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Re: please reivew mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 16:38:43 +0200
To: "Sean Owen" <srowen@google.com>, "Simon Pieters" <zcorpan@gmail.com>
Cc: public-bpwg-comments@w3.org, "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.tt4gatl3wxe0ny@pc052.coreteam.oslo.opera.com>

On Wed, 13 Jun 2007 19:33:40 +0200, Sean Owen <srowen@google.com> wrote:

> On 6/11/07, Simon Pieters <zcorpan@gmail.com> wrote:
>>   1. Users have to pay per byte for browsing on the mobile.
>>   2. The connection speed on mobiles is slow.
>>   3. Many mobile browsers have bad support for CSS.
>> On the longer term, (1) should be addressed by providers offering  
>> monthly
>> fees; (2) should be addressed by improving mobile networks, and (3) by
>> improving the implementations. (2) and (3) are already happening, and I
>> wouldn't be surprised if (1) happened soon. When these have been
>> addressed, there is little reason for authors to provide separate  
>> versions
>> for mobiles and for desktop, as opposed to using one version that works
>> for both.
> My personal opinion is that the difference between a desktop and
> mobile phone-friendly page is not bridge-able with just some CSS and
> media selectors. The phone (and here we are talking about low-end
> phones, not big PDAs) has a drastically smaller screen, no keyboard,
> no pointer, and may not even be able to load the single document
> that's also written for the desktop into memory.
> I do think it's feasible to write once for the desktop and some kind
> of portable device, but such a device is substantially different from
> what people have in their average phone / browser.

This depends on the application. For high-end applications where  
pixel-level layout control makes a difference to the user, perhaps.  
Although CSS media queries gives a lot of this power already. For  
something like, say, the google search page (to think of a random example)  
it is quite a simple application and apparently very popular even so. In  
such a case relatively simple adaptation is probably sufficient (and if  
Google stopped automatically selecting whatever language it thinks I want,  
I would even be grateful).

> For this reason I think the mobile (= phone) context needs to be
> considered separately. It's "different enough", in the same way that I
> don't think anyone seriously expects a desktop web page can be
> "rendered" comparably by an audio text reader. One might reasonably
> argue the web just doesn't belong on mobile then.

If one talked to the people who have been using the Web through audio  
interfaces for the last decade or so, one might discover that actually if  
it works, then that's the major concern - and for a large proportion of  
applications that people actually want there are ways to make it work.  
There are, of course, complex applications that need some extra work to  
adapt nicely, or even in some cases should be built in multiple versions.  
But there are many that don't fall into that category. And with a few  
improvements being more widespread in browsers (CSS 3 media queries, not  
downloading objects that won't being rendered, and so on) it would be even  
more easy to make simple things easy, and hard things possible.

There will always be applications that are difficult to adapt easily.  
There will also be poor designers who don't figure out how to adapt even  
simple things to mobile. But the goal with MobileOK 1.0 is to explain how  
to make more things Just Work™ on very basic devices.

The MWI hasn't even got into how to really work with the most powerful  
devices that a lucky few (millions) own or are buying today. And looking  
at ordinary web content, with ordinary design skills behind it, on a good  
browser is much better than trying to work with it on some of the  
primitive browsers around, just as it is better than looking at content  
that used design patterns which are actively unfriendly to mobile  

That's my speech :)



   Charles McCathieNevile, Opera Software: Standards Group
   hablo español  -  je parle français  -  jeg lærer norsk
chaals@opera.com    Catch up: Speed Dial   http://opera.com
Received on Monday, 18 June 2007 14:39:05 UTC

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