W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-di@w3.org > December 2004

Re: Web engineering for mobile devices BETA

From: Kai Hendry <hendry@cs.helsinki.fi>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2004 07:38:53 +0200
To: Rotan Hanrahan <Rotan.Hanrahan@MobileAware.com>
Cc: www-di@w3.org
Message-ID: <20041216053853.GC21474@cs.helsinki.fi>


On Mon, Dec 13, 2004 at 03:39:58PM -0000, Rotan Hanrahan wrote:
> I am ignoring the numerous spelling and grammatical errors, as I am
> sure you will have the use of a software tool and/or other native
> speakers to assist in this area. Nevertheless I advise that you do not
> overlook such problems as they can detract from the core message of
> your thesis.

Oops. I was afraid of this. I am starting to think I am dyslexic.

> in navigation that arises when a lot of text lacks a navigable
> structure. Add to this the limited memory of humans, and it is easy to
> see that the voice channel can cause problems for information
> perception.

Good points. Perhaps I can throw this in.

> To the "intrusive" nature of voice interfaces you should add the
> threat to privacy and security. Not only might you be annoying your
> neighbours, but you might also be giving them information you would
> rather keep quiet.

I have tried to avoid "privacy and security" topics. :)

> Page 9.
> A nice observation. One can only really use a mobile when you are
> immobile!

I read a good NJT article recently that highlighted the cultural
differences between Americans and Europeans. Europeans are more likely
to take public transport and hence in a better disposition to use "data

> I get the impression that you assume that the information on the phone
> should be the same as that on the desktop. This may not be valid. The
> circumstances of the mobile user are different. A mobile user is
> probably less likely to have time to browse a lot of content. A mobile
> user is more likely to use a mobile information device to get specific
> information. When adapting content for a mobile user, we take into
> consideration the amount of information that is likely to be required
> by the user. It is not just a matter of what the device is capable of
> storing or displaying, or how long it would take to deliver the
> content (though all of these are factors too). Sadly it's hard to get
> objective measures of this phenomenon as customer profiles are closely
> guarded secrets of mobile operators.

I am trying in my thesis to make the point that information cannot be
different between devices. The mobile must not be treated differently
than any other computing device. It breaks too much. In the text is too
long, the original should be more brief.

> On this point, I would suggest you expand "accessibility" to also mean
> that the "more focussed" information requirement of a mobile user is
> not cluttered or hidden by irrelevant information. For example, it
> might be OK for a desktop user to be given the entire train timetable
> from which they can easily determine the next departure by looking at
> the depart times in the lefthand column, but a mobile user will
> complain at receiving so much "junk" when all s/he wanted was the time
> of the *next* train. Thus services need to be more focussed when
> offering content to mobile users. (And with increasing pressure on the
> desktop users, we may find similar demands coming from that sector
> soon.)

The "accessibility" field is far from focused.

If the Web app design is cluttered on a mobile it is badly designed from
the start. Once again you cannot come up with different web apps for
different devices. This is the theme of my paper.

> Page 14.
> An interesting observation on the inability of end users to report
> problems with the content they received (or failed to receive). Keep
> this in your thesis, as feedback is an important aspect of the Web.

Misrepresentation on mobile consumers is a big point I like to make.

> Page 17.
> You gave a good overview of SMS, but you have ignored MMS completely.
> Given that you highlight the limitations of SMS, perhaps you should
> include some discussion of MMS and how it might overcome the
> shortcomings of SMS.

MMS is SMS with a hyperlink to an image. I think I mention it
somewhere(search for MMS).  MMS does show the use of Web tech in
mobiles, which is exciting, but as we still have not evolved (in Europe)
to use Email, I am frankly disappointed.

> Page 18.
> You should add more emphasis to the point about the success of a
> markup technology being dependent on being aligned with familiar tools
> and practices of existing authors. One of the reasons we in DI want to
> use existing XHTML with minimal enhancements as the basis of a DI
> language is that we see a lot of tool support and increasing awareness
> of well-formed markup among authors.

XHTML for the web is a complete failure. HTML is the language of the
web. A point I can't help but make in my thesis too. :)

> Page 20.
> I understand your point regarding bitmaps. You should note that SVG
> Tiny is starting to appear in mobile devices. This might be a solution
> to many image-related problems.

SVG will create problems! So what if we have vector graphics capability
in the shape of *device specific* spec!? Does it help at all with all
those cameras slapped on recent mobile devices? Hell no.

> Page 22.
> The OMA don't like being described as a rebadged WAP Forum. Although
> WF was the majority part of OMA, there were significant internal
> changes to the organisation so that their operation was quite
> different to the previous organisations, which they consumed.

Its not transparent. That's the point I tried to make. 

> While DI released CC/PP 1.0, you should note that it is only a way to
> communicate descriptions of devices and user preferences. No
> vocabulary has been released by W3C with which to create such
> descriptions. Knowing this deficiency, the CC/PP Recommendation
> incorporates UAProf as an illustrative vocabulary and is intentionally
> designed so that UAProf 1 can be supported. A W3C vocabulary (or at
> least, an initial core version) is planned, and will be released by
> DIWG, eventually. Meanwhile, some work has started on getting
> agreement to gather together the device information that would
> populate a repository of descriptions. Again, this is not something
> that will happen overnight.

Yes, what a disaster.

> Page 23.
> OTA firmware and application upgrading is becoming increasingly
> possible. This is not as simple or reliable as desktop OS/app
> upgrading, but certainly a lot better than previous devices that could
> not be upgraded at all. You should acknowledge these upgradable
> devices.

Device vendors need to open this technology to UA developers, otherwise
its a point not worth making.

> Kai, I regret that at this point I must return to my paid work, chair
> some meetings and direct some of my staff. The quality of your work is
> quite good. I will try to read some more if I get the time. Hope my
> input helps you.

Indeed it does! Please take time and go through the rest. Do not spend
too much time on my silly comments here. ;)

I need to figure out how to do a acknowledgements page in latex. :)
Received on Thursday, 16 December 2004 05:37:11 UTC

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