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

From: Andrea Trasatti <atrasatti@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2005 15:49:25 +0200
Message-ID: <b10f6f2a05061406491e6979a7@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-bpwg@w3.org

On 6/14/05, Antti Martikainen <Antti.Martikainen@sysopen.fi> wrote:
> Interesting topics are being touched in this topic, and
> I'd like to join the discussion, so...
> We have been working with the multi-device problems for a while now,
> and yes, I would say that it is reality soon that applications can
> be modelled to adapt to different kinds of device types. Although
> standards are not likely to exist soon, different kinds of frameworks
> will exist. For achieving an efficient development process, it is likely
> that devices are categorised to map them with specific kinds of content.
> This is effectively achieved at least with WURFL, which really seems
> to be on the right track with its patching abilities.

Good to hear this.

> > 1.3) URL and communication
> > -------------------------
> > Conclusion :
> > ------------
> > Having different URLS when you have differents versions of
> > your site is
> > easier and sometime more suited to your marketing objectives,
> > and anyway you
> > still can have a single URL even if you have different
> > versions. So unique
> > URL is not an argument to justify a universal site.
> Perhaps it's not as much about the single URL, but it's more
> about adaptation, i.g. reusing same interaction and UI specifications
> across device types as much as possible, for making it feasible
> to build multi-device services.

I agree with most of what you said, but I think that with regard to
communication what you say is not universally true. Users/people is
used to add, as of today, to always add a 'www' in front of any URL
while they really don't understand the meaning. Did you ever try to
tell a non-geek friend to get on, let's say, gmail.google.com? Often
they will type www.gmail.google.com or ask you why it doesn't start
with 'www' as if the prefix 'www' made a difference.
In my opinion users should learn that 'www' is for WEB sites and
'mobile' or 'wap' or something else that should be more publicized, is
the prefix for "mobile sites".
As of today, if a user is looking for the website of HP because they
want a new printer, they may go on Yahoo and search or type
www.hp.com. As you said, searching for a URL while on-the-move is not
so comfortable and often the search engines will lead you to a web
site for desktop browsers and not mobile devices. If 'mobile' were the
common prefix of mobile devices people would simply dial
'http://mobile.hp.com/' on their device without going on Yahoo, save
bandwidth, money and time.

On the other side I agree that the website might implement a way to
detect if the device is a "desktop computer" or a "mobile device" and
direct the user to the proper URL, maybe with a redirection page that
says:"Redirecting to the mobile site, next time connect to
What if I have the Opera browser on my Symbian device and want to see
the site for web browsers and not the one for mobile devices? If you
implement a technique to automatically redirect the user to the site
for mobile devices the user will not be able to view the content he
was searching for.

Kind Regards,
      Andrea Trasatti
Received on Tuesday, 14 June 2005 16:28:40 UTC

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