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RE: ANEC's comments on W3C mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0, W3C Working Draft 30 January 2007

From: Jo Rabin <jrabin@mtld.mobi>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 04:36:42 -0500
Message-ID: <815E07C915F39742A29E5587B3A7FA1929DD66CB@lk0-cs0.int.link2exchange.com>
To: <public-bpwg-comments@w3.org>, "Bruno von Niman" <bruno@vonniman.com>
Cc: "Chiara Giovannini" <chiara.giovannini@anec.eu>, "Christina Everett" <christina.everett@anec.eu>

Bruno

Forgive me but I don't understand the point you are making in this lengthy email. 

You ask us to reconsider specification of UTF-8. Can you let us know, in brief, to what end? What possible outcomes do you foresee from such an exercise?

Thanks
Jo

> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-bpwg-comments-request@w3.org [mailto:public-bpwg-comments-
> request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Bruno von Niman
> Sent: 09 March 2007 09:28
> To: 'Charles McCathieNevile'; public-bpwg-comments@w3.org
> Cc: 'Chiara Giovannini'; 'Christina Everett'; 'Bruno von Niman'
> Subject: RE: ANEC's comments on W3C mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0, W3C Working
> Draft 30 January 2007
> 
> 
> Hi Chaals,
> 
> Sean's already "...added these comments to the ever-growing list of
> comments on the last call document that we'll process."
> 
> However, if I can make you happy with "...a plain version of this document
> to facilitate reading" (a usability contradiction, valid only it is the
> case of long, continuous texts), I'll do; cut&paste it at the end of this
> message.
> 
> Re. UTF-8: I am not an expert on character implementation and handling
> (there are few in the world) but I've seen trouble caused by it; even the
> current SMS standard suffers.
> The thing is, there are differences and incompatibilities between what
> mobile systems (of different generations and technologies), mobile
> terminals and applications support and how. There are also
> incompatibilities between the IT and telecom world.
> 
> I have some available reference developed during the update of the
> character standard (also used for text messaging); I add an extract below:
> 
> Part of the mobile (SMS) standard was originally taken over from paging,
> with only a rudimentary set of characters defined: the "ASCII set"
> complemented by a few specifically European-language letters, amongst them
> the ten Greek capital letters not having a corresponding visual
> representation in the Latin alphabet. The Cyrillic alphabet was not
> covered at all.
> The GSM 03.38 standard [10] applies only to what is transmitted between a
> mobile phone and the "Mobile Switching Centre" (MSC), not to how character
> generation is handled inside the phone. Naturally it is however not very
> meaningful to generate text with characters that can then not be
> transmitted, so the character limitations of the standard also limits what
> needs to be generated. With the original - "default" - (SMS) character
> set, multi-linguality is therefore completely unsatisfactory.
> 
> In GSM Phase 2, an alternative to the original character set was
> introduced, in principle permitting about double the numbers of characters
> of the original SMS scheme. This alternative was designated "user-
> defined", i.e. no scheme was specified in the standard. It appears no user
> - i.e. Operator - has utilized this possibility.
> 
> With GSM Phase 2+, another alternative was introduced, namely the coding
> scheme of ISO/IEC 10646 1. With this scheme there is, in principle, no
> longer any limitation on the repertoire of characters that can be
> represented in texts or SMS messages. European multi-linguality is
> therefore enabled, as far as representation of characters is concerned.
> 
> When the original standard for GSM messaging was developed, it was focused
> on languages of Western Europe. For those, a comparatively small set of
> letters was sufficient to cover the alphabetic needs. The developed
> standard therefore made use of the same 7-bit (i.e. containing 128
> characters) ETSI-specific coding scheme as for the paging system ERMES
> (European Radio Message System), with some minor changes.
> 
> With the spread of GSM, that scheme became totally insufficient. The
> messaging standard was therefore modified, starting by its version 5.1.0
> (March 1996), to permit also an alternative coding scheme, namely ISO/IEC
> 10646 in its two-octet (two-byte) coding variant UCS-2 (coding-wise
> identical to "Unicode"). This scheme however reduced the number of
> characters that can be contained within a message package, as described
> below.
> 
> Also, in the latest standard version an extension mechanism for the
> default alphabet has been introduced. It does not expand the letter
> repertoire, however.
> 
> The increasing emphasis on supporting multi-linguality in
> telecommunication - as well as in data processing - in today's global
> society makes the limitations of the present SMS standard's coding schemes
> unacceptable to users. In this connection the ETSI standard ES 202 130
> "Character repertoires, ordering rules and assignments to the 12-key
> telephone keypad" (2003-10) is especially relevant.
> 
