for W3C Mobile Web Initiative @ Mobile Internet World (13-15 November 2007)


W3C's Mobile Web Initiative is a Premier Association Sponsor of Mobile Internet World, held at the Hynes Convention Center, 13-15 November 2007, in Boston, MA, USA.

Founded by Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, W3C's goals include providing the technical framework to allow any user with any device the freedom and power to use the Web anywhere and at any time. W3C's Mobile Web Initiative is a key component of W3C's "One Web" vision.

Love it or Hate it, when it comes to the Mobile Web, you've got to do it.

How to do it? Take the W3C's Mobile Web Initiative (MWI)!

W3C launched the Mobile Web Initiative (MWI) over 2 years ago, well in advance of the hype. The mission is to develop mobile Web standards to make the mobile Web a first class citizen of the Web. Mobile Web is everywhere nowadays, things have improved, but users are still expecting a lot more to be achieved. The users are not only those living in wealthy countries, but also the underprivileged who can't wait to benefit from accessing information, knowledge, services, and such.

Mobile Web Initiative T-shirt

MWI T-Shirt Design

Over 50 W3C Member organizations participate in W3C's mobile Web work. Additionally, key mobile industry players are giving extra support to fund this work, through a dedicated sponsorship program.

By combining Web architectural principles and the customer-driven demands of the mobile marketplace, MWI has identified clear areas for development that have the potential to change the entire mobile Web experience:

MWI achievements are related to best practices, device descriptions and a mobileOK label. Exploring work is related to enabling mobile Web in developing countries. Read on to learn about what W3C is doing today:

Mobile Web Best Practices Work

MWIBP flip cards


Years of experience and a grounding in basic Web principles, such as the separation of presentation from content, makes W3C the industry leader in developing Web technologies that work across platforms for diverse user populations. By taking advantage of the significant mobile industry expertise of its membership and the successes of developing content languages that support internationalization and accessibility, W3C has put forward Mobile Web Best Practices (MWBP), a set of guidelines designed to serve as a one-stop resource for the development of Web sites that really work on mobile devices.

Mobile Web Best Practices are a great resource for the millions of Web authors worldwide. The Best Practices suggest ways to reduce the cost of authoring and to improve the browsing experience for users of a wide range of mobile devices [A fun resource has been created to help "mobilize your content in 10 steps": see the online MWBP flipcards].

Building on the working group's deliverables success, this work was re-chartered in September 2007, with the main objective of providing guidelines, checklists and best practice statements which are easy to comprehend and implement. The intent is not to force content providers to limit the scope of their content delivery only those mechanisms which are available on mobile devices. Rather, the guidelines to be produced are intended to enable content to be seamlessly perceived across a range of device form factors. Although mobile browsing user experience is a function of multiple variables — including a variety of device-, browser-, network- and content-related factors — considering only those directly relevant to its primary focus on content authoring and adaptation guidelines.

W3C mobileOK

The W3C mobileOK helps Web authors to create and find mobile friendly Web content. Building on the succesful and very popular suite of W3C's validation services, W3C invites Web authors to run the alpha release of the W3C mobileOK checker and make their content work on a broad range of mobile devices.

As shown in the testimonials in support of the W3C mobileOK press release (dated 13 Nov. 07), mobileOK has the industry backing to become the real enabler for the mobile Web to be a success.

The W3C mobileOK checker runs the tests defined in the W3C mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0 Candidate Recommendation. The tests themselves are based upon W3C's Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0.

Device Description Work

Given that each new mobile device has a unique profile and configuration, there are considerable challenges to supporting the full range of models currently operating in the environment. Thus, it becomes especially important to carriers to be able to identify the constraints and capabilities of any given device, and, when necessary, make transformations of Web content on the fly to optimize performance and customer experience. The Device Description Working Group is developing technologies that support these functions, and work closely with organizations such as OMA to both meet the needs of the broader carrier and device industry and ensure Web architectural principles are honored.

