > Thanks.
> > Jon Ferraiolo
> > On behalf of the Mobile Task Force at OpenAjax Alliance
> >
> > [1] http://dev.w3.org/geo/api/spec-source.html
> > [2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webapps/2008JulSep/ 
> 0604.html
Received on Friday, 17 October 2008 16:07:18 UTC

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