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The Sad State of the Mobile Web

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the our-options-have-recently-changed dept.

The Internet 220

snydeq writes "Despite being the much better development platform for today's smartphones, open Web standards still face an uphill battle on mobile devices, Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister writes, noting that here, as on the desktop, the main hurdle is scalability. But whereas successful Web development for the desktop is a matter of scaling up, mobile Web development calls for applications that can effectively scale down as well — an imperative that is fast making the state of the mobile Web 'even sadder,' McAllister writes. 'The more that modern Web applications take advantage of the new client-side technologies available in desktop browsers, the more the divide between the desktop Web and the mobile Web widens.' As a result, developers are forced to fall back on basic Web technologies — a tactic that too often translates simply into writing separate UIs for mobile users. 'The result? Mobile Web applications are in pretty much the same boat as they were when the first WAP-enabled handsets appeared: two separate development tracks, one for the desktop and one for mobile.'"

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I have a better idea (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767325)

Use CSS as it was meant to be used, and stop using javascript and flash where they are unnecessary, and your sites will work just fine on mobile devices. Oh, that's hard? Sorry, your crap tools which produce shit code you don't understand don't impress me.

Re:I have a better idea (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29767347)

Use CSS as it was meant to be used, and stop using javascript and flash where they are unnecessary, and your sites will work just fine on mobile devices. Oh, that's hard? Sorry, your crap tools which produce shit code you don't understand don't impress me.

It's a good thing that sites like Slashdot work great on all devices though... ...oh, wait...

Re:I have a better idea (1, Informative)

True Vox (841523) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767375)

Actually,i'm writing from my SE w518a and things look pretty good, all things considered.

Re:I have a better idea (2, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767557)

Actually,i'm writing from my SE w518a and things look pretty good, all things considered.

Bah, you're so confused by Slashdot's crummy formatting that you thing you're on the NPR website.

Re:I have a better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29767803)

Moore's Law should fix this problem in a couple of years. Remember that screen resolution (pixels per square centimeter) will increase along with processing power; the screens themselves may get a little larger, but they have a ways to go before becoming too large for a one-hand device.

Re:I have a better idea (2, Informative)

Trevelyan (535381) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767431)

On the iPhone, /.'s left and right page columns are removed (I guess by CSS) so that the centre story column takes up the full width of the screen.

The only real problem is that the nested comments quickly run out of width when the nesting gets too deep. Oh and that floating Full/Abbreviated/Hidden thing on the left doesn't work, but then I don't use it on the desktop either.

Equality (2, Funny)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767721)

It's a good thing that sites like Slashdot work great on all devices though... ...oh, wait...

Hey, slashdot looks like shit on any browser on any device. So it least it's fair. Kind of.

(Posted from a textbox that's twice as wide as my screen).

Re:I have a better idea (3, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768003)

I think you forgot the "Use CSS as it was meant to be used, and stop using javascript [...] where (it is) unnecessary" part.

Slashdot is a mess. Authors should be ashamed.

Re:I have a better idea (3, Interesting)

JordanL (886154) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767473)

Look at all the OpenSource solutions to rapid web development.
  • Concrete
  • Joomla
  • SilverStripe
  • Etc.

None of those programs even have a core that's close to being mobile enabled, and no one using them is going to create one. I think the largest problem is simply that the tools most people use for their websites are too bloated, complicated and poorly written to create an effective mobile web.

For example, I have a client that I just last week had to broach the subject of a mobile enabled version of their Joomla 1.5 site with. They were adamant that a version that cellphones could use was absolutely important, but because of the HUGE framework Joomla uses, and the relatively small number of functions a mobile version would need to perform, I basically opted to build a very tiny CMS that would mirror the data from the Joomla database.

You may thumb your nose at web developers who create ridiculous sites and clearly don't know what the hell they're doing, but you are only displaying your own ignorance. Clients drive website development, not developers, and for the vast majority of clients mobile web is something they just don't care about. And because of that nearly all of the tools available exclude the mobile web.

As a web developer, I rarely have to touch the subject of the mobile web, and when I do I basically have to present my clients with two options: 1. you pay me a non-trivial sum to create a second version of your site just for the mobile web or 2. you are restricted to sites built in tools which are mobile web enabled.

I can tell you from years of experience, unless it's part of their business model clients go for option 3: fuck the mobile web.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

R_Dorothy (1096635) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767713)

I've just finished building a new website for a startup and mobile was a consideration from the start. As a result the page content is all modularised and there is a layout+css switcher for mobile devices. Some of the fancy stuff doesn't work as well or look as good on the mobile site but all the functionality is there - with and without JavaScript (progressive enhancement really comes into its own here). This means that going forward there is only one site and two layouts to maintain, a vast improvement on the last time I tried to retro-fit mobile layouts to a site and settled on a similar solution to the parent which is essentially to build a second site.

I'll echo other posters by saying that /. blows HARD on a mobile.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

JordanL (886154) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767791)

See, this only works if you use no modules/components/plugins/extentions/etc. with whatever rapid development framework you're working with, because I can guarantee you that the modularized code isn't going to export mobile friendly code. If I could trust extended pieces of code, I would simply manage layouts as you describe.

Most clients just aren't big enough to warrant all the small fires mobile development creates.

Re:I have a better idea (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767813)

None of those programs even have a core that's close to being mobile enabled, and no one using them is going to create one.

I've never looked at any of those, but with Drupal it's fairly trivial to create an acceptable mobile experience.

You may thumb your nose at web developers who create ridiculous sites and clearly don't know what the hell they're doing, but you are only displaying your own ignorance.

