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Re: please reivew mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0

From: Simon Pieters <zcorpan@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2007 21:07:51 +0200
To: public-bpwg-comments@w3.org, "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.ttrt3deq7a8kvn@hp-a0a83fcd39d2>

On Thu, 07 Jun 2007 18:45:03 +0200, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org> wrote:

> I recently realized that this spec has various things
> to say about how people should use HTML, so this working
> group should be looking at it:
>
>   W3C mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0
>   http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-mobileOK-basic10-tests-20070525/
>   W3C Working Draft 25 May 2007
>   comments due to public-bpwg-comments@w3.org by 22 June 2007

As I understand it, the tests suggest that authors use a separate version  
for desktop and for mobiles. I can understand that doing so can be  
desireable today for the following reasons:

  1. Users have to pay per byte for browsing on the mobile.
  2. The connection speed on mobiles is slow.
  3. Many mobile browsers have bad support for CSS.

On the longer term, (1) should be addressed by providers offering monthly  
fees; (2) should be addressed by improving mobile networks, and (3) by  
improving the implementations. (2) and (3) are already happening, and I  
wouldn't be surprised if (1) happened soon. When these have been  
addressed, there is little reason for authors to provide separate versions  
for mobiles and for desktop, as opposed to using one version that works  
for both.

The tests warn for things that are not supported on some mobile devices,  
such as scripting, even though it is possible to provide fallback content  
for UAs without scripting and including scripts doesn't harm UAs that  
don't support it. I would suggest not warning for things that don't harm  
mobile browsers and could benefit other UAs, in the interest of not  
putting unnecessary strain on authors.

The tests require XHTML. What is the rationale for this? My research[1]  
shows that all tested mobile browsers support HTML, and also that many  
treat application/xhtml+xml as if it were text/html (i.e., they don't use  
XML parsers). Therefore, for compatibility with existing mobile browsers,  
the guideline for authors should be to use HTML, or if they use XHTML to  
follow appendix C of XHTML 1.0 (even when using application/xhtml+xml).

3.14 NON-TEXT_ALTERNATIVES (partial) says:

    For each img element:

       If an alt attribute is not present or consists only of white space,
       FAIL

    PASS

Does this imply that the empty string is also a FAIL? If so, I think this  
test should be removed; there are a number of cases where the empty string  
is the appropriate alt text (e.g., when an image is illustrative or merely  
repeating the previous paragraph). [2]

[1] http://simon.html5.org/articles/mobile-results
[2] http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/html/alt.html

Regards,
-- 
Simon Pieters
Received on Monday, 11 June 2007 19:08:03 UTC

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