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   Re: Why I Hate Palmtops (was: Re: SGML, XML and SML)

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  • From: "Michael Champion" <mike.champion@softwareag-usa.com>
  • To: <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999 10:06:21 -0500

----- Original Message -----
From: <rev-bob@gotc.com>
To: <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
Sent: Saturday, November 27, 1999 7:40 AM
Subject: re: Re: Why I Hate Palmtops (was: Re: SGML, XML and SML)

>What sort of people *do* want to access the Web through a tiny cellphone
> screen

People sitting in traffic jams, taxis, airports, hotel lobbies, waiting
rooms, etc. where they don't have convenient or affordable access to an
internet device with a conventional form factor.  I remember sitting in a
traffic jam in Manila last month, and a colleague in the car had an "a HA!"
experience where he grokked the concept of cellphone web browsing for the
first time.... some question came up that we could answer in 30 seconds with
web access.

> I have suggested some possible avenues that might get around this
> visual real estate  problem - for instance, bypassing the screen >
> idea entirely and using text-to-speech
> rendering, or going outside the current palmtop form factor to
> something which would
> allow for a larger screen via the clamshell metaphor.
>  However, the existence of these
> possibilities does not justify XML parsers in current-metaphor
> devices.  Should a
> cellphone have an XML parser?

Why not?  Just as we're now seeing server-side translation from XML to WML,
I could imagine a client-side translation to speech.  I'd DEFINITELY want to
send the text to the cellphone in XML (or SML, or some structured markup
language) so that the text-to-speech rendered only the most salient parts of
the content.

I think the real argument for XML parsers in a cellphone is in message
processing, not text display.  I can imagine running a VERY SMALL program on
my cellphone to sniff my message headers for anything marked critical or
anything from my wife or my boss and only downloading these.  I can imagine
doing this much more easily with an XML-ish parser than without one.

In other words, I can imagine reading my high-priority e-mail and accessing
travel site from my cellphone even if I can't imagine accessing YOUR Web
site that way, Rev. Bob!

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