You're being a stupid ass. I'm talking about shit like using javascript on a link that just opens a new page, when an HREF would have done as well and can be manipulated by JS through the DOM. I'm talking about shit like using flash for rollover links. I'm not talking about shit like google docs [slashdot.org] , which can reasonably be expected to fail on castrated browsers. The vast majority of websites out there would work fine on a mobile browser if they simply made intelligent use of CSS, and less unnecessary use of javascript. Every time I have to have javascript to submit a form that results in a page load anyway, I know that somewhere out there a big fucking idiot designed a website. Every time I have to load a flash movie to navigate a website, the web dies a little.

I can tell you from years of experience, unless it's part of their business model clients go for option 3: fuck the mobile web.

Again, in Drupal it's simple enough as having a mobile theme, using one of the many canned methods available to make sure that mobile users get to see it, and you're done. Since mobile browsers are simple, mobile themes are simple, and it's little extra work. This is part of the whole point of using a CMS, and if yours doesn't let you trivially support displaying ordinary content to mobile devices then it's pathetic.

Re:I have a better idea (0)

JordanL (886154) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767899)

You're being a stupid ass.

So you call the actual Web Developer a "stupid ass" then proceed to register specific about things that have nothing to do with the topic at hand?

Your complete dismissal of javascript for form unless you are avoiding page-loads displays your lack of knowledge in the area. Simply put, I always use Javascript to assist in validating forms before they are submitted... and that actually is to avoid page-loads: error pages.

Again, in Drupal it's simple enough as having a mobile theme, using one of the many canned methods available to make sure that mobile users get to see it, and you're done. Since mobile browsers are simple, mobile themes are simple, and it's little extra work. This is part of the whole point of using a CMS, and if yours doesn't let you trivially support displaying ordinary content to mobile devices then it's pathetic.

Lets all bow down to Drupal! /sarcasm

As I noted in another post, and alluded to in the post you are replying to, the use of specific templates to manage a mobile version of the website is only adequate if every modularized component of the CMS also has the ability to export in a mobile version, and unless you write ALL of the custom functionality by hand, which is incredibly expensive (we're taking 5-6 figure sites) this is not going to happen.

In essence, you're bitching to a professional about a problem you don't understand suggesting a solution which doesn't work because layers upon layers of people have decided that it's not their job to make up for the inadequate hardware/software included on mobile devices.

And the worst part is that you're bitching by telling the professional that he's wrong, which in almost any field is a display of your own stupidity.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768067)

Don't force users to have javascript to fill forms. Yes, if it's enabled then use it to validate the form data and avoid page loads, but also let the form without it, you need to validate the form on the server anyway.

You need to have something that works with the bare minimum, then if you want you can enhance it with Javascript.

Re:I have a better idea (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768011)

Most sites could be written in plain vanilla HTML with no scripting, flash, etc whatever and could be easily read and navigated by any device.

The problem is people have forgotten how to code in HTML. The pity is HTML is dirt-simple and people still can't be bothered to learn it, preferring to use a bad tool to do it for them (and face it, all of the web development tools suck).

Re:I have a better idea (1)

suggsjc (726146) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768187)

I guess it all depends on features and scope, but the "mobile web" is only as complicated as you want to make it. If you have good markup, then things translate very well to mobile phones.

In general, there are two types of mobile browsers. Ones that try to emulate the "real web" (ie. iPhone/Safari, Opera Mini, etc) and ones that just strip out all of the css and just display the text (ie. Blackberry browser).

I've found that if you take a look at your site without css enabled (in Firefox, View -> Page Style -> No Style), if the site looks good and is functional, then you'll be "ok" on mobile phones. If your site looks horrible, then you should probably not consider yourself a web developer...

Re:I have a better idea (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768301)

My impression is that the solution to the mobile-unfriendly tooling that some companies have chosen is to create an iPhone app for their sites, which I assume is cheaper than retooling their real Web sites to actually work well for mobile platforms. Do you think this is an accurate assessment?

Re:I have a better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29767511)

Hey, ever try to render a web page on the blackberry browser?
Ever try to add a TABLE? Or a 'br' line break?

How about when you have no choice but to deal with supporting older devices like WM5... and you have to replace all your PNGs with GIFs, and you can't use a background image with transparency...

CSS or no, older mobile browsers can be horrible at rendering basic HTML/CSS. The BB Browser specifically goes out of it's way to remove spacing and compact the page into a vertical column.

So now you need to have three sites...
One for older mobile devices, one for newer mobile devices with a small screen and no support for auto-refresh, and one for the desktop.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767537)

Yeah for sure, there needs to be more emphasis on standards compliance and simple pages that convey information. I'm not going to sit though a 20 second flash intro and then fight my way though animated menus that render behind other page elements. If your website can't serve it's function as a means to convey information then I'm going elsewhere.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767625)

I agree completely. The sad state of the mobile web reflects the sad state of the web overall, and it stems from the design decision to focus on context, not visualization. That is,HTML defines a context for a header, or table, or citation, but does not impose a rendering of those contexts. This, of course, is not a good thing if one is developing an application front end, which is what MS and others were interested in doing.

CSS allowed control of the visualization, but by the time it came out there were all sorts of other hacks, which developers used even in cases where visualization was not important. This meant that a web page was often fixed on a certain platform, certain display size, and certain user assumptions. This would not have been such a problem if the developers had just used HTML, and, where possible, lived with the fact that they were not going to be in control.

Re:I have a better idea (0, Troll)

dword (735428) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767633)

I sure hope the Google Docs dev team doesn't find you. You're not impressed by my cool JavaScript and fancy effects that make my website more warm and fuzzy? Well, I'm not impressed by your crappy mobile that can't even display web pages properly. We're still hurting our backs trying to write JS and CSS compatible with IE6 and you're bitching that it doesn't work on your "mobile device". Well, guess what: my fancy website is cooler than your so-called fancy mobile so-called device. Do you have ANY idea how difficult it is to make everything look and behave properly? And on top of all that shit, you also have to make it standards-compliant and on top of all that shit there are tons of other "rules" you have to follow to have usable code and on top of all that shit you have to write the code properly and on top of all that shit you have to have a life and take a break once in a while. Do you imagine how much a single "proper" web page would cost? Well guess what: If you don't like the fact that my business' website displays fine for 99% of my visitors but doesn't display properly on Motorola X4358V HRH, take your money somewhere. And guess what: we're not pefect and we're still trying to create near-perfect web pages that work on horribly broken software.

