W3C's workshop aims to improve handheld web access

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is considering a new effort called the "W3C Mobile Web Initiative", that will seek to make...

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is considering a new effort called the "W3C Mobile Web Initiative", that will seek to make web access from mobile devices such as mobile phones and PDAs, as simple, easy and convenient as desktop web access.

The W3C made the announcement at a workshop in Barcelona, organised to help efforts to improve web-surfing capabilities of handheld devices.

Participants highlighted the challenges in accessing the web over handheld devices and discussed possible solutions.

More than 40 position papers were submitted to the W3C for presentation at the workshop from companies such as Vodafone Group, Nokia and Hewlett-Packard.

Ideas included developing "best practices" documents, providing support infrastructures for mobile developers, organising training programmes for web content providers and creating validation and conformance testing services for web-access from mobile devices, the W3C said.

The workshop is part of the W3C's ongoing work to refine the mobile web experience.

In January, it recommended a new standard, the technical specification called "Composite Capability/Preference Profiles (CC/PP): Structures and Vocabularies 1.0", as a means for enabling handheld devices to communicate with web servers and exchange content delivery information.

Tim Berners-Lee founded the W3C in October 1994 as a group to sponsor work to develop common web protocols.

The group, which collaborates closely with Cern, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, is hosted by the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, by European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics in France and by the Keio Research Institute at Keio University in Japan.

All of the position papers submitted to W3C can be accessed online at: www.w3.org/2004/10/MWIWS-papers/.

Laura Rohde writes for IDG News Service

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