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

Re: ACTION-902 (Reprise) Summarise and prepare proposed resolutions on HTTPS link rewriting.

From: Ray Anderson <ray@bango.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 13:16:27 +0000
To: Luca Passani <passani@eunet.no>,Public MWBP <public-bpwg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BANGO-EX-01N4FZEQAL000523da@Bango-EX-01.Westbrooke.bango.net>
At 11:12 20/03/2009, Luca Passani wrote:

>Transcoders are a serious threat to the mobile ecosystem.

At least 9 out of 10 website developers wanting to provide content or services
to people using their mobile phone to access their websites DONT want

Transcoders make the development of mobile friendly websites much more

Transcoders cause real usability problems that are increasing as users adopt
devices that sometimes connect through WiFi and sometimes through an
operator gateway.

Transcoders are really troublesome when either a search engine and/or 
an operator can
insert them whnever they decide (for "good" reasons or "bad")

Transcoders can provide added value when applied to sites that if it were not
fo rthe transcoder would provide a really poor experience.

The existence of transcoders hides the demand of mobile users for web sites
from the people providing non-mobile aware websites - slowing down 
to customer demand and creating an excuse in some companies that "we don't get
many mobile browsers visiting our web sites".

There is a group of people in almost every internet website owning 
company that
pushes the agenda: "If we ignore small screen devices without a mouse for long
enough they will all be replaced by netbooks - so we don't need to do 
anything meanwhile".
There are people like this in big companies like Google, Yahoo, eBay, 
myspace as well
as in other companies.  Transcoders support that agenda - which is not aligned
with the reality of mobile device usage or futures.

As one of the founders and sponsors of this initiative, on behalf of 
Bango, I believe I've seen
this activity increasingly become irrelevant to the "real world" - so 
the debate between Luca
and the transcoder crowd, with a bemused audience of people who just 
want to get the next
document published and out - even if it never gets used - is 
interesting but rather sad.

Perhaps we are "Perfecting the irrelevant" - like Smith Corona did 
with the typewriter,
until they had to shut down their last factory - proud but gone.

When this project started - 2 or 3 years ago, my hope was that we 
would get two things:

(1) A logo that would be placed next to a URL that meant
"its worth trying this URL out on your mobile device, and
if it doesn't you should take your mobile back to the shop and complain"

(2) A set of guidelines that if you follow them mean you can put the 
logo next to your

By now I would have expected that the logo would be unnecessary 
because most sites
would detect the device coming in was mobile - and would provide 
something rather
than nothing.  [Remember we launched this project in the era when 
nokia.com did
not work on a nokia phone and motorola.com did not work on a motorola device!]

However, we are now at a stage where there are some reasonably good 
mobile sites
around, optimised for N-series (hard to navigate, small screen, some 
WTAI stuff),
iPhone (no flash, no download allowed), WindowsMobile (quite good but 
small) etc.

Nevertheless we are in really dire straits when it comes to trying most popular
sites on the most popular and most used devices - despite many years 
of hard work by MWBP and others.
Sad isn't it!
Received on Friday, 20 March 2009 13:21:44 UTC

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