W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-bpwg@w3.org > March 2009

Re: FYI - "Mobile Web 2009 = Desktop Web 1998"

From: Luca Passani <passani@eunet.no>
Date: Fri, 06 Mar 2009 09:07:06 +0100
Message-ID: <49B0D9AA.5050206@eunet.no>
To: public-bpwg@w3.org

 > Bruce Lawson
 > Web Evangelist

which of course explains your position: promoting one-web and 
"convergence" (whatever it means) because it is consistent with both 
Opera's client strategy (client-side reformatting on mobile devices) and 
proxy-based offering (Opera Mini and Opera's cooperation with ByteMobile)

Back to the point, no, convergence isn't happening. One nasty side 
effects of the attempt by companies like Novarra, Opera and others to 
"demonstrate" that convergence is happening is the attempt to redefine 
HTTP and the rules on which the success of the web is built. This is a 
disaster and needs to be stopped.

The success of the web was based on the basic assumption that whoever 
could publish web content and they would know what end-users would see. 
Of course, some advanced users could fiddle around with X11 settings or 
define a custom CSS, but virtually nobody did. The basic point stands. 
Clear rules are those that convinced people and companies to invest 
resources (be it time or money) to create web content.
This must be maintained also for mobile. If you want web content to be 
available to mobile users, the way to go is to enable content owners to 
"mobilize" their web content, both technologically and by creating 
enough incentive for them to do so.  Reformatting content behind their 
backs (or even against their will) is not the way to go. It is simply 
cheating and it will lead to chaos.

Some applications are naturally mobile only (think ringtone/wallpapers 
downloads). Some are web only. And some are a mixture of both. Content 
owners will know. Not Novarra and not Opera. Convergence will happen  if 
it makes business sense (and I am not saying that necessarily it will 
and that it will for everyone).

The way Opera is trying to "enforce" convergence now is messy and tries 
to replace what content owners have created with a bastardized version 
of it. As I wrote in the past, transcoding (be it proxy-based, 
server-side or client side) is very similar to those on-line 
translators. While automated translation may be useful to users in some 
cases, this does not imply that you can:
- place a translator in the middle of HTTP as a proxy
- detect a user's region with heuristics (browser language settings, 
accept headers, IP number...vendor dependent of course)
- translate everything that is not already in (what the proxy assumes to 
be) the user's desired language


Bruce Lawson wrote:
> On Wed, 04 Mar 2009 16:21:18 -0000, <gina@alierra.com> wrote:
>> I completely agree with Jakob Nielsen in all aspects mentioned,
> I disagreed with him, and wrote up my personal thoughts at ZDnet 
> http://zi.ma/6460b8
> . Anyway, I absolutely sure
>> this
>> problem will be solved in early future.
> Yes, I think convergence is rapidly occurring.
> bruce
Received on Friday, 6 March 2009 08:07:46 UTC

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