This document is about a recent development in mobile web technologies, often referred to
as content reformatting.
The mobile web has never been a simple platform to develop for, given the fragmentation of the underlying technology. Different devices, different browsers and different networks have made mobile web development a challenge for programmers and content authors from the beginning.
Content reformatting, which seeks to convert pages designed for PC users to be usable from mobile phones may add another layer of complexity when not properly configured.
Some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are implementing reformatting proxies into their networks that intercept and reformat all HTTP traffic to any HTTP server. This is being done without safeguarding those sites which strive to deliver a mobile-optimised user-experience, or, at the very least, not safeguarding them sufficiently.
The introduction of reformatting systems can lead to the disruption of mobile web sites for all of the users in their respective networks.
This situation is a concern for mobile web neutrality and has the potential to jeopardize the mobile web as a platform in the years to come.
To this end, mobile developers of various nationalities and backgrounds, assembled on the WMLProgramming list at Yahoo Groups, have created this manifesto to make their position known.
Symptoms of a network that has deployed a reformatting proxy are:
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While this document represents the viewpoint of mobile developers, it is not meant
to be hostile to proxy vendors and Mobile Network Operators who recognize
the importance of the ecosystem and the disruption that the introduction
of aggressively configured reformatters can cause to existing mobile sites and services.
To this end, developers have established guidelines that a reformatting proxy should respect, in order to avoid reformatting mobile-optimized sites.
Vendors of reformatting proxies can subscribe to the manifesto when the following two situations are verified:
The first rule is meant to make sure that a reformatting proxy can effectively be configured to respect mobile websites. The second rule is meant to pre-empt carriers' attempts to blame proxy vendors for failure to respect mobile-optimized sites.
The recommended way to endorse the Manifesto is to add the following
sentence prominently in the documentation and in the configuration files of the proxy:
"[Vendor] supports the rules established by the Mobile Developer Manifesto for Responsible Reformatting (available at: http://wurfl.sourceforge.net/manifesto/) for its default configuration."
This sentence is meant to remind MNOs of the existence of a mobile ecosystem and the necessity to respect it, a fact which may be unknown to MNO employees at different levels in the respective organizations.
Mobile Network Operators are also invited to subscribe to the Manifesto in order to express their acknowledgment of the rules contained in this manifesto.
Vendors and MNOs who sign the Manifesto will be entitled to a short statement to better qualify their position with regards to the Manifesto.
As a general rule, transcoders should err on the side of non-reformatting, meaning that a reformatting proxy should refrain from reformatting in all of those cases when a site might already be suitable for mobile.
In particular, developers request that the following rules are observed:
No USER AGENT Spoofing: under no circumstances should the original User-Agent string be removed, modified or moved to a different header.
Note: It is considered acceptable for a transcoder to perform a second HTTP fetch of site content with a spoofed HTTP request, as long as the first request has been performed with the original headers and the proxy has positively identified that the website is NOT mobile optmised
Preserve headers: under no circumstances should a transcoder modify or delete existing HTTP headers. The addition of extra
x-* headers is admissible.
Recognize Mobile-Specific MIME-types and Document Type Declarations (DTDs): documents served with the following MIME types:
and documents served with the XHTML-Basic 1.0 or XHTML-MP 1.1 DTD:
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//OMA//DTD XHTML Mobile 1.2//EN"
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//WAPFORUM//DTD XHTML Mobile 1.1//EN"
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//WAPFORUM//DTD XHTML Mobile 1.0//EN"
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML Basic 1.1//EN"
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML Basic 1.0//EN"
MUST be considered mobile-optimised and no transcoding should be applied
Do Not Adapt pictures of mobile-optimized sites: mobile-optimized sites should not have their graphics adapted.
30Kb Limit: pages that have a total weight of 30 kilobytes or less MUST not be adapted.
Note: An exception can be made in those cases when none of the other rules apply AND the reformatting proxy is able to positively identify devices which cannot handle 30kb of content through a Device Description Repository (DDR).
In this case a lower threshold for reformatting may be adopted. The limit cannot be lower than 15 kilobytes under any circumstances.
A further exception can be made in those cases when the reformatting proxy can positively identify the web-only nature of the site by using more sophisticated techniques, such as: detecting the use of IFRAMES and other "web-only" tags and scripting. The limit cannot be lower than 15 kilobytes under any circumstances.
