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

RE: Mobile phone capabilities list?

From: Alastair Angwin <alastair_angwin@uk.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 09:56:28 +0100
To: "Luca Passani" <luca.passani@openwave.com>
Cc: public-ddwg@w3.org, www-mobile@w3.org, www-mobile-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF093F6A66.0C8EE482-ON8025704B.00307451-8025704B.00311DCD@uk.ibm.com>

You may not be aware of situations where laptops and PDAs use wireless data
but we are aware of plenty of developers who worry about such things.
You mention WAP markups. WAP is not restricted to WML as you are probably
aware but includes XHTML profile support. Laptops and PDAs also use such
profiles and developers may wish to provide content targetted at these
markup languages and devices and  device capabilities knowledge is
important to have optimal matching of content to device.
Whether WURFL supports this case or not is separable issue.
To me HTTP headers giving an indication of device capabilities, e.g.
providing device type, URLs to appropriate profiles such as UAPROF etc. is
a much more reliable way to achieve device capability indication than the
IMEI which appears to only be useful in restricted cases, e.g. user agents
integrated with the device containing the IMEI and domains where the IMEI
is available

Alastair J Angwin,
Mail To :  IBM UK Laboratories,  Hursley Park, Winchester, Hampshire, SO21
Tel: +44-(0)1962-816817 ... Fax: +44-(0)1962-819777 ...Mobile:
Email: Lotus Notes :  Alastair Angwin/UK/IBM  or ANGWIN@IBMGB
Internet :           alastair_angwin@uk.ibm.com
             External IEA : GBIBMX59@IBMMAIL

                      "Luca Passani"                                                                                                 
                      <luca.passani@ope        To:       <public-ddwg@w3.org>, <www-mobile@w3.org>                                   
                      nwave.com>               cc:                                                                                   
                      Sent by:                 Subject:  RE: Mobile phone capabilities list?                                         
                      27/07/2005 09:07                                                                                               

>As has been said ... the IMEI can be used to know about the radio device
>being used. But that does not assure knowledge of the client capabilities
>e.g. laptop / PDA with GPRS card.
>There is much more than is needed to be known.

Really? where does this requirement come from?

I have talked with hundreds of developers from very varied backgrounds
over the past few years, yet I can't recall a scenario where wireless
developers were going mad trying to identify if it was a laptop over a GPRS
connections they were trying to send an MMS too.

On the other hand, WURFL only covers WAP, markups, WAP Push, MMS, J2ME,
EMS, ringtones, usability, wallpapers and streaming. You may be aware of
other reasonably common scenarios outside of the domain of those
In that case, I would really be curious to hear about them.

Also, I think there is a misunderstanding here. Some may find it useful to
use IMEI as a key to figure out device capabilities. This would be an extra
feature. Nobody ever said that this should be the only way. In most cases,
HTTP headers are much better for that purpose. IMEI is useful under a few
- you have access to the IMEI code for the device of the subscriber you
to serve.
- you don't have an HTTP request coming from the device

Received on Wednesday, 27 July 2005 08:59:57 UTC

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