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RE: Best Practices document - not best practices

From: Paul Walsh <paulwalsh@segalamtest.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 21:52:14 +0100
To: "'Barbara Ballard'" <barbara@littlespringsdesign.com>, "'Daniel Barclay'" <daniel@fgm.com>
Cc: <public-bpwg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <02f301c58ca3$be5226e0$0200a8c0@PaulLaptop>
Hi Barbara,
I can see where you are coming from and I agree that it would be foolish
to think that every website could be built to 'fit all' screen sizes.
Some websites (complex and/or copy heavy) will always require a specific
'small screen' experience. Otherwise users could end up scrolling down a
page forever (this is just one example). 
However, and it is a very big however, the essence of the Mobile Web
Initiative (MWI) is to encourage as best we can, the concept of 'one
web' via the MWBPG - this can come with the caveat; 'wherever
technically possible' if it makes people feel more comfortable. In other
words, we would like to encourage web authors to assume that when
building a website, visitors may use a PC, PDA, Mobile 'Phone' or any
other screen size or device type that may come to market in the future,
rather than making assumptions which will soon be out of date and not
reflective of technology and how people want to access the Web.  When a
website establishes the entry point, content should render according to
the device used, as this will ensure visitors receive the best user
By not discouraging web authors to build a separate mobile experience
without establishing if it's technically possible to build 'one web', we
will not achieve our goal as most will take the easy option of building
multiple websites that could easily become out of sync when one device
type is deemed more important than another. 
The optimisation of sites using a content adaptation solution provided
by companies such as MobileAware, Volantis and Drutt is the most
appropriate route to take when the 'one web' just isn't technically
possible.  Creating a specific site for a small screen just because you
(figuratively speaking) think it's the right thing to do is not the way
forward to help encourage the 'one web' concept, thereby removing more
barriers.  I believe the w3c is the most appropriate arena to encourage
this best practise as its primary goal is to ensure that access to the
Web is device independent whereas the Mobile industry will only care
about access via a mobile device. A mobile device is just another screen
that people can use to access the Web and these will be soon
modified/improved for a better user experience. Therefore we should be
encouraging a best practise based on what we'd like to achieve in the
future whilst considering the current technology and its limitations
today, rather than limiting the best practise to what's only possible
Kind regards,
-----Original Message-----
From: public-bpwg-request@w3.org [mailto:public-bpwg-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Barbara Ballard
Sent: 19 July 2005 20:21
To: Daniel Barclay
Cc: public-bpwg@w3.org
Subject: Re: Best Practices document - not best practices
> I think you missed my point:  It's a bit contradictory (hypocritical?)
> for a page about best practices for the mobile web to not follow best
> practices for the regular web.
If the document is written for mobile web, then best practices for  
the regular web are irrelevant.  In fact, best practices for the  
regular web can greatly interfere with the experience on the mobile web.
In my experience working with dozens of mobile sites, nobody is  
trying to create one site that will work both mobile and large-screen  
Barbara Ballard       1-785-838-3003

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Received on Tuesday, 19 July 2005 20:52:42 UTC

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