W3C highlights Mobile Web Initiative at workshop

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 (personal digital assistants), as simple, easy and convenient as desktop Web access.

The W3C made the announcement at a two-day “Mobile Web Initiative” workshop, begun Thursday in Barcelona, organized to help efforts to improve Web-surfing capabilities of handheld devices. Participants are highlighting the challenges in accessing the Web over handheld devices and discussing possible solutions, the group said.

Over 40 position papers were submitted to the W3C for presentation at the workshop from companies like Vodafone Group PLC, Nokia Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co.

Ideas include developing “best practices” documents, providing support infrastructures for mobile developers, organizing training programs 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 Organization 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.

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