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« iPhone stats | Main | Mobile transcoding guidelines »

March 22, 2008



Mowser now does all of the above (I just tweaked the script a bit to add in the doctype check - good call). I've written it up here:

couple notes:

"i." isn't anywhere near being a common mobile site identifier, so I'll hold off on that, and "application/xhtml+xml" matches any strict xhtml site, not just mobile, so this isn't a valid marker.

Both of your other suggestions aren't reasonable. Mowser served 16MM images in January - it's 80% of the reason people use the site, and 30kb is 25kb more than a RAZR can handle - which is the most popular phone in the U.S. still.


Tom Hume

Cheers Russ. Most of the suggestions came from a post from Luca Passani on WMLProgramming, I've taken them from there and embellished a couple.

Does no-transform (the (i) you refer to I think) not indicate that content should not be transformed?

Get what you mean about xhtml+xml - I'll remove that, and agree re pictures and RAZR.

Luca Passani

Tom, Russ,

a few comments to your comments.

I invite you to post any comment you may have about the Reformatting Manifesto on WMLProgramming ( ). This is a great place to have all the viewpoints brought to the table openly.

Mowser is better than reformatters installed at carrieres. In my opinion, there are two reasons for that:
- You and Mike have a much better understanding of the mobile internet and way higher ethics than those who want to sell reformatters to operators without caring about the consequences for the ecosystem.
- Mowser is a consumer choice, while Novarra, InfoGin, OpenWeb and ByteMobile are forced on users no matter what, from one day to the next.

Wrt RAZR and the 30kb, this is a great comment. In postings I wrote before the manifesto I stated that 30kb was the limit, but that limit could be lower in case the reformatter was able to positively identify devices with lower capabilities. I sacrificed that complexity for sake of having simple rules, but I am totally open to discussion about this.

With regard to "application/xhtml+xml" it is true that it theoretically matches NON-mobile sites too, but the reality is that nobody uses that MIME type for the web because it breaks ALL versions of Internet Explorer. The MIME type clearly indicates the presence of a mobile websites in 99%+ of cases and this information should be taken into serious consideration by the transcoder (after all, transcoders are all about heuristics, so, this is not going to be a problem).

Thank you



The word 'iphone' anywhere in the URL seems like it could also have potentially unintended consequences but honestly I can't think of them right now.

Francois Daoust

Note the Content Transformation Task Force within the W3C is working on such a guidelines document. To "jointly agree" unfortunately takes time, no matter how easy the guidelines may be... So, that's still work in progress, the guidelines document is a draft:

Some of these ideas are already part of it ("Cache-Control: no-transform", the use of the link element). Using a list of domain prefixes and the like seems more to me like things the transcoding proxy should have in mind, as opposed to rules it must obey. Any comments/new ideas welcome!

(My initial small comment turned into a small post on the topic: )

Luca Passani

Francois, the content transformation guidelines tell a transcoder to respect the "no-transform" header, but they tell nothing about the fact that the User-Agent should not be changed, which is really the number one problem with those transcoders.

I authorize W3C to use information find in their manifesto for its Content Transformation group in order to make your work relevant for the developer community.


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