Facebook: Improving the Mobile Web

Facebook helps launch effort to improve the mobile Web by pushing a new World Wide Web Consortium effort known as the Core Mobile Web Platform Community Group.

Facebook has launched an effort to diminish mobile browser fragmentation and improve the mobile Web.

At the Mobile World Congress, Facebook joined forces with more than 30 other companies to form the W3C Mobile Web Platform Core Community Group. In a blog post about the effort, Douglas Purdy, director of developer relations at Facebook said:

€œWhen you build for the mobile Web today, it's hard to know which browsers and devices will support your app. Which is why we're proud to be joining over 30 device manufacturers, carriers, and developers in an industry-wide effort to help accelerate the improvement and standardization of mobile browsers: the W3C Mobile Web Platform Core Community Group. For developers, this makes it easier to understand your app's potential reach and to help prioritize which browser capabilities are important to you.€

According to the new group€™s Website, €œThe goal of the Core Mobile Web Platform Community Group (CG) is to accelerate the adoption of the Mobile Web as a compelling platform for the development of modern mobile Web applications. In order to achieve this mission, the CG will bring developers, equipment manufacturers, browser vendors, operators and other relevant members of the industry together to agree on core features developers can depend on, create related conformance test suites and provide to W3C (and non-W3C) groups use cases, scenarios, and other input related to successful mobile development.€

Purdy said Facebook also is making Ringmark, a new mobile browser test suite available to developers, and will be donating it to the Community Group to build upon. This test suite, developed with Bocoup, helps developers understand which mobile browsers support the functionality their app needs, Purdy said.

Participants in the W3C Mobile Web Platform Core Community Group include Samsung, HTC, Sony Mobile Communications, Nokia, Huawei, ZTE, TCL Communication, AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, Orange, Telefónica, KDDI, SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp., Qualcomm Innovation Center, Nvidia, ST-Ericsson, Intel, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Mozilla, Opera, Microsoft, Adobe, Netflix, VEVO, Zynga, @WalmartLabs, Electronic Arts, Sencha and Bocoup.

In his own post, Brendan Eich, CTO of Mozilla and creator of JavaScript, said, €œMozilla is happy to support Facebook in forming a Core Mobile Web Platform W3C Community Group in which to curate prioritized, tiered lists of emerging and de facto standards that browsers should support in order for the Web to compete with native application stacks on mobile devices.

Eich added:

€œLast year, Facebook joined the W3C. I thought at the time €˜there is a company with skin in the Web content game, not only for pages but especially for apps.€™ Facebook relies heavily on HTML5, CSS and JS. Facebook has no browser in the market to pull focus or inject asymmetric browser/service integration agendas.

€œAnd Facebook has hired long-time Open Web developers who have risen to be leaders in their communities: James Pearce and Tobie Langel.€

Langel is a co-chair of the Core Mobile Web Platform Community Group.