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Re: [minutes] XHTML and MIME types

From: Luca Passani <passani@eunet.no>
Date: Thu, 08 Jan 2009 16:57:51 +0100
Message-ID: <4966227F.1080908@eunet.no>
To: public-bpwg-ct@w3.org

I think we are forgetting one basic requirements here. Transcoders must 
err on the side of not transcoding whenever in doubt. I still think that 
application/xhtml+xml is a strong indicator that the content is probably 
already suitable for mobile. If W3C does not want to take it as an 
absolute indicator, then you may want to compromise on something like:

If    MIME-Type=application/xhtml+xml
      SIZE <= 20kb
      No Web-only tags such as iframe nor complex HTML/Javascript


this would still be a much better heuristics than disregarding 
application/xhtml+xml altogether.

I suspect someone here is forgetting that transcoders are essentially a 
bunch of hacks. They are not standard by any stretch of the 
immagination. Transcoders compete with one another on who has the best 
hacks. As a developer, one has no way to know what will happen to one's 
content once it goes through a transcoder. In this situation there is no 
alternative but to demand that those hacks refrain from interfering with 
the legitimate intentions of the content owners whenever there is a 
trace of a doubt that the content is already mobile-optimised.

wrt 800 URLS, I think we can still make some sense of it without going 
through each and every one of them.

I also want to reiterate (in case someone forgets) that this discussion 
is about a minor point (one heuristic), compared to the major one (UA 
spoofing) which is the difference between life and death in the whole 
transcoding matter. IMO, CTG does not offer enough protection against UA 
spoofing.  For me, the situation at the moment is that the Manifesto 
puts the responsibility of protecting mobile content completely on 
transcoders (which is the only reasonable thing to do), while CTG tries 
to move (at least part of) the responsibility on content providers 
(which is unacceptable).


Eduardo Casais wrote:
>> I argue that a lot of those 800 "not-anambiguosly mobile" 
>> sites are actually OK for mobile users.
> Perhaps, but that is not really the point.
> The argument applies to HTML sites as well: they might be
> suitable for mobile devices -- but that might be a conscious
> result of application design, or just a coincidence. The
> issue is inferring the intended target device class from 
> explicit declarations associated with the content a priori.
> The MIME type application/xhtml+xml is ambiguous, since
> at least in the desktop Web, the associated content's
> doctypes are not incontrovertibly intended for mobile
> devices: some might correspond to XHTML basic
> (intended for mobile), some even to XHTML mobile profile
> (intended for mobile), many to traditional W3C XHTML
> (intended as a replacement of HTML 4.0 for desktop, not
> for mobile). 
> What you are now trying to put forth is that XHTML 1.0/1.1
> itself is intended for mobile devices at a rate so high 
> (near 100%) that when application/xhtml+xml is present,
> one can simply assume that it is for mobile and eschew
> inspecting the DOCTYPE declaration entirely. I doubt very
> much this inference chain holds. I see no evidence that
> standard W3C XHTML 1.0/1.1 documents are
> overwhelmingly produced for mobile content. In fact, I am 
> convinced that upon encountering application/xhtml+xml, 
> one must check the DOCTYPE, and if this is neither 
> XHTML basic nor mobile profile (nor one of the i-mode or
> Softbank or Openwave variants) but rather the traditional,
> original W3C XHTML, and in the absence of further 
> indications, then one should assume desktop-orientated
> content.
>> Would it be possible to get hold of those 800 urls so that
>> we can take a proper look?
> Well, you have to contact the MAMA project leader at 
> Opera for that.
> Even then, this is quite an endeavour: do you really
> have the capacity or the tools to inspect 830 or 935 
> pages to check their applicability for mobile terminals?
> E.Casais
Received on Thursday, 8 January 2009 15:58:33 UTC

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