W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-coremob@w3.org > April 2012

Re: Ringmark is now open source

From: Tobie Langel <tobie@fb.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 15:28:24 +0000
To: Lars Erik Bolstad <lbolstad@opera.com>, James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>
CC: Matt Kelly <mk@fb.com>, Thaddee Tyl <thaddee.tyl@gmail.com>, Wonsuk Lee <wonsuk11.lee@samsung.com>, "public-coremob@w3.org" <public-coremob@w3.org>, Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>
Message-ID: <CBAB16D5.78254%tobie@fb.com>

The open-sourcing of Ringmark generated some interesting conversations and
various clarification requests. Here's my take on the two core subjects
which were brought up.


Regarding the smartphone vs. feature phone debate, and other variations

I suggest we turn to Wikipedia for help (I'm joking, but bear with me).
Wikipedia defines a smartphone as "a mobile phone built on a mobile
computing platform, with more advanced computing ability and connectivity
than a feature phone."[1] Sounds great. Lets look at what a feature phone
is, then: "A feature phone is a mobile phone which at the time of
manufacture is not considered to be a smartphone [...]."[2]

So maybe that wasn't the best idea. The circular reference is telling,
however. Defining what is or is not a smartphone is difficult. It turns
out it's also not necessary. Our charter[3] purposely avoids the term
altogether and we can manage without.

The goal of the CG, as expressed in the charter, is "to accelerate the
adoption of the Mobile Web as a compelling platform for the development of
modern mobile web applications."

In case there's ambiguity around what a "modern mobile web application"
is, the Mobile Web Application Best Practices Rec[4] has a definition
which fits our intent and purpose very well:

    "For the purposes of this document, the term "Web application" refers
to a Web page (XHTML or a variant thereof + CSS) or collection of Web
pages delivered over HTTP which use server-side or client-side processing
(e.g. JavaScript) to provide an "application-like" experience within a Web
browser. Web applications are distinct from simple Web content (the focus
of BP1) in that they include locally executable elements of interactivity
and persistent state."

I suggest we stick with this definition (well, replacing the XHTML bit by
HTML). Note that it clearly rules out Opera mini on the ground of both
it's strictly proxied architecture and its sparse feature set[5].


Regarding the description of Coremob level 0 as a the intersection in
feature set of the Android 2.2 Froyo and iOS5 default browsers:

As mentioned in the wiki[6]:

    "Coremob level 0 is a de facto spec, aiming to describe the current
state of the Mobile Web Platform. It is based off of market shares of the
default browsers on deployed handsets. For the purpose of simplicity, this
was roughly identified as the intersection in feature set of the Android
2.2 Froyo and iOS5 default browsers."

I'm hoping it is clear from the above wording that this is merely
scaffolding to build the spec up. It's obvious we won't define the spec in
terms of specific implementations. Features will be added, removed and
modified from the initial draft[7] based on merit.

That said--and as mentioned in the charter--wide deployment is an
indicative criterion for inclusion in a spec. This makes even more sense
for a de facto spec. So including a feature on the basis of it's reach
seems very reasonable, as long, of course, as the feature's implementation
isn't compromised by substantial obstacles (IP, security, etc.).

It's also worth noting that, with Opera mini out of the picture (and
accounting for the vast majority of Opera's traffic[8]), the mobile
browser landscape is clearly dominated by the Android and iOS default


Hope this helps clarify the situation and allows us to move on.




[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone
[2]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feature_phone
[3]: http://www.w3.org/community/coremob/charter/
[4]: http://www.w3.org/TR/mwabp/#webapp-defined
[5]: http://www.opera.com/docs/specs/productspecs/
[6]: http://www.w3.org/community/coremob/wiki/Specs/Coremob_Level_0
[7]: http://coremob.github.com/level-0/index.html
[9]: http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_browser-ww-monthly-201204-201204-bar
Received on Wednesday, 11 April 2012 15:29:35 UTC

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