> In the case of sending SMS text with the default 7-bit alphabet, the
> characters are packed into 140-octet (bytes) packages, permitting a
> message length of up to 160 characters. With the 10646 UCS-2 alphabet,
> where each character is represented by two octets, the maximum message
> length is 70 characters.
> 
> Although different implementations of the standard may be possible, it
> appears that all mobile-phone and system manufacturers have taken an
> obvious straight-forward approach. When a user inputs a message containing
> only the letters of the default 7-bit coding scheme, a message of maximum
> 160 characters is generated.
> 
> In early phones, only the default letter repertoire was available.
> Present-day phones, however, permit input of a much larger repertoire. If
> only default-scheme (7-bit) letters are input, a packed 7-bit message is
> generated. As soon as a letter outside that scheme is input, however, the
> generation switches to two-octet coding, permitting a maximum length of
> only 70 characters.
> 
> Understandably, users find this mobile-phone behavior highly confusing. It
> also means waste of bandwidth, since even a single character outside of
> the default scheme may results in two or even three consecutive SMS being
> sent instead of a single one.
> 
> Also, it means that a user of one of the languages not covered by the
> default alphabet will in general have to pay more to transfer a message
> than a user of a language that is covered, i.e. a discrimination of
> several European languages!
> 
> 
> UCS-2 transformation according to UTF-8 is a data compression method,
> ISO/IEC 10646 "UCS Transformation Format 8 (UTF-8)", as an additional
> coding scheme.
> The purpose of that transformation is not really compression, but avoiding
> complications in data transmission. Since every 10646 UCS-2 character is
> represented by two octets, a character data stream may contain single-
> octet values in the ranges used for control characters in 7- and 8-bit
> schemes (hex 00-1F and 7F). This may cause problems in "transparent"
> transmissions. The UTF-8 transformation ensures that such problems do not
> occur.
> 
> As a "side effect", all Basic Latin characters (i.e. same as ASCII, hex
> 20-7E) will become represented by a single octet. Since that includes the
> letters a/A-z/Z, which in all Latin-script languages are the most common
> in text, considerable data compression will in practice occur.
> 
> UTF-8 transformation may however also place too great demands on
> processors. Further it shall be noticed that for characters with UCS-2
> code values above hex 07FF, the transformation will actually produce three
> or more octets, making SMS even less efficient. This is the case for e.g.
> all Indian-language letters.
> 
> *************************************************************
> The ANEC comments:
> 
> 1. Introduction and scope
> As a general standpoint, ANEC considers Web accessibility and usability of
> very high importance to consumers. Given the increasing number of
> consumers accessing the Web through a mobile device, we appreciate W3C's
> efforts trying to improve the experience of the mobile Web into a better
> consumer experience.
> Our comments on this test specification draft document are provided below,
> with good intentions and in a positive spirit and should be considered as
> our contribution to improve the current Last Call draft.
> The comments are intended to provide consumer-centric input and guidance
> on how to further improve and extend the coverage and usefulness of the
> present draft and/or future Recommendations within this area.
> The comments reflect issues relevant to consumers, discussed and agreed in
> the ANEC ICT Working Group.
> 
> 2. Comments
> Section "Abstract"
> It is understood that "this document defines the tests that provide the
> basis for making a claim of W3C« mobileOK Basic(tm) conformance, based on W3C
> Mobile Web Best Practices (http://www.w3.org/TR/mobileOK-basic10-
> tests/#BestPractices#BestPractices )".
> Furthermore, it is understood that "content passing these tests has taken
> some steps to provide a functional user experience for users of basic
> mobile devices whose capabilities at least match those of the Default
> Delivery Context (DDC).
> The concepts introduced, mobileOK Basic (the lesser of two levels of
> claim; the greater level being mobileOK) and mobileOK do not assesses
> interoperability, usability, accessibility, nor the accessed content".
> Comment #1: In the perspective of the above, we believe that this may be
> understood as (strongly) misleading consumers, who will have other,
> natural assumptions about the meaning of the trust mark. Assumably, if a
> mobile Web site is declared to be "mobileOK", consumers will assume the
> trust mark to is some kind of guarantee for aspects that will mean OK to
> them. In other words, it may well be assumed as a guarantee for reliable
> content, safe access, and trustable connections with a fair usability and
> some minimum levels of accessibility. Furthermore, depending on the
> consumer's age, assumptions may even be made about the some kind of
> appropriateness of the content, when accessed by young children.
> An analogy to the above is TV sets marketed as "HD ready". Even if this is
