Multi-Device Complementary View Adaptation with Liquid Media Queries


  • Andrea Gallidabino Software Institute, Faculty of Informatics, Universit`a della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland
  • Cesare Pautasso Software Institute, Faculty of Informatics, Universit`a della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland



Liquid Software, Media Queries, Multi-device adaptation, responsive user interface, complementary view adaptation


The design of responsive Web applications is traditionally based on the assumption that they run on a single client at a time. Thanks to CSS3 media queries, developers can declaratively specify how the Web application UI adapts to the capabilities of specific devices.
As users own more and more devices and they attempt to use them to run Web applications in parallel, we propose to extend CSS media queries so that they can be used to adapt the UI of liquid Web applications while they are dynamically deployed across multiple devices.
In this paper we present our extension of CSS media queries with liquid-related types and features, allowing to detect the number of devices connected, the number of users running the application, or the role played by each device. The liquid media query types and features defined in this paper are designed and suitable for liquid component-based Web architectures, and they enable developers to control the deployment of individual Web components across multiple browsers. Furthermore we show the design of liquid media queries in the Liquid.js for Polymer framework and propose our adaptation algorithms. We describe multiple adaptation policies and discuss the implications of the multi-device adaptation from the perspective of the developers and users of a Web application. Finally we showcase the expressiveness of the liquid media queries to support real-world examples and evaluate the algorithmic complexity of our approach.


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Author Biographies

Andrea Gallidabino, Software Institute, Faculty of Informatics, Universit`a della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland

Andrea Gallidabino. He is part of the Architecture, Design and Web Information Systems Engineering Group under the supervision of his advisor Prof. Cesare Pautasso. The group is part of the Software Institute at Univerist`a della Svizzera Italiana. As a researcher in the group he focuses his work mainly on liquid software and real-time communicationWeb technologies. Moreover he helps the professor with lectures, interacting with students on a daily basis. His research interests are: Web technologies, real-time applications, liquid software, and multi-device interactions. You can find more information on and follow him @AGallidabino.

Cesare Pautasso, Software Institute, Faculty of Informatics, Universit`a della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland

Cesare Pautasso. He is a Full Professor at the Software Institute of the Faculty of Informatics, USI Lugano, Switzerland, and formerly researcher at the IBM Zurich Research Lab (2007) and senior researcher at ETH Zurich (2004–2007) where he completed his Ph.D. in 2004. At USI he leads the Architecture, Design and Web Information Systems Engineering research group. He is currently supervising the research of a group of Ph.D. students building experimental systems to explore the intersection of cloud computing, software architecture, Web engineering, and business process management, with ongoing projects exploring workflow benchmarking, RESTful conversations, and liquid software. He is the coauthor of the book SOA with REST (2012) and currently writing a book titled Just Send an Email: Anti- Patterns for Email-Centric Organizations (published on LeanPub). He is coeditor of the IEEE Software Insight department and program chair of the 20th International Conference on Web Engineering (ICWE2020). You can find more information on and follow him


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