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Tech Giants Publish Mobile Web Guidelines

A large group of major technology and Web companies have published a set of guidelines for developing mobile Web content. The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), consisting of companies like Google, Microsoft, and Nokia, released its "Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0" today as part of a larger effort to make Web more accessible worldwide.

The group says the publication embodies a "broad consensus" of how mobile web content should be created to avoid technical issues when viewed from mobile devices. The group also includes tech giants AOL, AT&T, Ericsson, GoDaddy, and Vodafone.

"There are many devices, but one Web," said Daniel Appelquist, chair of the Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group. "Practical guidelines on how to create content once that can be delivered to the plethora of devices saves developers and organizations time and money. "

"Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0" provides practical advice on creating mobile content with instructions for authors, developers, designers, and other content producers wishing to avoid "known pitfalls," such as pop-ups and page-scrolling. In conjunction with the guidelines, W3C has also launched a wiki to collect observations and suggestions, as well as descriptions of implementation experiences.

The group says that readers are not expected to have a background in mobile-specific technologies. The guidelines are intended for creators, maintainers and operators of Websites who have a general familiarity with Web severs and HTTP.

"Nokia believes the use of the Web via mobile browsers will be the next big step towards making information and content available globally to everybody, including billions of people for whom their mobile phone will be their first and only means of Internet access," said Timo Ali-Vehmas, Vice President of Standardization and Industry Relations for Nokia.

"To achieve this it is important to provide the Web community with the right set of tools to make it easier to deliver information and content in mobile-friendly way. Mobile Web Best Practices Candidate Recommendation is an important step towards this goal."

Opera's Chief Standards Officer, Charles McCathieNevile, called the Best Practices release "timely."

"While the best mobile browsers can provide a great internet experience for any content, it is more efficient and more effective when content has been designed to take account of basic design requirements, and these guidelines will help authors to ensure that their content works as well as possible on the entire internet," said McCathieNevile.

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