2.1.12 Widget Description Exchange Service (widex)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of the 64th IETF Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. It may now be out-of-date.
In addition to this official charter maintained by the IETF Secretariat, there is additional information about this working group on the Web at:

       Additional WIDEX Web Page

Last Modified: 2005-10-24


Dean Willis <dean.willis@softarmor.com>

Applications Area Director(s):

Ted Hardie <hardie@qualcomm.com>
Scott Hollenbeck <shollenbeck@verisign.com>

Applications Area Advisor:

Scott Hollenbeck <shollenbeck@verisign.com>

Mailing Lists:

General Discussion: remoteui@ietf.org
To Subscribe: https://www1.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/remoteui
Archive: http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/remoteui/index.html

Description of Working Group:

With the Internet reaching out to more and more devices, people are
increasingly expecting to have access to services at anytime, from
anywhere and using any device. Such services are being developed using
Web technologies such as XML and distributed across the network rather
than resident on any one device.

An example is a service to access flight arrival times, where the user
interface expressed in XHTML is rendered on a client device, the
application logic runs on a remote server and a technique as user
interface remoting is used to keep the user interface synchronized with
the application logic. What is currently lacking is a convenient means
for continous fine grained synchronization rather than the one provided
by a request/response protocol (e.g. HTTP) for Web pages, which occurs
in between page loads. This would allow the user interface to reflect
changes in application state and offer greater flexibility for
applications to respond to user input events.

The WiDeX (Widget Description Exchange Service) Working Group seeks to
define a light weight mechanism used in an IP-based network for remoting
user interfaces where the user interface is represented in XML, and
synchronization involves XML DOM events and XML DOM mutation/update

The WG will strive to preserve an extensible architecture so that the
work possibly be useful in the future with other types of descriptive
user interfaces beyond those specifically considered by the group.

Specific topics that are NOT goals of this WG are:

- XML representation of user interface objects.
- Means to establish sessions and support for device coordination.

The WiDeX service definition will define:

- A mechanism for synchronizing distributed XML DOM objects by
propagating DOM mutations/updates and DOM events.
- A set of parameters that need to be negotiated by a service discovery
and session setup mechanism in order to start the UI remoting session.
- A framework that enables a mechanism for remoting user interfaces
represented in XML format by using distributed XML DOM synchronization,
and a service discovery and session setup mechanism as building blocks.


- Requirements document.
- Document specifying the framework for remoting user interfaces
represented in XML format.
- Document specifying the message formats for XML DOM events and updates
using XML in a way that is independent of the transport protocol.
- Document(s) specifying normative binding(s) to at least one transport

It is possible that work undertaken in other working groups and even
other standards bodies (e.g. W3C) will be referenced by this working
group. It is even possible that entire deliverables could be satisfied
by the work of other working groups (e.g. discovery protocols). This
working group will seek to maximize the use of existing specifications
where applicable.

Goals and Milestones:

Nov 2005  Charter Working Group
Feb 2006  Working Group Last Call on Requirements draft
Mar 2006  Discuss Last Call comments on Requirements draft
Apr 2006  Submit Requirements draft to IESG for publication as Informational RFC
Jun 2006  Working Group Last Call on Framework, Message Formats and Transport Bindings drafts
Aug 2006  Discuss Last Call comments on Framework, Message Formats and Transport Bindings drafts
Nov 2006  Submit Framework, Message Formats and Transport Bindings drafts for publication as Proposed Standard

No Current Internet-Drafts

No Request For Comments

Current Meeting Report

Minutes, WIDEX meeting at IETF 64

Edited by Dean WIllis from notes by Jerry Shih

Meeting held Tuesday, November 8, 0900-1130.

Meeting called to order by chair Dean Willis.

IETF IPR policy noted.

Jerry Shih agreed to act as secretary.

Robert Sparks agreed to act as Jabber scribe.

Noted that Dave Raggett would be listening to the session's MP3 stream and sending commentary via Jabber.

Agenda agreed as proposed:


Discussion Lead





Agenda Bash






Vlad Stirbu




Dave Raggett

Ongoing work in W3C MMI

but noted that Vlad Stribu will lead the discussion of W3C work on behalf of Dave using slides submitted by Dave.

Topic: Charter

Discussion led by chair Dean Willis

Slides presented (and included in proceedings).

Charter and milestones reviewed with little discussion or commentary.

Noted that working group mailing list would be moved from remoteui@ietf.org to widex@ietf.org

TODO: Chairs to make sure the charter web page is updated to show the new working group mailing list.

Topic: WIDEX Requirements

Discussion led by Vlad Stirbu

Slides presented (and included in proceedings).

Supporting document: draft-stirbu-widex-requirements-00.txt

Presentation reported that the user interface is assumed to be modeled  in XML DOM and may vary in complexity across a wide range.  It also established a a requirement for dealing with three classes of alterations to that DOM: updates, mutations, and events.

TODO:  Author to add scenario on IPV4-IPV6 interworking.

TODO:  Author to clarify security requirements to indicate needs for protection of both data privacy and integrity.

Noted that the XML-patchBOF is looking at a similar thing (synchronizing XML) and that this raises a question as to whether we should be considering a general solution.  Discussion of the charter indicates that neotehr requires nor forbids addressing the problem in this working group, so the question is deferred,

It was suggested by Eric that we avoid targeting a specific application that might undermine the powerful capability of the IETF to define general-purpose transport protocols. 

Noted that there is some relationship between this work and OMA's SyncML, but that SyncML is intended for static documents and does not deal with events.

Proposed that the existing document draft-stirbu-widex-requirements-00.txt be adopted as baseline text for the working group's requirements deliverable. This proposal was accepted by unamimous consent.

TODO:  Editor to revise draft-stirbu-widex-requirements-00.txt and resubmit as draft-ietf-widex-requirements-00

Topic: W3C work on MultiModal MMS Architecture

Discussion led by Vlad Stirbu using slides by Dave Raggett

Slides presented.

Discussion followed:

Question: Does the existing requirements address Messaging order and reliability?

TODO: Editor to add these requirements to requirements draft

Noted on Binding messages: W3C comments indicate we may need to indicate which DOM tree or XML document is the target of each WIDEX event. Do we need to put this into each event, or do we have a binding between a WIDEX session and a single document such that the session context conveys this information?

TODO: Editor to clarify whether we have a requirement to relate a WIDEX  session to a single document, or should defer this discussion for implementation phases.

Noted that each application appears to be responsible for actual synchronization. 

Questions: Do we have a requirement to provide even ordering? If so, does this requirement extend beyond single WIDEX session or document? How does this apply to multiple renderers? 

TODO: Editor to address in requirements document.

Question: Do we need temporal coordination for multimodal interactions? Is time-based coordination adequate for the multi-renderer scenarios, given that it implies synchronized clocks?

TODO:  Editor to address in requirements document.

Topic: Working Group Open Discussion

The chair polled the room to see who would be interested in  more active roles such as authorship, review and comments. No volunteers were noted for document authoring or editing, but several people indicated a willingness to review documents.

Noted that we may need to think about network latency, which could provide a problem in sync.

Noted that Not all the events need to be sent to server; some could be handled locally.

Meeting adjourned by chair at 11:10


Agenda and Status
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