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Subject: Groups - OASIS TC teleconference modified

OASIS TC teleconference has been modified by James Helms (jhelms@harmonia.com).

Date:  Monday, 20 September 2004
Time:  12:00pm - 01:00pm Eastern Time

Event Description:


User Interface Markup Language (UIML)
Technical Committee (TC)
Meeting Date	September 20, 2004
Meeting Time	12:00 PM EST
Location	Meeting held via Teleconference hosted by Harmonia, Inc.
Duration	1 Hour
Chair	Marc Abrams
Recording Secretary	Jim Helms

Name	Organization
Dr. Marc Abrams	Virginia Tech
Jim Helms	Harmonia, Inc.
Robbie Schaefer	Paderborn University
Dr. Manuel A. Pérez-Quiñones	Virginia Tech
Kris Luyten	Limburgs Universitair Centrum
Dr. Jean Vanderdonckt	Universite’ catholique de Louvain
Karl Best	OASIS

Business In Order

	Discussion of GraffiXML
	The TC continued its discussion of Tools that support model-based user interface design approaches with a presentation of GraffiXML by Dr. Jean Vanderdonckt.  GraffiXML was the first software tool to emit USIXML, a XML language for representing user interface models.  GraffiXML was developed to serve primarily as a USIXML-enabled UI builder, but also provides some level of project management capability as well.  GraffiXML is the first tool in a suite of tools being developed for USIXML.

Internationalization in GraffiXML is handled through a separation of “technical presentation” and “rendered presentation”.  The technical presentation only shows interface components and their locations without including any specific text or labels.  If the designer then wishes to view the interface in a particular human language then he/she would preview it to see the final rendered version of the UI.  This rendered version would present the specific text components associated with the selected language.  The USIXML defines one instance of each widget and the references different language sections to retrieve the correct text.  This mechanism is similar to the content element in UIML.

GraffiXML is still under heavy development and the preliminary version the TC reviewed did not include all the planned features.  Dr. Vanderdonckt agreed to send a link to the latest developmental version to the TC participants.

The developmental version includes an XML code editor that allows users to directly manipulate the USIXML output, and changes in this editor are reflected back in the GUI design window.

GraffiXML also allows users to define interface template structures like “Form” that provide the user some structure at the beginning of a project.  For example, choosing Form at the beginning of the project restricts the palette and layout mechanisms to only HTML-like form objects.  This helps to simplify the design process if the user has a particular type of interface in mind.

GraffiXML uses a BoxView to provide a layout mechanism for the interface being defined.  Screen components can be grouped into virtual boxes that are used to lay out those components together.  Boxes are logical groupings that can be associated with logical rules.  For example, a Box containing image widgets could be completely excluded from a voice-based interface or could be separated out to its own window within a small aperture PDA.

GraffiXML is designed using a pluggable architecture that allows users to create their own importers, exporters, and composers.  Importers allow new formats to be read by GraffiXML, exporters allow USIXML to be translated into different languages, and composers define new editors and design mechanisms.

The current developmental version does not include a mechanism for defining transitions of widget behavior, but this is planned for the future.  USIXML handles this through the definition of rule elements that contain conditions and actions (similar to UIML).  Currently GraffiXML does not support the graphical definition of content for complex widgets such a Tables.  Instead the content must be defined directly in the USIXML code.

Other tools in the USIXML suite include TransformXML and a Mapping Tool.  TransformXML converts UIs from any level of abstraction model to any other level.  The Mapping Tool allows UI designers to map abstract elements like tasks and domain objects to concrete widgets.

During the discussion, the TC learned more about the USIXML language that underlies GraffiXML.  For example, USIXML defines a concrete set of tags that correspond to widgets.  Typically this would mean that a language like USIXML would be tied to a single UI metaphor (e.g. desktop, PDA, etc.), yet USIXML overcomes this by introducing the notion of a modality.  Each widget can be restricted to only be allowable within certain modalities.  This allows for the definition of voice-only components, desktop-only components, or even mixed mode components.  This feature of the language is similar in nature to UIML use of vocabularies, which define specific widgets for use within specific toolkits.

Task models are represented in a modified CTT notation to which Jean has added new task types and relations.  Concrete widget attributes are represented as child nodes under the widget node.

	Action Items
·	Jim Helms will update the Open Issues document to add the lessons learned from investigating DISL.
·	Jim Helms will update the document recording the relationship of UIML to other languages/ working groups to include XAML
·	The TC will review the UIML-based design tools in preparation to discuss it at the next meeting.
·	Marc Abrams and Jean Vanderdonckt will coordinate to discuss the semantic reconciliation of USIXML and UIML

 	The meeting ended at 1:00 PM EST to reconvene on October 18th, 2004.

This event is one in a list of recurring events.
Other event dates in this series:

Monday, 16 August 2004, 12:00pm to 01:00pm Eastern Time
Monday, 18 October 2004, 12:00pm to 01:00pm Eastern Time
Monday, 15 November 2004, 12:00pm to 01:00pm Eastern Time
Monday, 20 December 2004, 12:00pm to 01:00pm Eastern Time

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