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Re: Comments on Content Transformation Guidelines?

From: Sean Owen <srowen@google.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 09:46:39 -0400
Message-ID: <e920a71c0808050646o54cbc059g4ef152a2c893ab92@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Luca Passani" <passani@eunet.no>
Cc: public-bpwg-comments@w3.org

On Tue, Aug 5, 2008 at 4:11 AM, Luca Passani <passani@eunet.no> wrote:
> the problem is that mobile developers (often tiny company who try to survive
> by selling games and ringtones) get screwed in the process. Not very fair
> for those who bet their job and their future on the promise of a neutral net
> which would give them equal opportunity. I find it sort of disgusting that
> operators (with millions and millions of dollars in revenue) install
> transcoders to get hold of the crumbles which would feed the long tail of
> smaller companies.

I can only say I sympathize -- perhaps I think this is a different
issue, and you're letting your strong and maybe right feelings about
it bring you to less-than-optimal conclusions in this area. I
understand, you just want dead transcoders. I think you don't even
want to talk about how to deal with transcoders -- where you do here,
I disagree since I think your notions start with the idea that
transcoders have no place in the world. I think you should just
publicly decry this recommendation to your audience.

The only thing unfortunate there is -- blink your eyes -- transcoders
still exist. I feel sorry if real developers get the message that
they're evil and there's nothing that can be done, since there is
something that can be done -- use the HTTP spec properly to forbid
transcoding. We respect it, for one.

I understand you don't think sites should have to bother. But isn't
that hurting those very developers in the real world? it's a shame if
they're being hurt by a transcoder and could solve it with a line of
markup and you're not helping them figure that out.

>> Google is not opt-in -- and we are by definition not evil!
> Is this a joke? Google is a corporation which is in for the money just like
> everyone else.

Of course it was a joke. I think this phrase is as silly as anyone.
Yes it's a profit-seeking corporation, though I do see a lot of
genuine desire to "do the right thing." But here, thankfully often the
"right thing" by users is the same as what is right for the business.
If our transcoder broke out user's experience, they wouldn't use
Google, and we don't make our ad money.

But we do, so something is right about transcoders -- done right.

> so, you are suggesting that every mobile and web site should opt-out of each
> and every operator trascoder out there, instead?

Nope. I think they should opt-out once -- with standard mechanisms
like those HTTP already defines for dealing with transforming proxies.
That's why I am glad this recommendation exists!

> the CTG agrees, but it won't agree to spell out clearly "DO NOT CHANGE THE
> Well, you know what, if you change the user agent, mobile sites do not get a
> chance to even understand that it is a mobile phone they are talking to.

They are not talking to a mobile phone!! that's the point. Again, see
my other email about the problem this causes and tell me how
developers should really handle it. An answer is not "well, I wish
transcoders weren't here."
Received on Tuesday, 5 August 2008 13:47:22 UTC

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