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Dispatches from members of the W3C Mobile Web Initiative Team

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2008 mobile web standards fireworks — 5 January 2009

During the past two weeks, W3C Working Groups released no less than four specifications that are expected to have a big impact on the Web on mobile devices in the coming months:

  • SVG 1.2 Tiny, the newest version of the popular scalable vector graphics format, adapted to the limitations of mobile devices, was published as a W3C Recommendation (i.e. a standard); it offers a whole new set of features that are sure to make the Mobile Web experience even more appealing, as more and more mobile browsers support SVG (including the iPhone);
  • the Web Applications Working Group published a last call working draft of Widgets 1.0: Packaging and Configuration, the first of a series of specifications in development to harmonize the very fragmented market for widgets engines;
  • the Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group released a new draft of its Mobile Web Application Best Practices, collecting tips and advices on how to develop widgets and web applications targeted at mobile devices;
  • the newly formed Geolocation Working Group released its first public working draft of the Geolocation API, allowing Web developers to get location information through a javascript API.

2008 also saw earlier the release of the Mobile Web Best Practices, mobileOK Basic, and the Device Description Repository Simple API as W3C Recommendations - let's hope that 2009 will be as rich and productive!

Happy new year to our readers!

by Dominique Hazael-Massieux in News Permalink

Go mobile, be mobileOK! — 9 December 2008

Generating Web sites that provide a good user experience on desktops is tricky. Add a few mobile constraints (smaller screen size, limited memory, limited bandwidth, lots of distinct mobile devices) and the task becomes impossible but for a few mobile experts, leaving the vast majority of Web content authors wish there was some easy way to make their content available on mobile devices without having to think too much about it.

mobileOKThere is! The mobileOK mark was developed by the W3C Mobile Web Best Practices working group to make Web content authoring that takes mobile constraints into account one click away from "regular" Web content authoring. With the publication of the W3C mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0 specification as a final W3C Recommendation, the Version 1.0 of the online W3C mobileOK Checker tool was released yesterday to help make that dream come true.

The new version features a number of improvements, including:

  • New view per category: reports follow a hierarchical pattern that best matches the usual areas authors address while generating content: Structure of the page, Style sheets, Images, Links, ...
  • Clearer messages: highly technical tests returned highly technical messages. The new messages are intended to be clear for everyone and help educate authors on mobile Web best practices where possible.
  • Score: a bit not mobileOK or far from being mobileOK? The Checker returns a score to give a sense of the level of mobile-friendliness of the content under test. Improve your content to improve your score!
  • Page size and number of resources: to render a page, browsers usually need to retrieve a a bunch of resources. How many? The size and number of the different constituents of the page (e.g. images, style sheets) is now highlighted.

The W3C mobileOK Checker is based on the open-source mobileOK Checker Java library developed by the Mobile Web Best Practices working group.

Help the Web go mobile, use mobileOK tools, use the W3C mobileOK Checker!

by Francois Daoust in News Permalink

Dan Appelquist on W3C Q&A Blog — 25 November 2008

Dan Appelquist, co-chair of the Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group, founder of Mobile Monday London, Vodafone's W3C Advisory Committee Representative, is answering a few questions on his views on the Mobile Web, Widgets, Content Transformation, Life and Everything on the W3C Q&A blog.

by Dominique Hazael-Massieux in News Permalink

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Contacts: Dominique Hazael-Massieux