Free W3C webinar: Success!

~ 26 July 2006 ~

…at least I think it was successful (wink).

Just a quick note to thank those who participated in this morning’s teleconference. I hope I didn’t trip over myself too much — so much content to cover it’s hard to cram it all in a mere 60 minutes.

Please feel free to do any follow-up discussion and networking in the comments. Though don’t expect me to respond for a while, I’ve been up since 3am…



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1   cole henley ~ 26 July 2006 at 05:58 AM

Aloha Cameron.
Registered for webinar and then meeting crops up at last minute, grrrrrrrr.
Still, the pdf looks very useful - will a transcript be made available in due course?

2   Nick Turner ~ 26 July 2006 at 06:58 AM

Good job this morning, Cameron.

3   David Mead ~ 26 July 2006 at 07:25 AM

Thanks for the webinar this morning Cameron. The couple of us that made it in (roads are pretty clear at 5am) enjoyed it and will be sharing the PDF with the rest of the team.

I look forward to the next one, maybe a little later in the day :-)

4   Steve ~ 26 July 2006 at 07:36 AM

Yea, great info Cameron, glad I was able to get up on time for that. Brings up a lot of issues to discuss as there’s many schools of thought on how a mobile site / app should be built. The company I’m working with developing mobile sites and apps works with a company called dynetic that transcodes sites into the devices requirements. Your approach in the discussion was more to pick a few - like Yahoo did - and shoot for those.
Your mobile resources on your site are really usefull too… thanks.
Can you tell me how you get your mobile screen shots? Are you using Firefox User Agent Switcher or are they realyl from the mobile device?

5   Cameron Moll ~ 26 July 2006 at 08:56 AM

Mobile screenshots: Those are actually from the device using screen grab software. Here’s one for Nokia s60 models, and there are others out there.

6   Cameron Moll ~ 26 July 2006 at 08:57 AM

Transcript - Don’t know if W3C intends to off one or not. I’ll certainly post a link if they do.

7   Steven Ametjan ~ 26 July 2006 at 10:17 AM

I’m so mad at myself for sleeping through my alarm and missing this. I’m glad that it was a success, and I really hope that either a transcript or a podcast is made available for the people who missed it.

8   Jan Brašna ~ 26 July 2006 at 10:19 AM

Steve, there’s this one that I’m successfully using recently (S60: N70).

9   Jan Brasna ~ 26 July 2006 at 10:20 AM

Ah, the web doesn’t like my name even when it’s in UTF :) I think it worked some time ago…

10   Sharaf ~ 26 July 2006 at 10:22 AM


Have you considered developing a web iste that works on Pocket PCs? The IE on Pocket PCs does not support Javascript or @handheld stylesheets.

I don’t want to duplicate the content of the site just to accomodate the Pocket PCs.

What are your suggestions?

11   Jan Brasna ~ 26 July 2006 at 01:02 PM

Sharaf, the PPC/WM IE is pretty problematic as it loads the screen stylesheets (that it can’t handle - floats and similar formatting) however ignores handheld styles. I’d advise you to simply sniff the UA string and strip the CSS for it.

Cameron, I quickly went thru the slides and they are great - amazing design as always and really catchy content and good points - thank you for it.

12   Sharaf ~ 26 July 2006 at 02:05 PM

Thanks Jan!

13   Rob Wilmshurst ~ 26 July 2006 at 03:55 PM

One of the joys of being in the UK - I listened at the much more humanitarian time of 11:00.

I enjoyed the webinar; plenty of food for thought as mentioned above. I hadn’t even used the Yahoo! site (checked it out now though); I’d been relying on the BBC for world cup updates. Speaking of which, their mobile site is pretty good — there’s a uber-light version for your older phones (or those still on WAP/GPRS), a PDA version for smartphones/PDAs(duuh…) and even the main site looks great in Opera Mini thanks to its shrinlking option. It’s nasty when the phone bill comes through though :)

Your mobile section is very handy; I’ve no idea how I’ve missed it until now.

Say hi to your lawyer for me…

14   Brandon S ~ 27 July 2006 at 06:11 AM

I too am very interested in a mobile site for those on smart phones, particularly those with PocketPC. My phone constantly ignores the handheld stylesheets. I don’t even want to touch it using browser detection because of the shere number of different browsers to detect and also because some don’t even support javascript.

15   Miha Valencic ~ 28 July 2006 at 04:13 AM


I enjoed the slides, thank you. Unfortunately, I registered for an event, but could not get to it (perhaps something has gone wrong with the registration).

What I miss in your presentation is the fact that you address only modern devices, which support XHTML. We (Mobitel, mobile operator) aim to target all the devices on the market, including those, who are capable of showing only WML 1.0 and we focus a lot on “downgrading” content and adapting it to the specific device context (depending on the device itself, of course).

During our work, we have come accross totaly incosistent support for standards, espcially in the XHTML area (WML support across different browsers is much better in that respect). Currently, we rely on the open source WURFL device database, but this database is not very exact in determining how a certain device supports either stylesheets or tables. (some devices support tables, but don’t support padding or cellspacing, or borders for that matter. Some support CSS, but not backgrounds, and so on). All that is of course needed because we wan’t to deliver as rich as possible content to a given device.

What is your take on adapting content, and what to base this adaptaion on? WURFL device database, proprietary, minimal common denominator?


16   Cameron Moll ~ 28 July 2006 at 06:14 AM

Miha -

I touched on WURFL briefly in the presentation. However, to be honest, I’d rather see a mobile device wiki showing graded support for XHTML, Java, Javascript, etc instead. (Perhaps WURLF contains that — I don’t have a ton of experience with it. But if it does, it’s a bit too cryptic right now for the average developer, IMO.)

I also made mention of the Yahoo FIFA mobile site, which for the most part ignored device detection and instead developed for 10 varying devices. The idea was that if the site displayed well on those 10 devices, chances were it would display well on nearly any device on the market. You can read a case study about the site here.

As for “lowest common denominator”, I don’t support that approach. Instead, I believe we need to think in terms of “lowest cut-off denominator” — what devices can be reasonably supported? Much like developing for the desktop and not fully supporting Mac IE or Win IE 5 because of legacy issues.

And as for devices that don’t support XHTML (e.g. WAP 1.0 devices), I don’t particularly care to cover that in my presentation material. I’d like to see us begin to look beyond WAP 1.0 and WML. I’m certainly not advocating you or other mobile companies fail to support 1.0 customers, but instead I’d rather focus my time and energy on exploiting the capabilities of the mobile web that is WAP 2.0/XHTML — plenty of people have already been discussing 1.0 for years now anyway.

17   Miha Valencic ~ 31 July 2006 at 02:45 AM


thank you for the FIFA link. It is a fine case-study, very useful read. Approach, that we’ve been for a long time with our content, although we do device detection. This kind of approach is a dog to maintain, though — and that is the reason we are moving forward with sort-of auto-magic device adaptation — which has it’s limits, of course.

What you say about graded XHTML/js/.. support on mobile devices is great, and I think that it is about to happen in the [near?] future. :)

In my experience, a lot depends on the site designer — if the designer understands the limitations, than it is much easier to develop certain functionality. For instance, there were cases where we needed 15!! different implementations of a page, because someone wanted the exact same look on all devices…

And such designers are rare. :(



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