Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group News

Looking for Content Transformation Proxies that conform to the guidelines — 18 June 2010

The Mobile Web Best Practices working group published the Guidelines for Web Content Transformation Proxies as a W3C Candidate Recommendation yesterday.

This means that the specification is now considered stable. The Working Group would thus like to invite Content Transformation Proxies vendors willing to claim conformance to the specification to let themselves known, so that an implementation report can be assembled.

Due to the unique nature of the specification, it may be worth pointing out a few points:

  1. The group is not looking for claims of conformance from products. It is rather looking for claims of conformance from Transformation Deployments, in other words from instances of products.
  2. Claiming conformance to the specification means filling out an Implementation Conformance Statement and sending it to the public public-content-transformation-conformance@w3.org mailing-list (with public archives). The goal of this ICS is to specify the reasons for non-compliance with any clause at the should level in the guidelines.
  3. Claims of conformance will be evaluated by the working group to create the implementation report. Two claims of conformance are required before the specification may be allowed to move forward.

Feel free to get in touch with me (Francois Daoust) if you would like to know more about the evaluation process.

The working group would also like to invite developers from the community willing to contribute to the development of a test case repository for the guidelines, to be composed of challenge test cases to let themselves known on the public-bpwg-comments@w3.org public mailing-list.

Francois Daoust Permalink

Content Transformation Guidelines ready for review — 12 February 2010

The Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group published a Last Call Working Draft of the Guidelines for Web Content Transformation Proxies yesterday.

To paraphrase the abstract, the document provides guidance to Content Transformation proxies as to whether and how to transform Web content. It is scoped to mobile networks where the problem originated. The topic of content transformation done right in the middle between the content provider and the final user is contentious (at best): proxies have the potential to enable browsing "more of" the Web from any mobile device; but they can also disrupt the operation of mobile-friendly sites, eavesdrop in communications that they are not quite supposed to listen to, and more importantly users and content providers cannot easily control the proxies.

The document has already triggered lots of reaction and discussion both within and outside of the group. The group keeps on bringing substantive changes to the guidelines based on the feedback it receives. Although the whole process takes time, this is a very good thing!

Among other changes, the third Last Call Working Draft stresses out in its Purpose section that this document is not expected to be the last word on this topic. The Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group is not chartered to create new technology, and there is currently no existing or widely deployed technology that can be used e.g. by a content provider to advertise its position and expectations with regards to content transformation.

That said, the group thinks the document is pretty useful on a short-to-medium-term basis and believes it has addressed all the comments it received on the previous last call. Whether you provided feedback in the past or not (thanks again if you did!), the group invites you to review the document once again. The Status of This Document section explains how to send feedback.

The Last Call review period ends on 11 March 2010. Let the group know if you need more time to review the document!

Francois Daoust Permalink

Mobile Web Application Best Practices is a Candidate Recommendation — 11 February 2010

The Mobile Web Application Best Practices document has just been published as a W3C Candidate Recommendation. This publication means the working group believes that the document is stable and now encourages everyone to implement the Best Practices.

Are you developing Web applications that take into account some of the specificities of the mobile world and implement one or more of the Best Practices in this document? If yes, we need your implementation feedback! Please consider helping us by following the instructions in the implementation report template and tell us about your great Web applications!

The 35 Best Practices cover a wide range of use cases, grouped in 6 categories in the specification:

  • Application Data: appropriate technologies and techniques to use for managing a Web application's data.
  • Security and Privacy: use trusted information, and protect all personally identifiable information.
  • User Awareness and Control: allow the user to control application behaviour that might not otherwise be apparent.
  • Conservative use of resources: minimize use of device memory, processor power, and network bandwidth.
  • User Experience: special consideration to improve the user experience, given the additional complexities of interacting with an application on a mobile device.
  • Handling Variation in the Delivery Context: adapt to known or discoverable properties of the Delivery Context by adjusting the content, navigation or page flow.

Note that you do not need to implement a large number of Best Practices to provide feedback. The Best Practices are fairly independent one from another and the group expects Web applications to implement one, two, or a few Best Practices at a time.

Once we are able to produce an implementation report with evidence that the Best Practices are used in practice, the document should be able to exit the Candidate Recommendation phase and move forward on its way to a final W3C Recommendation.

Francois Daoust 2 comments Permalink

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Contacts: Daniel Appelquist, Jo Rabin, Chairs
Dominique Hazaël-Massieux and François Daoust, W3C Team Contacts