• Terminal characteristics
Battery life, processing power, and storage capabilities are usually limited compared to traditional applications.
Interaction with the user is also limited by small screen sizes, reduced input devices (small or reduced keyboard, limited, or missing pointing device).
Bandwidth is reduced and quality of service is lower.
Despite the diversity and limitations, the ideal application should run on all terminals without specific adaptation.
• Use of several different terminals by the same end user. The same application should run on any terminal, with a reasonably similar look and feel.
• Mobility of the end user. Here, the application should adapt relevant functions to the geographical position. Further, mobility of the terminals should be transparent to the developer if she chooses so.
• Middleware for mobility. Traditional middleware supports the communication among applications or components resident on a node. With mobility of terminals and components from node to node new problems arise, for instance for communication, data replication, or synchronization. The trend is to extend middleware with new functions, or modify existing functions so that applications can abstract from mobility.
• Adaptation of the application to the terminal. This is a hard problem because it is strictly linked with the semantic of the application. A reduction in screen size may involve reducing the functionality offered, the content, and/or the sequence of interaction; effective adaptation requires working at the semantic level.
• M. Morisio is with the Dipartimento Automatica e Informatica, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy.
• M. Oivo is with the University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.
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Maurizio Morisio received the PhD degree in software engineering and the MSc degree in electronic engineering from Politecnico di Torino. He is an associate professor in the Dipartimento di Automatica e Informatica at the Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy. From 1989 to 1991, he worked as senior consultant at IGL Technology, Paris, France. From 1998 to 2000, he worked with the Experimental Software Engineering Group at the University of Maryland, College Park. During that time, he was the codirector of the Software Engineering Laboratory (SEL), a consortium of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the University of Maryland, and Computer Science Corporation, which has the mission of improving software practices at NASA and CSC. He is currently principal investigator of the IST-30028 project WISE, Wireless Internet Software Engineering, funded by the European Commission, DG-INFSO. His research is aimed at understanding how software is produced and maintained, in order to improve software processes and products in industrial settings. His research interests include software reuse, software architectures, COTS-based development, open source development, and agile methodologies. He is member of the IEEE Computer Society. He has been a member of the international program committees of several conferences and symposia, including METRICS, ICSR, ICCBSS, and PROFES. He has (co)authored more than 40 papers in international journals and conferences and one book.
Markku Oivo is a full professor at the University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland. He has over 20 years of management and R&D experience in industry and academy in Finland, the US, France, and Germany. He has managed and initiated both national and international projects including EU consortia. He has also consulted EU in R&D planning, proposal evaluation and project reviewing. Until 2001, he was vice president of R&D and director of Solid Applied Research Center, with responsibilities of data management and synchronization in ubiquitous computing, network management including 3G networks, and Internet-based applications. Before joining SOLID in 2000, he was a research professor and the head of embedded software at VTT Electronics. He has worked at the University of Oulu 1981-1982, at Kone Co. in 1982-1986, and he has held visiting positions at the University of Maryland in 1990-1991, Schlumberger Ltd. in Paris in 1994-1995, and Fraunhofer IESE in 1999-2000. He has published more than 60 papers in international conferences and journals. He has served as chair and committee member in organizing numerous international conferences, and he is a founding member of the ISERN network. He has served as a reviewer for several international journals (including IEEE and ACM journals and magazines).