W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-bpwg@w3.org > July 2005

Re: Best Practices document - not best practices

From: Tammy <taylortk@verizon.net>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 21:43:15 -0400
To: Paul Walsh <paulwalsh@segalamtest.com>
Cc: 'Barbara Ballard' <barbara@littlespringsdesign.com>, 'Daniel Barclay' <daniel@fgm.com>, public-bpwg@w3.org
Message-id: <42DDAC33.7040606@verizon.net>
Hi Paul/Barbara, This is my first post so please let me know if there is 
a particular etiquette I should follow.  I'm only knowledgable about Web 
site development and I know that working groups often address both the 
needs of Web site development and device/software development. But I 
thought I would share my point of view if it helps.

I like Paul's statement regarding 'one web', I'm attempting to redevelop 
my personal Web site to meet all platforms all devices.  The basic 
design  is proving to take a lot of time but I'm attempting to use W3C 
CSS 2.0 for all the design and layout W3C XHTML 1.0 strict (I may have 
to reduce this) and W3C WAIG 1.0. I would ultimately like one source 
code to fit all devices desktops/PDA/cell phone/other screen-readers.  
So far I have found that mastering CSS 2.0 for design/layout is going to 
be very important to the 'one web' design.

Years ago I  read the book "Interface Culture; How New Technology 
Transforms The Way We Create And Communicate" by Steven Johnson. c1997. 
It was difficult reading but one of the concepts I got from the book was 
the idea of  how Web sites should take advantage of hyperlinks in such a 
way that the initial read of a page would be brief but additional levels 
or tracks of detail/interest is reached through hyperlinks (e.g. layers 
of content). I think this concept is key in developing content for a 
variety of displays - especially cell phones.

Barbara's comments hit a little closer to the realities in commercial 
development. At work I have developed for PC/PDA combinations that 
really looked better on the PDA and PDA/Cell phone combination that 
doesn't look good anywhere and contains a very simple inteface. But 
these are interactive applications developed under time constraints - 
and in the current professional environment creating a 'one web' may be 
more time consuming than developing alternate shells for content.

I'm sure that this has already been mentioned before, I'm sure I read it 
on a W3C Web page, but I think promoting the separation of content from 
display is important. First content has to be developed to take the best 
advantages that XHTML has to offer giving the user the option of 
determining the depth of their access to content and then design/layout 
developed for 'one web' display. Highly structured content will also be 
important in organizing the content in a logical/consistent order so 
users become familair with content navigation (assuming content is 
layered) as people learned Web site navigation needed to be consistent 
on all pages.

Tamara Taylor

Paul Walsh wrote:

> Hi Barbara,
>
>  
>
> I can see where you are coming from and I agree that it would be 
> foolish to think that every website could be built to 'fit all' screen 
> sizes. Some websites (complex and/or copy heavy) will always require a 
> specific 'small screen' experience. Otherwise users could end up 
> scrolling down a page forever (this is just one example).
>
>  
>
> However, and it is a very big however, the essence of the Mobile Web 
> Initiative (MWI) is to encourage as best we can, the concept of 'one 
> web' via the MWBPG - this can come with the caveat; 'wherever 
> technically possible' if it makes people feel more comfortable. In 
> other words, we would like to encourage web authors to assume that 
> when building a website, visitors may use a PC, PDA, Mobile 'Phone' or 
> any other screen size or device type that may come to market in the 
> future, rather than making assumptions which will soon be out of date 
> and not reflective of technology and how people want to access the 
> Web.  When a website establishes the entry point, content should 
> render according to the device used, as this will ensure visitors 
> receive the best user experience.
>
>  
>
> By not discouraging web authors to build a separate mobile experience 
> without establishing if it's technically possible to build 'one web', 
> we will not achieve our goal as most will take the easy option of 
> building multiple websites that could easily become out of sync when 
> one device type is deemed more important than another.
>
>  
>
> The optimisation of sites using a content adaptation solution provided 
> by companies such as MobileAware, Volantis and Drutt is the most 
> appropriate route to take when the 'one web' just isn't technically 
> possible.  Creating a specific site for a small screen just because 
> you (figuratively speaking) think it's the right thing to do is not 
> the way forward to help encourage the 'one web' concept, thereby 
> removing more barriers.  I believe the w3c is the most appropriate 
> arena to encourage this best practise as its primary goal is to ensure 
> that access to the Web is device independent whereas the Mobile 
> industry will only care about access via a mobile device. A mobile 
> device is just another screen that people can use to access the Web 
> and these will be soon modified/improved for a better user experience. 
> Therefore we should be encouraging a best practise based on what we'd 
> like to achieve in the future whilst considering the current 
> technology and its limitations today, rather than limiting the best 
> practise to what's only possible today.
>
>  
>
> Kind regards,
>
> Paul
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-bpwg-request@w3.org [mailto:public-bpwg-request@w3.org] 
> On Behalf Of Barbara Ballard
> Sent: 19 July 2005 20:21
> To: Daniel Barclay
> Cc: public-bpwg@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Best Practices document - not best practices
>
>  
>
>  
>
>> I think you missed my point:  It's a bit contradictory (hypocritical?)
>
>> for a page about best practices for the mobile web to not follow best
>
>> practices for the regular web.
>
>  
>
> If the document is written for mobile web, then best practices for 
>
> the regular web are irrelevant.  In fact, best practices for the 
>
> regular web can greatly interfere with the experience on the mobile web.
>
>  
>
> In my experience working with dozens of mobile sites, nobody is 
>
> trying to create one site that will work both mobile and large-screen 
>
> stationary.
>
>  
>
> ---
>
> Barbara Ballard       1-785-838-3003
>
> barbara@littlespringsdesign.com
>
>  
>
>  
>
>  
>
Received on Friday, 22 July 2005 04:38:28 GMT

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