W3C - One Web: Going Mobile

Steve Bratt, <steve@w3.org>

3 view of the Earth from space

One Web: Going Mobile

Steve Bratt
Chief Executive Officer
World Wide Web Consortium


6 November 2006

San Francisco, California, USA



Photo of Web on phone

Mission: Leading the Web to its Full Potential

Founded by Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee in 1994 ...

Graph of Globe
  • From a Web of Documents ...
  • ... toward One Web:
    • of Data and Services
    • on Everything
    • for Everyone

W3C logo

(Membership / Benefits / New "At a Glance" brochure)

Vision: Web on Everything

Photos of Web on phones, TV, refrigerator, cars, plane

One Web ...

... where Web technologies provide the means of accessing and interacting with content via and between all devices (computing, communications, PIM, entertainment, embedded, transportation, industrial, health care, etc.)
... worldwide.

Why Mobile Devices are the Next "Thing"

Several people waiting for train and using their mobile phones

(Source: Steven Pemberton)

Expanding Mobile Coverage

Global growth vs. time for GSM in terms of area, usage, population

http://www.gsmworld.com/documents/universal_access_full_report.pdf (2006)

Underachieving Today. Hope for Tomorrow.

  • There is hope - when the user experience is good, consistent, etc.
    • Nokia Study: 400+ users in UK, Germany, Singapore
    • Browsing = 63% of data traffic
Packet data usage by service type (Eerola, Nokia, 2005)

(Source: Esa Eerola (2005) Nokia, "How Consumers Really Use Smartphones", MAPOS 05, Vienna)

Today, Mobile Web is Inconvenient, Inefficient

mobile Christmas 2004

(Source: RusselBeattie.com)

... Even in Unexpected Places

Multiple URIs needed to access this Japanese Automobile Federation site

It's 1994 All Over Again ...

Web 1994 Mobile Web 2006
Too slow Too slow
"Walled gardens" "Walled gardens"
Lack of interoperability Lack of interoperability
Child protection Child protection
Not accessible Not accessible

... But Some Conditions are More Favorable

Web 1994 Mobile Web 2006
Lack of content Lots of potential content and developers
No industry Large potential industry
Web of documents Rich suite of technologies
Few connected users Many potentially-connected users
Web is a novelty What did we do before the Web?

Solution for Web Mobility?

Joke about Mobile Computing:  Person wearing a desktop system

... We can probably do better than this :-)

Goal of W3C's Mobile Web Initiative

To make access to the Web on mobile devices as -

- as desktop / laptop Web access

One Web


  • Group Participants
    • Sponsors plus: AOL, AT&T, BBC, Boeing, CDAC, ETRI, El Mundo, Fondation CTIC, Fondation ONCE, GoDaddy, Google, HTML Writers Guild, Indus Net Technologies, Infraware, ICRA, Microsoft, NeoMtel, Openwave, Royal National Institute for the Blind, SK Telecom, T-Online, Telefonica, University of Helsinki, WURFL Team ... with others joining over time.
MWI Sponsors Logo



Best Practices Working Group

W3C Mobile Web Initiative phone
  • Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 (Proposed Recommendation)
    • Guidelines for authoring content for good user experience, through effective delivery to and display on mobile devices
    • Leveraging existing Web standards
      • XHTML, CSS, SVG, XForms, SMIL, etc.
    • Informed by existing guidelines (e.g., Nokia, DoCoMo, Openwave, Opera, WCAG, etc.)
  • Techniques document under development
  • "mobileOK" scheme under development
  • Implementations

Best Practices Guidelines Focus on Usability

Opera home page on lap top vs. on mobile small screen

Device Description Working Group

W3C Mobile Web Initiative phone
  • Adaptation of content requires knowledge about device
  • Completed:
  • Future:
    • Core and API for Device Description Repository
    • Key device properties, vocabulary, method for extensions

Toward Device Independence

Diagram showing how single content can adapt to multiple devices

(Source, "Delivery Context Overview for Device Independence", Device Independence WG, 2006)

Liaising with Other Efforts and the Public

Possible Next Steps in MWI

Web Mobility = Web for Everyone

Man with mobile phone in Asia.  AFP, Deshakalyan Chowdhury

The Mobile Web will accelerate Internet access around the world by solving the "last kilometer" problem

Person with mobile phone in rural Africa

Additional, Wide-Reaching Benefits

Delphi Navigation Radio Web on refrigerator Web on Urinals

Interested in Learning More?


(extra slides follow: W3C Background, Technologies, Membership, Developing Countries Stories)

W3C's Mission: Leading the Web to its Full Potential

Founded by Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee in 1994, W3C is:

Map of W3C Member per country (early 2006)

(Membership / Benefits / "At a Glance" brochure)

W3C Engineers the Foundation of the Web

Over 90 Web Standards (Recommendations) developed to date (list/ svg-by-yr/ translations)

Current work done in 50+ Working, Interest and Coordination Groups

W3C technology stack

Leading Edge: Latest and Future

(organization chart of all current work)

Who are W3C's Members?

"Third-class companies make products; second-class companies develop technology; first-class companies set standards."

* popular saying in Chinese business and government, from "China’s Post-WTO Technology Policy: Standards, Software and the Changing Nature of Techno-Nationalism", by Richard P. Suttmeier and Yao Xiangkui.
Full-fee Members (Jul 2006)

Why Do People Participate in W3C?

(Membership / Benefits / How to join W3C / "At a Glance" brochure)

Mobile Web in Developing Countries

From "Bridging the Digital Divide", GSM Association, 2006.