Yesterday I mentioned I traded some emails with the CTO of the .mobi email. Here is the last email of the discussion. My reply is in full, though it might lack a little context. ;) James is arguing that the .mobi TLD provides context. I disagree, read on:
On 2007-03-06T10:25-0500 James G Pearce wrote: > 1) I expect softdrink.com to provide me with information about the > softdrink company (chairman's statements, history of the company, > financial reports, press packs, how-to-be-a-reseller etc). > 2) I expect softdrink.mobi to tell me where the nearest vending machine > is. Nothing more.
When I go to any page with any device I want to presented with what I am
looking for straight away, right? Unfortunately nothing works that way!
This why we have navigation mechanisms such as search and more recently
things like online bookmarks, maps and tagging.
> 2) I expect luxurycar.mobi to tell me what that red flashing light
> means, and where the nearest service centre is. Nothing more.
That’s more than a mobile context. You need a special context for that
red flashing light. Perhaps a .breakdown TLD is required? ;)
> What sort of user-agent is smart enough to turn 1) into 2) for those two
> simple examples?
Many UAs have integrated search nowadays. That’s a start.
> If Opera could convert web pages on the fly from German to English,
> would I buy all my goods from http://amazon.de? No, of course not. I
> could choose to, but not by default. I want to “tell” Amazon that I’m in
> the UK, right? Since the pricing, products and deliveries suit my
> geographical context.
Well strictly speaking there is no need for amazon.de. They could filter
by lang markup (which is usually wrong mind) or more commonly IP.
Actually geo-IP sucks if you live in the UK and use satellite internet
from Italy, but I digress. Many Website have a sensible URL structure
like apple.com/uk or uk.someservice.com. Buying a TLD for each country
you do business in, is quite well established to be silly with the
> (I know you know this – after all, you have a .fi TLD web site.
> Something, presumably, you have chosen in order to show allegience to
> the Finnish context.)
iki.fi provide a good email redirection service. I have no allegiance to
the Finnish context I am afraid.
> But thousands of people do. By catalysing the mobile web, we can make
> the whole industry/ecosystem thrive. Since you have a passion for the
> medium, I assume you yourself will be pleased if we succeed.
That’s like arguing that I would like to have seen WAP succeed. I want
to see the right technology succeed.
> If we don’t, it a) won’t be because we didn’t try, and b) because market
> forces have dictated that we were wrong. Fair enough. No-one’s going to
No one might die, though a lot of energy can and will be mis-spent in
the .mobi domain. Precious man years. :)
I hope that’s clear why I don’t think “context” should be provided by TLDs. It’s a poor argument though it would actually be a good situation if .mobi was just about “context”. The big problem is that it encourages device dependent Web pages. The discussion actually started when I commented directly to ready.mobi that ready.mobi doesn’t work in ready.mobi. They recommended I try a special mobile version http://ready.mobi/m which will be served in future once it detects a mobile device.
NO. Device dependent content and delivery is not on. It is extremely difficult to detect capabilities of a device and is it redundant for Web content creators to maintain different device dependent Web pages of essentially the same resource.
I’m for a device independent Web, a united Web, free of device discrimination.