W3C Paves the Road to Unified Mobile Web Development Guidelines

By releasing the Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 recommendation

By Lucian Constantin on July 31st, 2008 15:42 GMT
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has released the Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 recommendation as part of its initiative to unify mobile web development guidelines. This recommendation represents the result of the efforts made by the Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group to gather and publish practical advice based on the experience of "many mobile Web stakeholders," as W3C announces.

"Mobile Web content developers now have stable guidelines and maturing tools to help them create a better mobile Web experience," explained Dominique Hazaël-Massieux, W3C Mobile Web Activity Lead in a press release.

The mobile accessible web content is estimated to increase considerably in the upcoming years and, according to a report released by Juniper Research earlier this year, "the global market for Mobile Web 2.0 will be worth $22.4bn in 2013, up from $5.5bn currently." In response to this estimated growth, the W3C has already announced work on a future Mobile Web Application Best Practices recommendation.

The Mobile Web Best Practices (MWBP) 1.0 has as recommended format specification the new XHTML Basic 1.1 that was also released along with it. The XHTML Basic 1.1 is designed for web clients that do not fully support the XHTML features, and it contains only the basic set of modules, making it the perfect solution for content accessed from mobile browsers.

Developers interested in creating web content for mobile devices can now test their code using the new beta version of the W3C mobileOK Checker, in addition to the W3C validator. W3C doesn't stop here and aims at making the MWBP 1.0 as compatible as possible with its already existent Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Dominique Hazaël-Massieux pointing that "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."

All these efforts are greatly appreciated by the web developing community, which has begun to take web content for mobile devices very seriously, an interest illustrated by the fact that, for example, in Japan, the number of users accessing the web from such devices has already exceeded the number of PC users. In the meanwhile, the rest of the world seems to be heading precisely in the same direction.
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