In other words: it would be nice if the real world would be as you want it, your arrogant, hypocrite fuck.

With love,
Professional web developer.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

xonar (1069832) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767771)

Amen

Re:I have a better idea (1)

Alidar (655471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768557)

I think I love you.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768695)

Well, guess what: my fancy website is cooler than your so-called fancy mobile so-called device

I need your website a lot less than your advertisers need my eyeballs. And gues wat? NOBODY visits any web site because it's "cool". Stop trying to impress me, because you're not going to do it with a "cool" web site. You'll only annoy me. You're putting the cart before the horse. You are expendable, your audience is not.

In other words: it would be nice if the real world would be as you want it, your arrogant, hypocrite fuck.

I find that often times incompetent people will curse at those who dare call them on it.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767801)

So you are saying you should only code the hard way? Isn't the point of these tools even CSS is to make programming tasks easier? I can see flash as it is not widely supported however most web enabled mobile devices that are worth developing for have Javascript, especially if they support CSS. I actually push for heavy Javascript and less on Server side processing as for the most part the client even a smart phone has excess processing power and it can handle doing most of the legwork and just use the server to process data. Actually this actually makes the pages run a lot faster even over dialup. As well it keeps the server load low and less server side processing make it much easier to handle security.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

Garrett Fox (970174) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768663)

Speaking as a non-Web-developer: It seems like using these new fancy tools isn't all that helpful, if using them creates lots of integration work (as in the angry post above), with the main benefit being flashy effects. I've seen sites that advertise a game or something, that rely on an elaborate animated Flash menu that would've offered the information just fine as plain HTML. Why demand Flash and cookies and Java and .NET when all I want is to view some text and pictures?

Re:I have a better idea (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767815)

I wouldn't have put it quite as bluntly, but yes.

I'm working on a custom skin for phpBB, and by using sensible HTML and CSS I've got something that looks good on the desktop and on IE Mobile. I use Javascript to pull in all the pretty stuff like avatars on the desktop version; mobile devices (and IE6, which gets the mobile stylesheet) never need see it, and the site is usable without it.

My skin is actually usable on a handheld, though it still needs some work. phpBB's own is a complete mess, and there are some things that (like sending PMs) that you just can't do because the layout's so horribly broken.

The forum members who tested it, on iphones, crackberries and all sorts of devices, reported that these all displayed the mobile version fine. It took some crafty stylesheet switching, which I nicked from somewhere, but it can be done.

The fly in the ointment is the crackberry - I have to do PHP parsing in the template specifically to catch it, and seems every different retailer's version of every kind of crackberry has different settings for CSS (including "disabled"). As a developer, there's nothing I can do about that - and it's completely boneheaded.

Re:I have a better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29767961)

I wish it were that simple, but frankly it's not. Not all of the mobile web browsers pass in the handheld media type. So even if you go through the effort of figuring putting the proper CSS in place and create a good function design and implementation for handheld devices, you still need something to pick up on what browser, OS, or mix of both is running and conditionally include the CSS file you need. Certainly, it can and has been done, but it's not as simple as creating a single CSS file reference for the standard media type you would expect.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

implowry (989364) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768091)

In other words, use HTML as a document markup language instead of an application platform. I thought for quite a while that forcing the square web application peg into the round document hole is a bad idea. We'd be better off if someone created an open web application standard that everyone would actually adopt. Perhaps something engineered with the capabilities that we want built in, instead of hacking (though some of the HTML/Javascript hacks are quite elegant) an application framework onto a document one.

Clearly there is a demand for this sort of thing hence Flash and Silverlight and Java applets before that.

Re:I have a better idea (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29768157)

What is very funny is that you say all of this while your profile links to a site that isn't finished, doesn't work on my mobile phone, and is simply generated from a template by one of those tools you decry here.

Re:I have a better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29768435)

You may wanna read up on mobile, many don't fully support CSS, and what's worse they don't document what they cut out. So it's not as simple as just using CSS and not use javascript/flash. Though I agree whole heartedly, stop the heavy use of flash and javascript while we're at it.

Outdated? (4, Interesting)

tpwch (748980) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767327)

Is this really true anymore? With devices like the Nokia N900 being released, that has full-featured browsers that can handle everything a desktop browsers can, I doubt this will be an issue much longer.

Re:Outdated? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29767343)

The problem with Mobile Web generally though is that some people have inappropriate sites for pretty much any browser but which have been hacked together to just about make it through on desktops but as a result require loads of power behind them. These sort of sites just make mobile devices fall down. Slashdot is prime example - have you ever tried to come on here on an ipod touch or other mobile device? Hell, it doesn't even work on the Wii, which is a bit more than a standard mobile browser...

Re:Outdated? (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767765)

Tell me about it... Opera 9.7 on my WinMo 6.1 phone has a heart attack every time I even think about Slashdot :(

Re:Outdated? (2, Interesting)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767365)

Modern smartphones can handle just about anything you throw at them. The UI is the problem, since what works on a 22" widescreen monitor, with a keyboard and mouse, doesn't work on a 9" touchscreen.

We're not going to see alternative mobile UIs going away any time soon, and that in my opinion is a good thing. The desktop version will work if you really want all the features that it comes with, but it's not going to be the optimal way of using things.

