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Check local content with the W3C mobileOK Checker — 5 January 2010

Version 1.3.0 of the online W3C mobileOK Checker service is out. On top of the usual bug fixes and clarifications of messages, here are a couple of features which I hope will be useful.

Many thanks to users of the W3C mobileOK Checker who provided feedback and helped identify bugs!

File upload and direct input methods

Users rightly complained that the W3C mobileOK Checker only worked on content that was already available on the Web. Web authors usually start with local content and publish it once they are happy with the result. The mobileOK Checker comes after the battle here... There existed good reasons to restrict checks to published Web content as some of the mobileOK tests apply to the HTTP headers sent along with the content and thus cannot be run when the content is not available using HTTP.

Anyway, you can now check content for mobile-friendliness using file upload and direct input.

File Upload and Direct Input methods in the W3C mobileOK Checker are now available

As already mentioned, some mobileOK tests only apply partially or do not apply at all when these input methods are used. For instance, the total size of the page is not accurate if stylesheets and images cannot be retrieved by the W3C mobileOK Checker. In short, the report is incomplete and the content cannot claim to be mobileOK™ as long as the remaining tests have not been enforced.

The Checker retrieves as many resources as possible and ignores those that cannot be retrieved when file upload or direct input is used. If the HTML content references a CSS stylesheet using an absolute HTTP URI, the Checker will retrieve and run tests on that stylesheet. Similarly, the base HTML element may be used to set the base HTTP URI against which the Checker will resolve relative links, as illustrated in the following example:

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en">
 <head>
  <base href="http://www.w3.org/Mobile/" />
  <title>W3C test page</title>
 </head>
 <body>
  <p><img src="W3C.gif" width="85" height="43" alt="W3C" /></p>
 </body>
</html>

The Checker can retrieve the W3C.gif image in the above example even if the content is provided as direct input because its address can be resolved against the base element, leading to the http://www.w3.org/Mobile/W3C.gif absolute HTTP address.

Obviously, this does not work if the base element is a relative URI itself, or if the rest of the content is not available.

Source listing

The W3C mobileOK Checker sometimes returns failures that do not seem to originate from the content under test. That is, the incriminated code does not reveal itself when one right clicks and selects View source on one's favorite desktop browser.

Most of the time, the reason for that apparent disconnection is that the server uses content adaptation and sends different content to the browser and to the W3C mobileOK Checker. The W3C mobileOK Checker uses specific HTTP headers to retrieve resources as if it were a mobile device. To avoid losing precious time to realize that the tests were simply run on the mobile version of the content, the report now includes the listing of the source that was received by the mobileOK Checker for reference.

The mobileOK report now includes the source of the markup that was tested
by Francois Daoust in Permalink

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Contacts: Dominique Hazael-Massieux