Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group News

Towards a Common mobileOK Basic Tests Implementation — 4 June 2007

To paraphrase the book title: all I really need to know about HTML I learned from the W3C validator. The specification is of course necessary, but as a developer, I'm usually more interested in whether my particular document follows the specification, and if not then why not, and how I can fix it, and I'm usually interested in knowing this right now. The supporting validation tool is almost all you need to practice good HTML. It's vital to provide tools like this to bring specifications to life and make them practical for the developer community. So, it's time we followed suit. We've created the Mobile Web Best Practices recommendation, and have nearly finalized the mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0 recommendation. It describes automated tests for mobile content in pseudo-code, which is practically begging for an implementation in software. We sincerely believe in our recommendations and want to add value for developers, not just list a bunch of ideas. So, we've begun to create a reference implementation of mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0. Fortunately several groups had already begun this independently. Dom created an early implementation of some tests at http://validator.w3.org/mobile/. dotMobi has released http://ready.mobi, which implements many mobileOK Basic tests (among other tests). Fundación CTIC has developed an implementation at http://validadores.tawdis.net/mobileok/. Why create another implementation? We want to create an open-source, reusable library that combines the strengths of these implementations. Fortunately, the developers behind all three of these are involved in the collaborative effort within BPWG to build a reference implementation. By creating an open, generic library, we enable developers to embed this suite of tests in tools, run a private instance, help enhance and fix the code, or even develop new tools. It's an international effort, with six active developers already from Germany, Spain, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. I must say I'm pleased to see how open everyone has been about contributing time, code and experience. It's also great to see how well the W3C can incubate collaborative development efforts like this. You can see our work to date in CVS at dev.w3.org. It's a Java- and XSL-based implementation. You can follow or join in the discussion on the public-mobileok-checker mailing list. We're working towards a first "alpha" release in mid-July, at which point you'll hear from us again since we'll need everyone's help to play-test this thing. Watch this space for more.
Sean Owen Permalink

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