Native mobile applications are also a big factor here, and are often a far better choice so long as you have the man power (or money) to produce them, since they give you a far more targetted UI, which can integrate with a phone's hardware features to provide something even smoother.

Re:Outdated? (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767725)

Native mobile applications are also a big factor here, and are often a far better choice

I fear you might be right, but it sure sucks. We went from an app ported to every platform, to a single app using middleware called "browser", and now we're headed back to an app for every platform? Ugh. There's got to be some way to avoid this bullshit.

Re:Outdated? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767367)

I don't think that you can take a device the size of a small paperback and claim it's representative of what mobile phones can do. The hardware performance will probably trickle down to cheaper devices in five years, but phones with 2-inch screens and a mechanical keypad continue to dominate the market for good reasons. Most users don't feel the need to carry a large touchscreen slab for the amount of web browsing they do, and getting a web app to work properly on a small button-driven device without simply feeding them a completely different version is nontrivial.

Re:Outdated? (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767599)

I don't think this is actually an issue though.

Most of the people I know who have phones using keypads and a 2-inch screen don't use them for browsing the web, and have no intention to do so.

If I'm building a mobile web application, I'm going to target the touch screen devices, because those are what people who actually use mobile phones to browse the web are using.

Re:Outdated? (1)

jimfrost (58153) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767663)

Ask any random iPhone user if they browse the web. There is a good reason why iPhone users have 5 times the data usage of any other....

Prior to the iPhone I rarely hit the web with my phone (it had to be an outright emergency). The plan made it stupid expensive and I got grey hairs waiting. But having seen how useful the iTouch was when it was on the net I went for an iPhone (AT&T be damned. No, really, damn AT&T). Having a useful web browser pretty much everywhere has been a godsend.

It's kind of a crappy phone, but it's a remarkably good browser despite the form factor. That should only get better across the industry as the devices and software gets more capable.

Re:Outdated? (2, Interesting)

Tyr_7BE (461429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767847)

I really don't understand this. Just about every iPhone user on the web loves to shout to the heavens about how fantastic the browser is. What makes it so great? Technically it's the most capable browser on a mobile device, but not by very much. Take a look at this http://www.quirksmode.org/webkit.html [quirksmode.org] . Iris browser and Bolt browser both fare very well, but nobody ever talks about them like they do with Safari. I tried Opera Mini 5 the other day and I was extremely impressed. It basically gave me web pages like my desktop does. Still, it gets no love. I have one of the newest blackberries, and its browser gets me by just fine. I make it tell web pages that it's a firefox browser, and I get full versions of pages like I would at a PC. I use it at least a half a dozen times a day, and have no real complaints about it (except maybe the lack of tabbed browsing but that's not a big deal for me). Yet every iPhone user loves to get smug about how they have Safari. Every time I've asked someone for clarification, they either ignore me or they say something to the effect of "oh you wouldn't understand, you don't use an iPhone". So I figure I'll try my luck and ask again.

What makes the iPhone's browser that noteworthy? Is it that great in other ways? Or is this just the users being vocal again?

Re:Outdated? (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767849)

I finally enabled web on my LG8350. why? well, I'm still on a data-as-minutes plan with verizon, have a bazillion minutes, and I wanted to do certain things. What things? (1) check my email (GMail), and reply on occasion, (2) check flight status. (3) peek at my weekly ESPN fantasy football matchup if I'm out on Sunday. (4) peek at my google calendar, (5) check the weather, (6) google an answer to a question (usually via wikipedia), (7) keep tabs on my Gameknot chess games.

My phone can't do 3/4 of what IPhone users can do. I have to proxy into some sites (like Facebook) because of certificate limitations, so I generally don't bother. But, the things I want to do can be done. Once I turned it on, I can't seem to stop checking my email inbox. the flight status thing saved me many hours on a few occasions as I was heading to the airport. #7 would be nicer if I could log in and make a move, but the Print Friendly version of the game page lets me at least see things. When my sister came along on vacation with her IPhone, we googled things a little more often, but not much more than I did on my own. I could type faster on my phone than the screen keyboard. My wife still uses hotmail, which has decided to 'upgrade' its mobile version and no longer works quite right on LG 2" screen phones.

I'll never follow an ad on any of those sites. There will be almost no direct monetization of my mobile web traffic. BUT, it's a value-add that may keep me using some service when I'm not on a mobile device. Maybe that's enough value to some people to invest the time and effort.

Re:Outdated? (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767377)

The iPhone uses the same rendering engine as Safari. The Nokia 770 shipped with a version of Opera that could render almost everything that the desktop one could, but was painfully slow with some sites (e.g. Google Maps), but that was more to do with the slow CPU than anything else. My cheap Nokia phone has a WebKit browser too, and the tiny screen is more of a limiting factor than the browser's capabilities. Flash support on mobile devices has been a little tricky until not, but now Adobe is pushing hard to get full Flash supported on everything with an ARM CPU that's going to stop being a problem soon. In terms of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, handheld devices are just as capable as ten-year-old desktops with small screens running modern software.

Note, however, that TFA talked about web apps, rather than web sites. Web apps are typically very JavaScript heavy, and so may have problems on mobile devices if the JS engine can't keep up. This is completely different to the WAP era, however. Back then, mobile browsers couldn't browse normal sites. Now they can, but they may experience problems on a few web apps that do a lot of the client side (these didn't even exist in the WAP days).

Re:Outdated? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767423)

I find it specially ironic that one of the links provided in the summary [infoworld.com] says

It's also the engine found in both Apple's iPhone and Google Android, arguably the two most important mobile Web platforms today.

That means Google Chrome isn't yet another browser to support,

Which in fact contradicts the whole assertion of the article

Re:Outdated? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768119)

Actually, from what I've read, WebKit (rendering engine) is used by both Safari and Chrome (and I guess Android), but the javascript engine isn't the same.

