Questions for Mobilism

I’m going to Amsterdam next week for the Mobilism conference. Bizarrely, there are still tickets available. I say “bizarrely” because it’s such an excellent event—it’s like the European equivalent of the Breaking Development conference.

Don’t worry; I won’t be giving a presentation. I’ll leave that to experts like Remy, Lyza, Brad, and Jake. But I will be getting up on the stage. I’m going to moderating not one, but two, panels. I think it’s going to be fun.

We’ll be reprising the Mobile Browser panel from last year. Once again, there will be representatives from Opera, RIM, and Nokia. This year Google is also joining the line-up. As usual, Apple will not be present.

The new addition to the schedule is a panel on device and network APIs. I will be playing the part of a curious but clueless web developer interested in such things …because, well, that’s what I am.

I plan to open up both panels to questions from the audience. While I don’t quite fall into Cennydd’s camp, it would be great if more people would read this article on how to ask a question:

You have not been invited to give a speech. Before you stand up, boil your thoughts down to a single point. Then ask yourself if this point is something you want to assert or something you want to find out. There are exceptions, but if your point falls into the category of assertion, you should probably remain seated.

But I’m not planning to leave the questions entirely to the people in the room. Just as I did last year, I’d like to ask you to tell me what topics are burning in your mind when it comes to mobile browsers or device APIs.

Comments are open for one week. Let fly with your questions.

Have you published a response to this? :


Tom Hume

How can device and network APIs based on the browser keep pace, if device vendors continue to innovate and differentiate their products and platforms? Or should we come to terms with browser APIs lagging behind what’s available in native SDKs?

(not trying to turn this into native vs web apps, promise - the Boot2Gecko and WebOS guys have shown that it’s possible to narrow the gap between the browser and the platform, but thus far they haven’t succeeded)

# Posted by Tom Hume on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 at 7:18pm

paul downey

Which do you think are more important: document hyperlinks or users’ clicks?

Remy Sharp

To the mobile browser panel - and indeed the audience (sorry - long question - feel free to edit!):

When are we, as a web development community, going to stop giving Apple a free fucking pass?

They’re consistently lacking in the open discussion in to improving the gateway to the web: the browser. Sure, they landed an impressive mobile browsing experience back when the iPhone launched and it’s a great device, but there’s some serious questioning about whether they’re purposely cock-blocking web development and purposely hindering our advancement as a web industry.

WebGL is in mobile Safari, yet only available if accessed via a WebView object, not the real Safari (which is a WebView anyway…). It was recently discovered that they moved all web data storage (Web Storage, Appcache, etc) in a temporary data store meaning that it can be wiped at any time without warning.

Even the mighty PPK who tells entire browser vendors “fuck you”, doesn’t call Apple out, allowing them to slither on.

Why is it we continue to allow Apple to get away with it? And can this ever change?

# Posted by Remy Sharp on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 at 9:04pm

Jeff Bruss

You might say Breaking Development is more like the American version of Mobilism. The Mobilism event is more than 1.5 times larger than our lowly U.S. event, where we are still not quite getting the importance of mobile. Regardless, I think people need to understand the importance of developing for mobile and that conferences like both ours and PPK’s are leading the mobile revolution. Whether Amsterdam or Dallas, all aboard.

# Posted by Jeff Bruss on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 at 11:13pm

Alan Dalton

The User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 2.0 are guidelines for designing browsers and media players “[…] that lower barriers to Web accessibility for people with disabilities”: . How do the mobile browser makers try to conform to them?


As a designer/developer, It would be very useful for us if we could query the phone/browser to determine the connection speed or bandwidth.

there is some good discussion going on about this topic here on Chris Coyier’s css-tricks:

see you next week !

# Posted by Wart on Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 at 11:47am

Lennart Schoors

While I carefully avoid to see the subject of Opera implementing WebKit aliases as a simple black and white matter, I did nod in consent with Peter Gasston’s remarks [1] regarding mostly visual embellishment properties like box-shadow and border-radius. Isn’t this some sort of box of Pandora, where authors now will have even less incentive to test in Opera browsers – because, you know, they’ll just mimic WebKit anyway?


Yoav Weiss

My questions are regarding responsive images:

  • Is there a vendor that plans on implementing the picture element?

  • How hard would it be for browsers to implement the responsive progressive JPEG concept that I outlined at ? (assuming they provide good data reduction and that the scan metadata format in the JPEG comments is standardized)

# Posted by Yoav Weiss on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 at 8:01am

John Holt Ripley

Unfortunately I can’t attend, but I’d love to ask if there’s a reliable way to detect support for the tel: URI scheme so that we can link phone numbers accordingly.

# Posted by John Holt Ripley on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 at 11:53am

Jason Grigsby

I’d love to have the browser makers perspective on the Ringmark and CoreMob initiatives that Facebook has been leading. Is it useful? Are they paying attention? How do they envision it impacting the priority of features (if at all)?

Also, where’s my freaking camera access?