> only a declaration of one of the TV set's capabilities, consumers
> (typically uninterested in details of this and other technologies) will
> naturally assume this to be a declaration of compatibility and
> capabilities for receiving and displaying high definition TV broadcasts
> without further needs to buy additional products (such as a set-top box)
> and most probably, subscriptions (that will also imply a considerable
> monthly fee). Consumers are often not aware that HD displays will only
> display an HD picture when connected to an HD receiver (set-top box).
> This will lead to consumer disappointment and the product may even be
> handed back. To continue with the analogy, "Real HD ready" TV sets are now
> marketed and the situation is becoming very confusing...what was "HD ready"?
> And what may be next? False marketing does not aid the successful uptake
> of new consumer technologies.
> Therefore, we suggest the re-branding of the mobileOK(tm) and mobileOK Basic(tm)
> trust marks in some way that reflects their true and proper meanings. Due
> to the complexity of the required branding, this may be a challenging task
> but worth the effort. It is not our task, nor competence area to propose
> alternative names that would work properly on a global market but wording
> that consumers would understand may include:
> * Ready for mobile use;
> * Mobile device adapted site;
> * This content displays OK on mobile devices.
> We believe that third party provisioning (or certification) is the only
> way to provide a reliable trust mark information to consumers as often,
> products do not match qualities declared by manufacturers, entailing a
> loss of consumer confidence. ANEC therefore encourages third-party
> certification.
> Section 1.1.4
> "The best practices, and hence the tests, are not promoted as guidance for
> achieving the optimal user experience...It will often be possible, and
> generally desirable, to provide an experience designed to take advantage
> of the extra capabilities.
> Content providers should provide an experience that is mobileOK conformant
> to ensure a basic level of interoperability."
> Comment #2: The above is a valuable statement to developers but, again,
> misleading to consumers, who should understand the trust mark in the right
> way.
> Section 2.3
> "Creators of implementations of the tests described in this document are
> encouraged to provide as much information as possible to users of their
> implementations. Where possible they should not stop on FAIL and
> specifically they should:
> * Provide information about the cause of failure
> * Continue individual tests as far as is possible
> * Carry out as many tests as is reasonable"
> Comment #3: In addition to the above information recommended for
> provision, the consumer should be informed about the reason of failure in
> an understandable way. Additional information relating to other
> functionalities should also be provided. Furthermore and in addition, a
> technical reason or code may be provided to help the operator or creator
> of the implementation to identify the source of the error.
> Last but not least, consumers should be able to contact customer services
> through a single point of access per modality (e.g. by calling the "usual"
> number for all issues).
> 
> Section 2.3.4
> Some tests refer to "CSS Style" information.
> 
> Comment #4: We would like the WG to confirm if the consequences of
> applying and using CSS have been examined with regard to mobile Web
> accessibility (possibly in collaboration with the WAI/WCAG Activity)?
> Section 3.3
> The current requirements are to support only UTF-8 encoding.
> Comment #5: We believe that the UTF-8 coding support should be studied in
> more detail, as it may have implications on the displayable text and the
> data transmission.
> 
> Regards,
> Bruno
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Charles McCathieNevile [mailto:chaals@opera.com]
> Sent: den 7 mars 2007 22:56
> To: Bruno von Niman; public-bpwg-comments@w3.org
> Cc: 'Chiara Giovannini'; 'Christina Everett'; 'Bruno von Niman'
> Subject: Re: ANEC's comments on W3C mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0, W3C Working
> Draft 30 January 2007
> 
> On Thu, 08 Mar 2007 04:21:45 +1100, Bruno von Niman
> <ANEC_W3CRep_Bruno@vonniman.com> wrote:
> 
> > Dear W3C Mobile Web Best Practices WG,
> 
> > See attached a document with comments from ANEC (www.anec.org
> <http://www.anec.org/> ) on the W3C mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0, W3C Working
> Draft 30 January 2007.
> 
> Oh for a plain version of this document to facilitate reading. Say,
> pasting the content into email...
> 
> In your comment 5 you ask us to study utf-8 more as you believe there
> maybe some issues with displayability.
> 
> Culd you be more precise? I looked this morning at utf-8 (which means I
> studied it more). What are the issues or potential issues that concern
> you?
> 
> thanks for the comments
> 
> cheers
> 
> Chaals
> 
> --
>   Charles McCathieNevile, Opera Software: Standards Group
>   hablo espa˝ol  -  je parle franšais  -  jeg lŠrer norsk
> chaals@opera.com          Try Opera 9.1     http://opera.com
> 
> 
Received on Friday, 9 March 2007 09:36:51 GMT

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