So, for the (X)HTML and CSS, yes they should be the same. For the javascript, they are not.

Re:Outdated? (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767449)

Is this really true anymore?

Yes. I have a Motorola i776, and with many sites it complains about not having enough memory. That includes slashdot. I won't work with wikipedia at all. The phone's browser controls are horrible too, for instance there's no slash and no back button. I only bough the thing (cost $100) a few months ago.

Re:Outdated? (3, Insightful)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767455)

Exactly, I think it was Nokias Ari Jaaksi who said something like this several years ago: "there is only one web. If your device does not work there, you lose". That was pretty much true then, and it's even more true today.

Re:Outdated? (2, Interesting)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767727)

The N900 hasn't even been released yet, and it's already outdated (not that that's going to stop me from buying one...). It's one of the first smartphones to play in-browser Flash video halfway decently, but what about when Youtube switches to H264 only... what about when the next technology after AJAX/CSS/Javascript comes out?

Sure, the browsers on new smartphones are great, but they're still a long way away from being able to display pages the same way as a desktop or laptop... mostly because of CPU constraints, as far as I can tell.

it's all about screen size (4, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767381)

... pixels and readability.

No matter how you package it, a text-based website cannot be read conveniently on a postage-stamp sized screen. You spend all your time scrolling the text sideways, and up and down. All this gets in the way of your main aim, which is to get the information on that site. This presumes (falsely) that a usable proportion of the mobile device's screen is not taken up with banner ads, or visual embellishments which simply get in the way. Mobile web is fine for sites that just have a couple of lines of information and maybe a single icon and a link, but for anything more complex you need a screen at least 1024*768 and at a physical size where the letters can actually be read at that resolution.

Since the web is still (and probably will alway be) text based - as this is the best way to achieve a reasonable density of information, mobile users just have to accept that a "massive" 3 inch display just won't hack it. For example, cut a small rectangle out of a piece of paper that covers your whole screen. Now try and do any meaningful work through that hole and you'll have ripped it away within minutes. That's the problem with mobile devices, they're just not big enough to get all the information you need to be displayed at once.

Re:it's all about screen size (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767465)

Surely the rise of web apps demonstrates that most people aren't that interested in actually reading stuff on the web, though. They want to do things on the internet, and the web happens to be a ubiquitous platform for the apps to sit on. Your average Tweet, Facebook pic, or YouTube vid doesn't exactly struggle on even a QVGA display.

As a corollary I wonder whether big-screened e-ink devices are a more natural platform than computers for consuming actual web sites these days. Add a touchscreen and you're not even losing hypertext. I mean, I read blogs and web sites the same way I read books. There's not a huge need for interactivity or multimedia there. The web has a capacity for multimedia content such as in-line videos to demonstrate a point or whatnot, but I find in practice that interesting content and multimedia are usually orthogonal.

Constructing meaningful web content requires a degree of reading capacity beyond mobile devices, and editing capacity beyond e-ink, meaning that traditional computers still have a place, but I think that content creators are rather in the minority.

Re:it's all about screen size (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767475)

but for anything more complex you need a screen at least 1024*768

Funny, back in the nineties my computer screen's resolution was 640x480 and I had no trouble surfing any site on the internet. I never got a sideways scroll.

I've found that for sites that won't display properly, if you go to them via m.google.com Google will reformat the screen so it's useable (or less unusable, depending on the site).

Re:it's all about screen size (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767519)

There nothing wrong with small screens if the websites properly designed.

For example BBC news website works fine on my Nokia 5800, the frames aren't fixed in width so the whole thing adjusts to properly fit the screen all I have to do is scroll down the page and set the zoom level to something appropriate. Slashdot does something similar where the comments section width never exceeds the available viewing space's width meaning I can scroll across to the comments section and it will fit nicely on the screen.

The problem is to many people don't use CSS/Javascript properly and don't design their pages to properly dynamically adjust. It seems most web designers expect people to be running computers with screen sizes of 1280*1024 and build their site solely to function on that resolution.

Of course the other problem is flashy nonsense that adds nothing. I honestly think a lot of the mobile sites would be better on the PC. Facebook's iPhone page and Dilbert.com/fast would both be great examples.

Re:it's all about screen size (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767689)

Slashdot does something similar where the comments section width never exceeds the available viewing space's width meaning I can scroll across to the comments section and it will fit nicely on the screen. The problem is to many people don't use CSS/Javascript properly and don't design their pages to properly dynamically adjust.

You must be new here.

Re:it's all about screen size (1)

Looke (260398) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768565)

"Scrolling the text sideways"? It doesn't sound like you ever tried a decent mobile browser, like Opera Mini. It reflows text and resizes images to fit your little 3 inch window. For a whole lot of sites out there, neat and simple tricks like that work brilliantly.

As for the rise of web apps that the article brings up, that's where a mobile browser like Opera Mini falls short.

is this why /. is the sucks to read on my iphone? (3, Informative)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767415)

except for the flash based ones, slashdot is the most annoying to navigate on my iphone

Re:is this why /. is the sucks to read on my iphon (2, Funny)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767539)

Find a flash block add-on for your web browers. Oh wait, you use an iPhone, nevermind.

Re:is this why /. is the sucks to read on my iphon (1, Insightful)

_LORAX_ (4790) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767617)

Moron, the iPhone has a built in flash block ( aka, it doesn't support flash ).

Re:is this why /. is the sucks to read on my iphon (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767779)

really? I'm posting from my iPod touch, and I've always found slashdot to be one of the easiest sites to use on this. Hell, it beats most special iPhone mobile versions of sites in my opinion.

