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Adaptive Web-site Design - Essay Example

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Paul de Bra’s statement no longer holds true in today’s Web development environment.Currently,there are technologies that allow Web programmers to separate the conceptual representation of an application domain from the content of the actual Web-site. …
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Adaptive Web-site Design
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“One of the problems often mentioned in adaptive Web-site design is that there are some issues for which no general approach or solution appears to exist. One of these issues is the separation of a conceptual representation of an application domain from the content of the actual Web-site.” Paul de Bra’s statement no longer holds true in today’s Web development environment. Currently, there are technologies that allow Web programmers to separate the conceptual representation of an application domain from the content of the actual Web-site. One such popular technology is eXtensible Markup Language (XML). XML is a markup language that was designed to transport and store data. It separates the document’s contents from its presentation. This makes it possible to use a single document to contain all the website’s content independent of presentation attributes. Secondly, the XML source document is processed with an eXtensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) file to produce a variety of outputs including HTML pages, rich text formats (RTFs), PDFs and mobile devices. This single source capability decreases errors in content and ensures consistency of format throughout entire Web sites and between formats for multiple devices (Costello et al. 2006). Another technology that promotes adaptive web design is Cascading Style Sheets 3 (CSS3) which supports use of fluid layouts, flexible media and media queries (Gustafson 2011). CSS is a style sheet language, which like XML, enables the separation of document presentation from document content. CSS3 is the latest standard for Cascading Style Sheets. Fluid layouts are dynamic and user sensitive adapting to the available size of the user’s device interface and providing increased content accessibility. Flexible media is achieved via CSS3’s max-width property, which when applied causes images to scale according to their content area’s fluid width. CSS3 also greatly expands support for media queries, adding the ability to target media features such as screen and device width and orientation. This way CSS3’s media queries allow web browsers to serve different styles for different viewing contexts. JavaScript is based loosely on Java and is able to employ the use of Objects. Where do you see possibilities for objects being employed in HTML and Internet programming? Anderson and Wolff (2010) argued that as much as we love the Web, users are increasingly abandoning the Web for semi-closed platforms that use the Internet for transport but not the browser for display. The force behind these platforms has been the rise of mobile computing driven by the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets. Anderson and Wolff (2010) refer to these platforms as apps. The key distinction between apps and the Web is the fact that they are not indexed by search engines and they do not use HTML. Apps have become increasingly popular because they often work better or fit better into consumers’ lives than the Web. However, the Web is still much more powerful than apps because it offers a platform that makes it very easy for social interaction that makes content useful in today’s networked world. In the Web it is very easy to share, link, embed, cut and paste, bookmark, search (Hansen 2010). What becomes apparent from the discussion above is that today’s consumers want to access simple yet sleek services (read apps) but at the same time enjoy the freedom to consume, produce and share content within their social circle (read the Web). Apps cannot offer the latter. However, the Web has the potential to offer the former. This means that there is a great need for finding the technology that will support development of more interactive media that can match the service currently being provided by mobile apps. JavaScript as an object-oriented scripting language offers Web developers the tools to build interactive content that can match the needs of today’s users. The fact that JavaScript is used in both app and Web development means that it is very possible to realize the consumer need for simple and sleek services via the Web. The fifth revision of the HTML standard, HTML5, supports the use of the tag that is used to embed multimedia within web pages. This tag also allows HTML to be able to accommodate new multimedia types that may possibly arise in future. Most importantly, using HTML, JavaScript and CSS, gives Web designers the tools to match many of the design improvements of customized apps through Web browsers without the limitations of the apps (Hansen 2010). References Anderson, C. & Wolff, M., 2010. The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet | Wired Magazine. Wired Magazine. Available at: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/08/ff_webrip/all/1 [Accessed February 29, 2012]. Costello, J. et al., 2006. Using XML for Web Site Management: Getting Started Guide. Available at: http://www.ctg.albany.edu/publications/guides/xml_getting_started/xml_getting_started.pdf [Accessed May 19, 2012]. Gustafson, A., 2011. Adaptive Web Design, Chattanooga, TN: Easy Readers. Hansen, E., 2010. How the Web Wins. Wired Magazine. Available at: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/08/how-the-web-wins/ [Accessed May 19, 2012].  Read More
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