The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today published Device Independence
Authoring Language (DIAL), a markup script for how authors can write mobile content software that will work on different handheld devices.
Mobile content is a multi-million-dollar opportunity for content creators and wireless operators. Millions of consumers want to play games, or download e-mail, video and audio clips from handheld gadgets.
In short, content consumers want to be able to do everything on a Palm Treo smartphone or handheld computer that they can do on a home PC.
The problem is that more than 2,500 devices litter the market, making it difficult to write applications that will work on all machines. As it does for so many sectors in high-tech, interoperability remains a stumbling block in mobile technologies.
DIAL, created by companies such as IBM, Nokia and Vodaphone, is the W3C’s solution to the problem.
The W3C said the framework offers a way for authors to write content that is more adaptable to disparate devices by describing data, styling, layout and interaction independently.
DIAL was written using existing W3C XML vocabularies and CSS modules, which
provide standard mechanisms for representing Web page structure, presentation and form interaction.
DIAL is the latest draft project from the Device Independence working group, part of the technical team for W3C’s Mobile Web Initiative (MWI).
MWI created Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 earlier this year to “make Web access from a mobile device as simple, easy, and convenient as Web access from a desktop device.”
The DIAL draft comes during a busy week for mobile Web users, with software vendors of all flavors convening at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco this week.
Its creator, Sun Microsystems, is under pressure to open source the language
the way it has opened
access to its flagship enterprise software products.