Re:is this why /. is the sucks to read on my iphon (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767857)

it's always annoying to try to click a link for the story and it selects the entire thing and just takes you back to the top of the page

Re:is this why /. is the sucks to read on my iphon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29768105)

Are you kidding? Sure, colonslash is somewhat usable on an iPhone, but considering it's basically loading text comments (sure, there are lots of them, but still...), it is an absolute slug. And lets not even bring up the aborted fetus that is the "mobile" version. I think it was originally made in 2000 or 2001 and has never been thought about again. For an idea of how a usable message board/comment system can be done well for mobile devices, look no further than a site like Slick Deals, or really, any of the other numerous sites out there that took a weekend or two to sit down and think about how to accomplish this Herculean task.

Pot, meet kettle (4, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767435)

Slashdot is one of the worst for the mobile web. When I try to read slashdot on my blackberry (peal 8120) not only does it not render, it crashes first the browser and ultimately the phone itself. Just simply trying to load slashdot leaves me needing to pull the battery from my blackberry to execute a hard reboot.

Last time I asked, CmdrTaco's response was that slashdot is not concerned about development for mobile devices.

Re:Pot, meet kettle (3, Informative)

romiz (757548) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767523)

For reading only, there is a lite version [slashdot.org] . It works on a 128x160 screen, and it's even more selective than browsing at +5.

Re:Pot, meet kettle (1)

bazorg (911295) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767741)

and that works nicely on my Nokia 3120. thanks for the tip. I'll check if other slash based sites do the same and my toilet time will never be the same!

Re:Pot, meet kettle (1)

Anarki2004 (1652007) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768365)

I was about to brag about Opera Mini 5 and how superior it is to other mobile browsers...then i realized how terrible it is for forms. That aside, My Nokia E71 renders slashdot flawlessly.

Re:Pot, meet kettle (1)

lightningrod220 (705243) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767749)

Well, it's at an obscure path, rather than being at lite.slashdot.org or slashdot.org/mobile, it's at /palm. What the hell is a palm?

Re:Pot, meet kettle (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767835)

What the hell is a palm?

That PDA-looking thing at the top of the page. (I'm assuming you're being serious). The base resolution was 160x160.

Re:Pot, meet kettle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29767587)

too true, makes one wonder, it even sucks on the desktop, and they claim to be tech savvy, what a joke. Wise in their own eyes, typical posers. Also, they probably dont care about mobile because they are chained to their desks wondering why they are not rich off this website, or too cheap to care what others think, emperor has no clothes.

Slashdot, meet the Internet (1)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767811)

Slashdot doesn't even support Unicode. It's kind of sad that what used to be the Internet's foremost tech site is now a decade behind even the simplest Tumblog with regard to basic Web features and functionality.

Lack of Unicode in /. is on purpose (5:erocS) (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768339)

Slashdot doesn't even support Unicode.

This is on purpose because people were abusing bidirectional characters [slashdot.org] to distort the layout and forge comment scores.

Re:Pot, meet kettle (3, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768283)

If it crashes your phone, there's something wrong with your phone, not the site.

Re:Pot, meet kettle (1)

Phil06 (877749) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768397)

My iPhone took 20 seconds to load this page over a five bar cell connection. This is excruciatingly slow, almost unusable. The web apps that just serve up web content (wikipedia, news etc) seem slower than their web counterparts when all they are doing is getting content. How can this be that nobody is getting the square zero concept that speed is an essential usability element. (another 30 seconds to load the comment preview)

Wish the iPhone didn't support Javascript so well (4, Insightful)

Paul Carver (4555) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767485)

Anything that puts the brakes on flash only websites is a good thing in my opinion. I just wish that there were more users of phones that supported HTML really well but didn't do Javascript so that there would be more pressure on web developers to make their pages accessible.

It seems to be an overwhelming human tendency to put form above function and the only thing preventing web developers from tying everything up in an impenetrable Gordian knot is the ever smaller number of old computers and phones that they might grudgingly spare an occasional though on.

Personally I wish browser plugins had never been invented. I've got a video player, a PDF reader, and all sorts of other applications and my browser knows how to launch them just fine. It annoys me every time some "clever" web developer finds some new way to force my computer to open a PDF inside my browser with restricted controls instead of dispatching it to my PDF reader with full functionality.

When phones catch up fully with modern desktops it may well signal the end of the open, accessible, web. The "professionals" would sure like to make the web just another version of TV where they control everything and our only choice is to use it their way or turn off the set.

Re:Wish the iPhone didn't support Javascript so we (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29767715)

Hey Paul... Matlock is on. You should move to the TV room with the others. Today is pepper steak day and we know how much you love pepper steak.

-Nurse Johnson

Re:Wish the iPhone didn't support Javascript so we (1)

Paul Carver (4555) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767969)

Hey Paul... Matlock is on. You should move to the TV room with the others. Today is pepper steak day and we know how much you love pepper steak.

What do you mean by "is on"? I've never seen Matlock in the "Now Showing" list on my Tivo or the "Watch Recordings" list on my Mythtv box so as far as I know it doesn't exist. I haven't watched anything in the last five years that wasn't on one of those two lists.

However, I assume that if the TV producers or stations could stop me from setting the playback speed on Mythtv to 1.1X and hitting the commercial skip button they wouldn't hesitate to do so.

Now if only I could figure out how to send a URL to Mythtv and have it pull shows from websites and display them on the "Watch Recordings" screen with the same playback speed control and commercial skip functions that would be terrific. I suspect it's possible but just more complicated than I have the time to figure out.

To bring this post back on topic, "The Sad State of the Mobile Web" is that it's actually still simple enough that it can be used as the viewer prefers it rather than giving the publisher iron clad control of his/her audience. To me there's nothing sad at all about that. To me the sad state is the non-mobile web where we are seeing more and more websites trying to manage their viewers the way a farmer manages livestock. I don't think there's any doubt that a lot of marketers, advertisers, and MBAs (not mutually exclusive groups) desperately want to channel the entire web browsing audience along a path that they define and control.

