Bringing Mobile Web to 2012October 1st, 2012 by Houman Forood
Fresh off the plane, coming back from Breaking Development conference (@bdconf) in Dallas, packed with 3 days of stimulating presentations and discussions with such Web thought leaders like Brad Frost (@brad_frost), Lyza Gardner (@lyzadanger) and Luke Wroblewski (@lukew) to name a few. Right off the bat, 2 points were clear to me. First, how far Web technologies have come in the past couple of years and second, how hard we still need to work to bring mobile Websites to 2012.
What do I mean by bringing mobile Websites to 2012 you ask?
There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t hear something either very negative or very positive about the current state of Web and its adoption among major companies around the world. To give a couple of examples, Facebook’s recent announcement to go back to fully native development for iOS (and Android to follow) sent shockwaves through the industry giving the impression, mobile Web (and HTML5) is not ready for prime time. On the other hand, companies like BBC, Starbucks, Sony and Boston Globe, who are investing a great deal in their responsive Web design, send a message in the opposite direction. What is the CTO of a prominent company supposed to do in this world of uncertainty? The answer is to get the facts right and see beyond the headlines.
Fact: Web technologies are ready for primetime; implementation is what’s hurting the user experience.
Let’s take a step back and look at a Web enabler mostly overlooked, the Web server. Web servers were initially created for the PC world and they haven’t evolved much from the heydays of the 90’s. However in the past 5-6 years, demand from mobile phones and tablets running multiple browsers has entered the arena. In addition, with the introduction of Windows 8, the line between mobile and PCs is blurring even further. However, despite all of this change, I may remind you we are still using Web servers primarily meant to serve the PC world or one device at a time. I hope you can see what’s wrong with this picture.
Members of the Web developer community like Brett Jankord (@bjankord), and innovative companies like us, are addressing the issue at hand. Categorizr and the SmartPath platform are targeting the heart of the problem and helping Web content owners and service providers bring a robust web offering suited for the new world of One Web.
I am optimistic. I am a believer in democracy and Web is the most democratic platform in the world. Viva Web!