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Re: please reivew mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0

From: Sean Owen <srowen@google.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 08:47:56 -0400
Message-ID: <e920a71c0706140547y41f16ad2md58a4c00beb6ebc4@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Ben 'Cerbera' Millard" <cerbera@projectcerbera.com>
Cc: HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>, "mobileOK WG" <public-bpwg-comments@w3.org>

On 6/13/07, Ben 'Cerbera' Millard <cerbera@projectcerbera.com> wrote:
> Perhaps the Default Delivery Context (DDC) is out of date? It seems to be
> based on mobile phones produced in the mid-1990's. They have become
> radically more capable in the decade since then. My experience is mainstream
> mobiles getting closer to desktop browsers each year (Opera [1] and Webkit
> [2] being industry leaders in this regard).

I don't think this is true -- like you and other power users I usually
have a pretty advanced phone but in developing nations (like, ah, the
United States), the DDC reflects about what brand-new entry level
phones can do. See for example the Nokia 6215i
(http://www.nokiausa.com/phones/6215i/0,7747,feat:1,00.html) Yes, this
profile doesn't reflect the latest and most capable mobile phones
today, far from it. It reflects roughly mid-level phones from the past
5 years to entry-level phones of today -- what "most" mobile users in
the world might have available to access the web.

Again i think it's entirely reasonable to say "these devices just
aren't viable web user agents". They aren't. They need special
consideration. I believe it's reasonable to talk about how to use
existing standards to bring some access to these devices, especially
given that it most benefits parts of the world where mobile access is
more prevalent than PC access, and that is often the developing world.

> Since text/html work has started again at W3C in the form of the HTMLWG,
> perhaps an "HTML Basic" spec would now be feasible? Then again, the 1998
> attempt at this [7] didn't take off, so reduced HTML was not the solution
> even with devices *that* limited. And since current mobiles handle full HTML
> websites, degrading content at the origin server seems ever more unnecessary
> (the network can do this on-the-fly if it needs to be done).

cHTML didn't take off? I think Japan begs to differ, and I think it's
an example of how very limited access can still be useful. I believe
we're seeing the same adoption finally start to sink in in Europe
(with XHTML MP / Basic content). I don't think it's true that the
mobile devices that are in most people's hands now can handle anything
like full HTML. My relatively not-ancient Motorola V710 sure doesn't.

I don't think this distinct "mobile web" will exist indefinitely --
usable full-web devices will become more common -- but it will be here
in 5 years. Please push for these full-web portable devices, since
it's the long-term future. The short-term future concerns what people
have now, and those are little WAP phones. The W3C can and should have
a role and voice in this phase of mobile web evolution, even if it's
just a phase.

Sean
Received on Thursday, 14 June 2007 12:48:15 UTC

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