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RE: The devices-universal websites "myth" and the semantic web

From: Tom Worthington <Tom.Worthington@tomw.net.au>
Date: Thu, 02 Jun 2005 11:03:22 +1000
Message-Id: <>
To: "Simon, Rainer" <rainer.simon@ftw.at>,<public-bpwg@w3.org>

At 06:44 PM 5/31/2005, Simon, Rainer wrote:
>...  you simply may not _want_ to publish the same content to a mobile 
>device as you would to the desktop. You may want shortened versions of the 
>content; or you may even want to change the navigation structure of your 
>site ...

Yes, but could we have the content and navigation adjust automatically, by 
combining the wishes of the content creator, needs of the user and 
capabilities of the equipment?

The importance of different parts of the content and the order in which it 
should be displayed could be hinted at by the designer. The user would 
indicate their preferences and the UA then try to do the best it could.

This could be used on desktop as well as mobile devices. Open the web page 
in a small window and the content and navigation could rearrange itself to 
suit the window.

>... may want to leave out parts or pages that are simply not relevant in a 
>mobile context ...

It should be easy to adjust some content automatically for mobile devices, 
but so the user can override the designers decision, if needed. As an 
example news items are written so they can be truncated to any length. On a 
large screen you could display all of an item. As the screen gets smaller 
you could simply trim paragraphs and insert a "more" link. But what current 
mobile web sites tend to do is just give you the first paragraph and no way 
to get any more.

>... And what you definitely don't want is to transmit any "dummy" (X)HTML 
>markup over the wireless link (markup that is  only valid for the desktop, 
>but is then rendered invisible by CSS on the mobile device!) ...

In practice it is the images (and sometimes Javascript) which take up the 
bandwidth, not the text. So hiding some of the text wouldn't mater much. A 
clever CMS might even be able to omit the hidden connect if it detects a 
mobile device which will not display it.

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington@tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
http://www.tomw.net.au                PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617
Visiting Fellow, Computer Science, Australian National University  
Received on Thursday, 2 June 2005 23:31:04 UTC

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