Re:Wish the iPhone didn't support Javascript so we (0)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767927)

Paul,

Here is one way to apply the breaks. Create a successful website that millions of people use everyday. Do this without using plugins. Your example will inspire other people.

why worry: mobile devices get better (1)

e**(i pi)-1 (462311) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767559)

There is only one sad thing: that websites force mobile devices to versions which are tailored for mobile devices. Usually, the mobile versions of websites are very limited. Especially, in news sites, one does not find things any more. Worse still is to get automatically redirected to mobile pages which do not work.

The infoworld article mentions scalability as a problem. This could be the crux since it is difficult to maintain different scaled versions at the same time, especially for web applications. So, better keep one, but one which can run nicely on mobile devices i.e. avoid flash if possible.

Mobile devices have got very powerful already. While desktop performance gains have flattened, it is amazing what can be packed into a phone today. This is likely to continue and in the long term, one might not have to worry too much about differences between mobile and desktop any more.

Testing (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767583)

The problem with mobile content is as follows:

1) It's easy to install Firefox / Opera / IE onto a pc, or even another OS, and test your pages using that one machine.
2) Netbooks are same as pc's not too difficult to design / test on.
3) How many mobile phones etc. does a normal person have to test a design? One? two?
4) Mobile devices generally have crappy image quality.

Only the most basic of pages like google's front page looks any good on most phones, there are far more non-iPhones and cloans around.

So WAP design remains pretty much pointless for all but the largest of companies.

Re:Testing (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767837)

Only the most basic of pages like google's front page looks any good on most phones

I don't care what a page LOOKS like, especially on a phone. I want to be able to read the information/article/story etc.

Testing is easy - use an emulator (1)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767891)

Blackberry has an emulator for every model they've made that I could see. They are freely available and easy to download and set up.

Visual Studio comes with emulators for every Windows Mobile phone that is out there. I believe you can also freely download them without Visual Studio.

The iPhone has an emulator as well - but you have to be running a Mac. But it's freely available and easy to download.

Nokia? Yeah, they have emulators too.

Not every manufacturer has them of course, but most do.

Re:Testing is easy - use an emulator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29768045)

Yeah, and then you actually see the site on a real handset that you tested for using an emulator, and it comes clear that the emulator shows very different behvaiour to an actual handset.

Re:Testing (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768373)

It's easy to install Firefox / Opera / IE onto a pc, or even another OS, and test your pages using that one machine.

But it's not so easy to test in both Internet Explorer 8 and previous versions of Internet Explorer unless you buy copies of Windows to run in virtual machines, or you buy multiple PCs with Windows and don't keep them updated.

It's Physics, Neil! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29767585)

Look at the motherboard space and power constraints a mobile device faces relative to a notebook or desktop.

If the mobile device performed on par with a regular PC, then you would have to wonder about the wasted potential of the PC.

And as for the comparison with WAP? How many iPhone, Android, or crackberry users would go back to a WAP-enabled browser circa 1999?

As long as the desktop is pushing the envelope, then by definition the mobile device will be significantly less.

Dumbed down web sites and layered programming (1)

Viper23 (172755) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767595)

People who use the web from a cell phone seem to want web pages with maybe two buttons and a text field. Should we really make the rest of our users suffer through dumbed down sucky interfaces in order to only have one development track?

Instead, we make a dumbed down mobile version that allows a user to step wise perform most of the core functions of our app. while leaving a feature rich environment for our PC based users. Since all of it is run from a decently segregated app layer, slapping on a different UI is not that big of a deal... maybe the real problem here is that a lot of development shops don't know how to work in layers.

Re:Dumbed down web sites and layered programming (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768235)

Viper23: apps are like onions.
Donkey: They stink?
Viper23: Yes. No.
Donkey: Oh, they make you cry.
Viper23: No.
Donkey: Oh, you leave em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin' little white hairs.
Viper23: NO. Layers. Onions have layers. Apps have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? They both have layers.
[sighs]
Donkey: Oh, they both have layers. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions.

The usage is also different (1)

rannala (876724) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767621)

There a definite gap between the experiences, but use cases are usually a bit different, too. Mobile devices are mostly used to check something up quickly on-the-fly as on PC you also do more planning ahead. So a scaled down experience is not necessarily a bad thing on mobile as that eases the pain of having a small screen, slow text input and possibly moving around in a noisy environment. Scaling down the features also forces the development team to focus on the essentials, which is not a bad thing even on PC.

Then again, it would be nice to get Slashdot css working on small screens, too.

Chicken or the egg (1)

gerryn (1416389) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767685)

I'd say we are at the point where turning back would be useless, and that cell phones/PDAs should adapt to the desktop worlds web surfing, rather than have its own. Counter-productive as I see it.

Mobile Web is the application of last resort. (1)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767723)

I hate getting on the web with my Blackberry Pearl through T-Mobile. It hearkens me back to the dial-up BBS days it is so slow. I also hate finger typing. I will only use it to get on the web if I am out somewhere and absolutely have to get a phone number or address or some other critical data off of a web site. I don't have the patience for it.

It's the sad state of cellular networks (1)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767733)

Cell networks, like the old telephone networks were built for voice, not data. They had almost zero foresight in planning. I've mentioned this [slashdot.org] before. And at least someone [google.com] is working hard to try and remedy the situation.

Where is MVC when you need it??? (1)

flajann (658201) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767829)

I would've thought that the MVC model would be a shoe-in for site developers looking to support both desktops and mobile devices. Just create a "view" that's tailored for mobile devices. How hard is that to do?

Re:Where is MVC when you need it??? (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768059)

Not hard at all. What's hard is getting clients to pay for it. In my experience when they do want mobile development they go for the whole package, using a native mobile app targeted at specific devices like the iPhone.