Do not reformat pages that return the following HTTP header:
This also applies to the case when the header is specified through the <meta> HTTP-Equiv tag
Do not reformat pages which contain the following meta tag:
<link rel="alternate" type="text/html" media="handheld" href="[url]" title="[title]" />
The proxy should redirect the user to the [url] contained in the
Transcoders MUST not reformat sites with URLs matching one of the following patterns:
Note: In the spirit of erring on the side of non-reformatting, vendors are also welcome to
support the following exclusion patterns, where "/" represents the first slash in the url PATH:
Support for these extra exclusion patterns is only recommended
Whitelists are acceptable only as inclusion list to inform the reformatter of sites which would normally escape reformatting, but which are marked as reformattable through human intervention. Use of exclusion whitelists is not acceptable.
Transcoders must identify themselves using the
Via header as
enforced by the HTTP protocol, RFC 2616
( See http://www.w3.org/Protocols/rfc2616/rfc2616-sec14.html#sec14.45 )
Transcoders must send along the IP address of the device/gateway and other proxies using the X-Forwarded-For header, a de-facto standard, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Forwarded-For
Reformatter vendors who abide by the rules above for their products' standard configuration
and who agree to notify their customers of the importance of behaving sympathetically in
the ecosystem are invited to sign the Manifesto.
Operators who need to deploy content reformatting solutions on their network are welcome to read this document and to derive the requirements for their systems from it.
Mobile developers are welcome to sign the Manifesto by sending an email to the editor and requesting that their signature is added.
|Vendors of Reformatting Proxies|
Statement from Openwave
CEO & Founder, InfoGin Ltd.
Statement from InfoGin
Volantis Systems Ltd.
Statement from Volantis
CEO - Massive Mobile Media
Statement from Massivo Mobile Media
WURFL Inventor and WMLProgramming List Owner.
Miha Valencic, technical consultant, Mobitel d.d.
David Harper, Founder & CEO, Winksite
Nigel Choi, Software Engineer, AdMob Inc.
Chris Abbott, CTO, DetectRight.com
C. Enrique Ortiz, Mobility Blogger and CTO at eZee inc.
Christophe Lassus, FlirtyMob, Founder and Director
James R. McLachlan, Managing Director, Objective Software Services Ltd.
Ron Mandel, Adobe Systems, Mobile and Device Development.
Alex Kerr, Managing Director, PhoneThing Ltd,
Deepak Jaiswal, co-founder, Pinngit Mobility Solutions, Bangalore.
Richard Spence, Director, Bluetrail.
Tom Thurston, Vice President, Mobile Animation FC.
Gareth Reakes, CTO, We7 Ltd.
Steven Green, Technical Director, Oxford Softworks Ltd.
Jason Sabella, Senior Software Engineer, Winksite
Karel De Beule, Co-Founder, Kimia Solutions
Raj Singh, Mobile Developer
Herval Freire, CTO, ShotCode.com
Braxton Woodham, CTO, Zannel
Jason Navarro, Mobile Web developer, Mobiquio
Paul Manze, CEO & Founder, EmbedAi Ltd.
Jose Geraldo Magalhaes, CTO, wapja.net
Simon Woodside, CEO, Semacode Corporation
Erik Saastad, Mobile Channel Manager, Dagbladet Medialab
Håvard Solheim, Mobile project manager, Edda Digital
Sylvain Wallez, CTO, Goojet
Chris Thompson, Managing Director, Speak Languages!
Bengt Welin, Head of Technology and Production, Mobiento, Sweden
Ray Anderson, CEO, Bango plc.
Nick Gyles, Chief Technology Officer, WDSGlobal
Barbara Ballard, President, Little Springs Design
Pedro Barros José, Managing Director, Mdatalogic Ltd.
Julio Rabadán González, Founder, Somms Multimedia Solutions.
Paul Poutanen, CEO, Mob4Hire Inc.
