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RE: ISSUE-237 (Define Mobile Web Applications): What is the definition of a "Mobile Web Application" for the purposes of BP2? [Mobile Web Applications Best Practices]

From: Jo Rabin <jrabin@mtld.mobi>
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2008 14:10:59 -0000
Message-ID: <C8FFD98530207F40BD8D2CAD608B50B4C4A6EA@mtldsvr01.DotMobi.local>
To: <public-bpwg@w3.org>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-bpwg-request@w3.org [mailto:public-bpwg-request@w3.org] On
> Behalf Of Charles McCathieNevile
> Sent: 22 February 2008 12:04
> To: Sean Owen; Holley Kevin (Centre)
> Cc: public-bpwg@w3.org
> Subject: Re: ISSUE-237 (Define Mobile Web Applications): What is the
> definition of a "Mobile Web Application" for the purposes of BP2? [Mobile
> Web Applications Best Practices]
> > I know people decided to can the ADC, but I think we are just going to
> > end up listing out what an application can and can't assume it can
> > deliver, and that will implicitly define the ADC anyway. In that
> > sense, I am pretty sure that it was a mistake to decide against this.
> > I won't squawk if we don't say "ADC" in BP2, even if we are describing
> > it anyway, even if that would draw a nice and easily-understandable
> > parallel to BP1's DDC.
> I think the point of avoiding an ADC is that we don't have a precise
> definition of what is or isn't Web. 

>From my pov that was because I didn't want us to get mired in a "current state of the market" argument, "Does the ADC have a 300 or a 350 pixel screen width?", and so on.

> Jo wanted to rule out SVG because it
> uses plugins - but that simply isn't the case (and certainly won't be in a
> year when this work might be finished).

No I didn't - I wanted to rule it _in_ even though it might use plug-ins - it was an argument to say that whether or not it is supported by plug-ins is not a criterion.

> Someone said Java and Flash are
> out because they don't have a DOM. I am very sympathetic to that idea, but
> I am not sure it flies in the real world - it looks an awful lot like
> making convenient definitions for spec writers, rather than solving real
> world problems for people delivering real applications.

Now that was me, and yes, I do have a great deal of sympathy for spec writers ...

> I would suggest that we stick to some level of vagueness, saying a Mobile
> Web application is one that comes from and is expected to work on "the
> Web", in particular being able to provide a reaasonable user experience on
> mobiles. So a Widget that happens to work nicely on mobiles is in scope -
> even if it has a bit of Flash in the corner, but an iPhone native app is
> out of scope. Opera Mini is probably out of scope (despite the fact that
> there is a version you can actually run as a web app in a java applet),
> but search applications are in. VF's Bundesliga thing is almost a Web app,
> except that it is tied into a walled-garden that means in practice it
> isn't readily available across the Web - so the same principles should
> apply to it, but it probably isn't quite in our primary focus. Etc..
> And then in practice we focus on the stuff we agree is clearly in scope,
> like DOM/Ajax/ECMAscript/CSS-based applications you get over HTTP that can
> run on a variety of browsers...

It might be that this ends up in the same place, but I would prefer to do it the other way round, and say that that is the scope, though it is possible, or likely even that some of the non-technology related recommendations apply equally to Midlets, Flash etc.

> It's not a beautifully neat way to specify stuff, but I think it is a
> practical way to get useful work done. Every so often we can pinch off
> another sausage of useful work and put it out. The Web is, after all,
> changing, and we should expect it to keep doing so.
Well to my mind that is the type of wooliness that has caused the present log jam, in my view. I think we need to have a rule by which we can some clarity say "yes, that's something that we should say" or not, of course. Which is why I liked Jeff's 7 criteria. If we propose to talk about something it must have 5 of the criteria apply to it. Pick a number, anyway. That would allow non-DOM things to be considered, provided they have a sufficient number of other factors speaking for them being in scope.

> cheers
> Chaals
> > I think Dan's statement is trying to rule out things like, say, J2ME
> > applications communicating with some custom protocol to a server, or
> > Android or iPhone apps, or anything that isn't using "web"
> > technologies of the sort I listed.
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 12:21 PM, Holley Kevin (Centre)
> > <Kevin.Holley@o2.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> I am a bit new to this specific sphere but I have trouble understanding
> >> what
> >> "web" really means any more.
> >>
> >>  A web browser opens a TCP socket over the internet and engages in http
> >> dialogue but also post dialogue and other things.  Today's web browsers
> >> can
> >> have other protocols such as ftp, rss, and so on.
> >>
> >>  So why is a widget which is basically a cut down web browser not a web
> >> application?
> >>
> >>  What hard criteria in terms of protocol usage can we apply here?
> >>
> >>  Regards,
> >>
> >>  Kevin
> --
> Charles McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
>      je parle franšais -- hablo espa˝ol -- jeg lŠrer norsk
> http://my.opera.com/chaals   Try Opera 9.5: http://snapshot.opera.com
Received on Friday, 22 February 2008 14:11:27 UTC

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