Home MIT to Open Source Mobile Web Code

MIT to Open Source Mobile Web Code

Several months ago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created the Mobile Web Project in an attempt to provide up-to-date university information for its faculty, students and visitors over mobile devices.

Early next year, Information Services and Technology (IS&T), the central IT department at MIT, and the team responsible for the design, development and maintenance of the software, plans to open source the code.

The MIT mobile site offers a staff and student directory, a campus map, the shuttle schedule, an event calendar, class announcements for students, emergency information, and status updates for many of MIT’s tech services.

To access the site, all you need is a mobile device, a Web browser, and WiFi, and the MIT Mobile Web will automatically detect your device type and deliver content optimized for it.

According to Andrew Yu (Mobile Devices Platform Project Manager) at MIT IS&T, the technology behind the project includes WURFL and Python, XHTML and CSS, PHP, MySQL, SOAP and RSS.

The next step, according to Yu is to explore personalization and customization in a secure manner: “For instance, it would be great if students using mobile devices can securely check their grades or the balance of their MIT TechCash account and make simple transactions instead of having to pull out their laptop. Our team is brainstorming the next set of modules and arranging meetings with various departments at MIT. We expect to include content from MIT News, Campus Dining, TechTV, MIT World, and other areas in coming months.”

If you’re interested in finding out more, take a look at these two presentations:

MIT’s Vision for Mobility[PDF]

Developing the MIT Mobile Web[PDF]

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