Re:Where is MVC when you need it??? (1)

TwobyTwo (588727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768131)

Where is MVC when you need it???

At the server.

Re:Where is MVC when you need it??? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768257)

It's not hard. It's just that not only are a lot of Web developers lazy, a lot of them use WYSINWYE tools.

Re:Where is MVC when you need it??? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768407)

Just create a "view" that's tailored for mobile devices. How hard is that to do?

The hard part is testing your mobile view on the plethora of mobile devices, including devices sold in the country where your readers live but not in the country where you live.

Dual track isn't totally bad (1)

ondigo (1323273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29767975)

Granted, from a developer's perspective, having to create two versions of a site is a pain. But the reality is, if you want to attract the greatest number of viewers, you need a mobile-friendly site. And from a mobile user's perspective, things are SO much better than they were just a couple of years ago. Many more content providers have created mobile-friendly versions. And though I don't like doing so, I have to give credit to the iPhone for this change. The iPhone and its browser finally got the attention of web developers who had been ignoring the fact that there were MILLIONS of people using WinMo and other OSs to access the web on their phones.

Just buy an iPhone and shutup (2, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768041)

Here's a trivial idea... Instead of spending you time whining about mobile browsing, the iPhone and AT&T, you could just buy an iPhone and have a nearly perfect mobile browsing experience.

Mobile browsing sucks because manufactures don't really care, just look at how bad it sucks on a Blackberry

Re:Just buy an iPhone and shutup (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768601)

So your solution to people's complaints about the iPhone's web browsing is for them to buy an iPhone? What?

Too Late! (2, Interesting)

qazwart (261667) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768251)

The iPhone has pretty much killed the Mobile Web Page. The WAP protocol is dead. Other phones are beginning to support full page web browsing. By the end of next year, even Windows Mobile phones will have the full sized IE8 browser embedded in them. Many sites are even optimizing their webpages for the small screen mobile devices. Some have switched to narrow columns on their pages which allow users to quickly zoom in on the column and read an article. Some have specialized websites that are "mobile friendly". The best ones use CSS to determine whether or not you're a phone, and then display their website in an optimized fashion. (Take a look at Google's various sites or weather.com).

The mobile web is finally taking off because someone finally realized that you need a device that makes surfing the web practical and get a few million people to use it. Once sites realize that people are using their phones to browse them, these sites make phone optimized pages.

The only dark side to the mobile web are specialized phone apps. There are too many websites, that instead of creating mobile-friendly versions of their site, create a specialized iPhone app. This unfortunately takes pressure off the company to produce a truly mobile app. Flightaware.com is an excellent example of this. Their website is hard to maneuver around on an iPhone, so they made an app (which has fewer features) instead of improving their website.

There are many problems w/MCallisters article (3, Informative)

TwobyTwo (588727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29768481)

This is an important debate, but Neil McAllister's article suffers from a number of problems. For example, it references the recently popular Webkit Comparison Table [quirksmode.org] along with Peter-Paul Koch's claim that there is no “WebKit on Mobile”. The article didn't point out that some people like Alex Russel have dug deeper [dojotoolkit.org] and have found that the facts don't support PPK's conclusions as strongly as one might think. Yes, if you include lots of older devices, there's quite a divergence in Webkit deployments, but what PPK and Neil McAllister don't say is that compatibility is much better on devices that ship recent versions, it's especially good for core features, and it's improving all the time.

McAllister also implies that the mobile Web is in trouble because "On my BlackBerry, JavaScript performance is abysmal". Using that argument, I can prove that Windows will never be successful, because I could in the early days show you PC's that ran it with abysmal performance. The potential of technologies like Javascript needs to be evaluated using the best implementation you can find; that shows what's possible. He does go on to say: "And even when a handset vendor does improve JavaScript performance, as Apple did with iPhone OS 3.0, it's a relative increase." Aren't they all? "You're still dealing with a poky handheld processor (and in Apple's case, one that developers speculate is too feeble for Flash or Java)." Uh, so now the reason that the HTML and Javascript will fail is that ARM processors are too slow to run Java? What's the connection I'm missing? The fact is, that there are some pretty good AJAX sites for mobile, so we know the ARM processors are good enough to run that Javascript. Try, for example, going to http://www.gmail.com using Safari on your iPhone. Not a usable experience? Even works offline using HTML 5 local storage (not Gears). Also, even if Javascript performance were somehow related to Java performance, I bet the Android folks would like to hear that Java doesn't run right on ARM processors, since the entire upper level infrastructure of Android, including user applications, is built on just that combination (as optimized using the Dalvik VM).

Unfortunately, articles like this can do real damage. Many people who are not expert in these things are struggling to figure out which mobile application development models are going to be workable. I happen to believe that the Mobile Web will, like the desktop embodiment of the Web, grow as disruptive technologies tend to: from something that's a bit shaky at first to the model that dominates? Why? Because unlike Mr. McAllister, I believe that the underlying processors and system technologies are capable of running it, and the value of a model that is fully cross-platform, can support zero install operation (you might want to install a mapping application to find a restaurant, but you almost surely don't want to install the restaurant's application to read menus or get discount coupons), can also scale to support installable applications (Widgets [w3.org] ) and offline operation, is compelling. Furthermore, as has been the case for years, the Web has the unique value of allowing you to link to the over 1 trillion [blogspot.com] Web pages, without jumping out from some proprietary application container to a Web browser. Whether I'm right about the likely success of the mobile Web or not, this whole question deserves a much more careful analysis than McAllister's article provides. Unfortunately, there will be many people who read it and jump to the conclusion that the mobile Web is failing. A shame.

Why WAP is dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29768497)

Just a little reminder: every page you visit with in WAP automatically gets your billing details.

There have been some scams abusing this "feature".

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