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Customizing Mobile Applications

Bill N. Schilit Currently visiting Xerox Palo Alto
Research Center, 3333 Coyote Hill Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94304
Computer Science Department, Columbia University

Marvin M. Theimer and Brent B. Welch
Palo Alto Research Center, Xerox Corporation


The dynamics of mobile systems require applications to intelligently adapt to changes in system configurations and to their environment. We describe a workplace in which users interact with a number of stationary and mobile systems through the course of a day. The relationship between systems and devices is constantly changing due to user mobility. We present a facility for mobile application customization called ``dynamic environment variables.'' The facility allows flexible sharing of customization contexts, supports short interactions with long term services, and provides efficient notification of environment changes to applications. A sample application built in PARC's mobile computing environment and initial performance evaluations are described.

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