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Re: transcoders bad

From: Terren Suydam <terren@singleclicksystems.com>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2008 18:04:00 -0400
Message-ID: <4898CE50.705@singleclicksystems.com>
To: Sean Owen <srowen@google.com>
CC: Luca Passani <passani@eunet.no>, public-bpwg-comments@w3.org

You dodged my question. I will hold you to it until you answer. Comments 

Sean Owen wrote:
> If a site is specifying it doesn't want to be transcoded, and that is
> being ignored, I think absolutely everyone here agrees with you that
> it's wrong and abusive. The point of this recommendation is to make it
> clear, to sites and to transcoders, how to communicate this and how to
> obey these wishes. So far I think there is 100% agreement.


> What I personally don't understand, and I think the people behind this
> document, is why this leads to conclusions like "don't change
> User-Agent". That does not have to do with telling a transcoder to
> leave you alone. Or why it leads to conclusions like "don't transcode
> https". Those are the areas of apparent disagreement -- not what you
> say.

"Don't Change the User Agent" means this: don't force almost every 
existing mobile web site to change and test working code. How is that 
hard to understand?  Give me a good reason to do that and I'll consider 
it. You haven't yet.

And transcoding https. I can't believe this is under discussion. There 
isn't a single security expert in the world that would endorse the 
insertion of a man in the middle between the client and the server for 
expected secure communications. But forget the obvious and severe 
security degradation for one moment. Chances are that any website that 
is important enough to encrypt is probably going to provide a mobile 
version of it. Eventually, anyway. If transcoders expect this to be a 
revenue driver, it won't be for very long.

> If your position is, bah, I just don't think transcoders should exist
> at all, I have two legitimate responses:

That's not my position at all. This dialog is useless if you're not 
going to read my posts. Transcoders have value. They just need to step 
aside when mobile solutions have already been created.

> 2) Transcoders exist, dude. Sorry. They're not going away. It may feel
> good to take a "principled" stand that they shouldn't, in which case
> you are left with a good feeling and business problem. (Actually,
> seems like this approach leaves you with anger and a business
> problem.) Luca's got this part of it taken care of, if you want to be
> part of that audience. This group is for those who are interested in
> finding a way to work around behavior that's causing problems. It's
> another option. You guys can decry it but I don't see why you spend so
> much time bashing people trying to put out a legitimate, constructive,
> useful alternative point of view.

There is no fundamental problem here, dude. The real issue is, who's 
going to do the work of accomodating the other guy. And until 
transcoders can make a case that it should be mobile developers, why the 
heck would we spend yet more resources to deal with the effects of 

So here's your chance to make your case. All you have to do is answer my 
very simple questions. Here they are again and I triple-dog-dare you to 
read, understand, and answer them:


Would someone please explain to me how the "problem to be solved" is due 
to anything except transcoders abusing the boundaries of their business 

Put another way: why should any mobile developer have to do anything 
differently, beyond telling a transcoder to leave them alone? What 
possible consideration should we be willing to concede on and spend 
resources to address here?

I promise that I am open to any legitimate answers to these questions.

Received on Tuesday, 5 August 2008 22:04:39 UTC

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