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New IBM Tool Simplifies Creation of Mobile Web Pages

· Web Dev Zone

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A new visual editor is under development at IBM that can adapt a web page for voice and mobile browsers.  The technology has no name currently, but IBM has announced that the development tool is working.  There is currently no release date or plans on how it will be offered, and the features may change as development continues.

The editor uses a series of arrows to arrange the sequence of web page headings, columns, tables, etc. to fit on smaller mobile browser screens.  The arrows connect to form a line around the page from one element to the next, generating a new order on the page.  You can see a demonstration in this video.  Web pages could get more information out to users using IBM's tool, which reconfigures the site into a single steam of content.  Although there are other specialized tools available that adapt traditional Web pages automatically based on a set of parameters, IBM's hopes its software will give web developers more hands-on control.

IBM's visual editor can also adapt web pages to voice browsers for the visually impaired.  Of course, voice browsers aren't just for the visually impaired.  Voice browsing is another way to browse when you can't look at the screen, however the capabilities for voice browsing are limited.  The mobile browser is also limited in many cases because there is a large web page that must be navigated using a small screen.  Many phones don't even have full HTML browsers.  

In IBM's new software, Web masters can configure the flow of content created with AJAX, Javascript, or XMLHttpRequest (XHR).  IBM is hoping to make the editing process simple enough for web developers of any skill level, according to IBM spokesman Ari Fishkind.  Fishkind says IBM's unnamed tool may be introduced with software from the company's Lotus or Rational divisions, or offered as an open-source tool.

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