Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group News

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

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