Mobile Web in Developing Countries

Mobile Web (based on standards) is seen as the solution to foster new business opportunities in emerging markets. The mobile Web is the most promising platform for low-cost large scale development, deployment and adoption of ICTs. While other Internet technologies continue to be too heavyweight or require expensive investments in infrastructure, mobile devices provide a lean mechanism for communication in developing regions, for both voice and data.

W3C's goal is to make the Web accessible, relevant, usable and useful for underprivileged populations and rural communities.

After holding a workshop on Mobile Web in the Developing World, W3C is taking a leadership role in this area and is using the connections it establishes in developing regions such as India and South Africa to join the local efforts of human empowerment through Web access.

There's more to the mobile Web than one initiative.

W3C's Mobile work didn't begin in 2005 - in fact, it had its start in the late 1990's, looking at the ways to bring mobile devices into the Web, and content to them. These include XHTML Basic, CSS Mobile, the mobile SMIL profiles, SVG Tiny and Basic, WICD Mobile, and some of the Web APIs. Most of this work actually happens within the scope of collaboration between W3C and either OMA or 3GPP groups.

What comes after Mobile?

There is a major prediction that within 5 years mobile access to the Web will be dominant. Believing in mobile Web standards, the W3C and its members are pursuing work in 3 parallel directions:

MWI Sponsors and W3C Members benefit from the mobile Web standards

As the Mobile Web becomes more pervasive, there is still plenty of room for innovation and for improvements. W3C members and MWI sponsors are taking advantage of these opportunities, using a standardized Web infrastructure to develop new products and to improve the user experience while browsing the Web from a mobile device.

MWI Sponsors - Nov. 2007

Web standards are the foundation of emerging/innovative mobile applications. W3C Members and MWI sponsors do embrace openness on many levels to stay ahead in this an ever increasing mobile environment and to develop innovative new products and services that make the consumers/end users happy.

Over the last days, a series of announcements are proving the vitality of what's happening in the mobile Web space:

W3C Mobile Web Initiative has 19 sponsors, including key players in the mobile production chain: Afilias, Bango, ERICSSON, France Telecom Group, GoWare, HP, Jataayu Software, mTLD, MobileAware, Mobile Web 2.0 Forum, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Opera Software, TIM Italia, RuleSpace, Segala, Sevenval, Vodafone, and Volantis Systems.

MWI announcements from 2005 to 2007

13 November 2007 W3C mobileOK Helps People Create and Find Mobile Friendly Content (also available in other languages)
Testimonials of support from Deutsche Telekom | Family Online Safety Institute | Fundación CTIC | MobileAware | Vodafone
23 October 2007 MEDIA ADVISORY: W3C, Tim Berners-Lee To Present Mobile Web Vision at Mobile Internet World (also available in other languages)
25 September 2007 W3C, OpenAjax Alliance Hold Joint Workshop on Mobile Ajax Applications (also available in other languages)
7 February 2007 Tim Berners-Lee to Keynote Opening Day at 3GSM 2007
18 October 2006 W3C to organize a Mobile Web Seminar in Paris on 16 November 2006 (Media Advisory) (also available in other languages)
19 September 2006 W3C to Pursue Improved Web Access in Developing Countries (also available in other languages)
27 June 2006 W3C Issues Mobile Web Best Practices as Candidate Recommendation (also available in other languages)
17 May 2006 W3C Holds Workshop for Mobile Device Description Repository (also available in other languages)
31 January 2006 Mobile Industry Leaders Agree on Best Practices for Mobile Web Content (also available in other languages)
25 October 2005 W3C Mobile Web Initiative Sponsors to Reveal Vision in London on 15 November 2005 (also available in other languages)
11 May 2005 W3C Launches "Mobile Web Initiative" (also available in other languages) - List of sponsor founders testimonials

Other misc. press resources

Press Contacts:

About the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France, Keio University in Japan, and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see

Marie-Claire Forgue

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