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23 January 2013, 16:03

W3C publishes draft for device-independent input handling

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W3C logo The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published the first draft of a specification with the goal to standardise device-independent input event handling. The working draft for IndieUI: Events 1.0, or "Events for User Interface Independence" as it is also called, wants to enable web developers to create applications that are independent of the device hardware they are being accessed on. Details such as hardware, operating system and configuration settings are abstracted away from the viewpoint of the developer.

In the draft, a single event replaces different input methods such as key combinations, keyboard commands or input device motions such as mouse movements, swipe gestures or even speech input. The proposal states that events are designed to be backwards-compatible and that developers have to explicitly opt in to using them. If developers do not define a type of event and an event listener – a piece of code that decides what part of the program will be invoked upon receipt of the input event – the client device will behave as it usually would.

The IndieUI: Events specification is currently in working draft status, meaning the authors, James Craig from Apple and Michael Cooper from the W3C, are looking for feedback on the requirements and feasibility of the specification.


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