Andrea Trento, Founder & CEO, Interpreting.it
Jan Michael Hess, CEO, Mobile Economy GmbH
Brian Dally, Principal, Phone People Software & Strategy Partners
Giles Payne, Co-founder, Telepathix.net
Salvador Gonzalez, Founder & Business development, entumovil.net
Gabriel Palomino, Mobile Industry Consultant, Mobile Media Consult
August Z. Flatby, Founder, Apparat AS
Ed Pimentel, Founder, AgileCO
Francisco Velázquez, IT Director, Froggie
Raul Jimenez, Mobile Developer, Spanish Adobe User Group
Juan Nin, General Manager of Software Development, 3Cinteractive
Richard Yates, Mobile Web Strategist, ARYates Consulting, LLC
Sayuti Chow, Mobile VAS Developer, PT Metadome Mobitech
David Walton, Mobile Developer
Geoff Ballinger, CTO, Mixipix Ltd.
Pål Bråtelund, Head of Mobile, VG Mobil
Tomislav Car, CEO, Infinum Ltd.
Anton Bar, Chief Gheek, http://G.ho.st
Richard Sinclair, Founder and CEO, www.sno.mobi, UK
Fabrizio Capobianco, CEO, Funambol
Dev Gandhi, CEO, NEXAGE / MyCorner.com
Jon Arne Sæterås, Head of Product Development, Mobiletech AS
Morten Hjerde, Senior Interaction Designer,mBricks AS.
Jose Maria Martinez Burgos, 'hafo', CEO & Founder, Animatu
Kirk Bateman, Manging Director, Synaptic Technologies Limited
Mikael Krogius, Founder & CEO, Winwap Technologies
Jason Delport, Developer and co-founder, Paxmodept
Peter J. Cranstone, CEO, 5o9, Inc.
Dennis Bournique, mobile blogger, wapreview.com
Manuel Groeneweg, Owner, Bor3d
Mat Williams, CTO, Reporo Ltd.
Alessandro Pace, FlashLite Development, Biskero.org
Ryan Unger, Partner and Creative Director, Punchkick Interactive
Shaun Zelber, Co-Founder TexoMobile Inc.
Jakub Danilewicz, Alembik Project Architect, Kimia Solutions.
Elias Giannopoulos, Founder & IT Manager, Sports.comm ltd
Benno Bartels, Co-Founder / Developer, insertEFFECT - Web Mobile Specialists
Julien Menard, CTO, SBW Paris
Farez Rahman, Developer and Founder, Redkey Digital Ltd.
Mark Hillsdon, CEO, Barefoot Software Inc.
Roberto Pinia, Business Development Manager, Aspiro AS
Muntasir Mamun Joarder, Data Service Specialist, AKTEL
James Finn, Head of Sales & Business Development, RingRing Media Ltd
Marco Argenti, Managing Director, Dada.net
Mike Rowehl, Founder, Mowser Inc.
Neil Osman, CEO, WW3 (web and mobile web development)
Alex Tur, Co-founder and CEO, Netsoul, LLC
Professor in Software Engineering,
Department of Computer and Information Science,
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Robert Oberhofer, Phd, Mobile Consultant and Co-Founder JotInfo Inc.
Kanwar Dhaliwal, Mobile Consultant
Terren Suydam, Head of Mobile Development, SingleClick Systems
Adriano Fonseca, Partner and Co-Founder, TopSolutions.pt
Nihan Sin, Mobile Web Developer
Michael Dykman, Distributed System Architect and Developer.
Alexandru Stanciu, Co-Founder, StarTech.ro
Michael Maguire, Founder & CTO, Blue Whale Systems Ltd
Gabriel Balogh, Mobile Developer, MOBIcomp
Scott Beaumont, Co-Founder, Mippin.com
Steve Kamerman, Director of IT / Co-Founder, Tera Technologies Inc
Alfredo Pinkus, Applications Manager, CycleLogic
Ian Homer, Co-Founder, Bemoko
Tim Dedischew, Founder, MobileLeap Inc.
Alex Matthews, Technical Director, Marvellous.
Michael Stone, CEO, Amethon Solutions Pty Ltd
B. Vervoort, Co-Founder & Mobile Developer, InMovil Media Europa
Manuel Dominguez Sarmiento, General Director, Renxo
Idel Fuschini, Mobile Evangelist, Italy
Note:Questions about the Reformatting Manifesto can be directed to the Manifesto editor or publicly on
the WMLProgramming list
at Yahoo Groups.
Requests to sign the Manifesto can be directed to the editor via email at passani (at) eunet dot no