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STANDARD: W3C announces Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 for a better Mobile Web
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 31.07.08 - 14:44:25 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 13173x
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W3C today announced new standards that will make it easier for people to browse the Web on mobile devices. Sure, in the past we already had, more or less successful mobile browsing standards like WAP (which used WML, a kind of xHTML dialect) or i-mode (which used cHTML) but with the W3C's Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0, published as a W3C Recommendation, the experience of many mobile Web stakeholders is condensed into practical advice on creating mobile-friendly content which still follow the W3C standards contrary to any propriety standards.

"Mobile Web content developers now have stable guidelines and maturing tools to help them create a better mobile Web experience," said Dominique Hazaël-Massieux, W3C Mobile Web Activity Lead. "In support of the W3C mission of building One Web, we want to support the developer community by providing tools to enable a great mobile Web user experience."

Mobile Web Design Guidelines Address Challenges on the Go: People who want to use the Web while "on the go" face several challenges, including hardware and software diversity, device constraints, and bandwidth limitations. Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 helps content authors face those challenges and develop content that works on a wide array of mobile devices. Authors and other content producers will find practical advice for managing user experience challenges such as data input and page scrolling.

Until today, content developers faced an additional challenge: a variety of mobile markup languages to choose from. With the publication of the XHTML Basic 1.1 Recommendation today, the preferred format specification of the Best Practices, there is now a full convergence in mobile markup languages, including those developed by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA - formerly known as the WAP Forum).

The W3C mobileOK checker (beta), when used with the familiar W3C validator, helps developers test mobile-friendly Web content.

According to Juniper Research, "the global market for Mobile Web 2.0 will be worth US$ 22.4 billion in 2013, up from US$ 5.5 billion currently." Keeping pace with this trend, the Mobile Web Best Practices (MWBP) Working Group published the first draft of the next generation of guidelines, Mobile Web Application Best Practices, aimed at mobile Web applications. While the "original" best practices document focused on traditional Web browsing, the new guidelines will focus on the use of Web applications and widgets for user interaction opportunities on mobile devices. For example, mobile content providers might use Web applications together with geolocation information to provide users with richer location-based services and interfaces.

W3C is also developing resources to help authors understand how to create content that is both mobile-friendly and accessible to people with disabilities. A draft of Relationship between Mobile Web Best Practices (MWBP) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is jointly published by the The Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group and WAI's Education & Outreach Working Group (EOWG).

Cheers ~ Arne

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