Mobile Web Standards
Among the many bodies that develop Web-related standards and specifications, Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) is the predominant organization for global Web standards. Its work includes both standards for desktop PC and mobile use.
In the mobile arena, the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) specifies mobile service enablers to ensure interoperability, and with respect to mobile browsing, has developed a number of specifications and recommendations, which are discussed in a subsequent section.
Representing operators and mobile ecosystem providers, the GSMA (GSM Association) , develops technical recommendations including OneAPI (described herein) in collaboration with OMA who will develop specifications for OneAPI. The GSMA also collaborates with OMTP BONDI.
Parlay, ETSI, 3GPP
The Parlay Group develops telecom APIs, and has worked jointly with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), Parlay, and the Third Generation Partnership Program (3GPP) to develop the Parlay X 4.0 specifications, which define a wide range of telecom functions that entities can access using Web Services. The Parlay X specifications are now managed by OMA.
OMA Browsing Specifications
OMA has based its browsing specifications on PC-oriented Internet technology, but limits its profiles for the constrained resources and user interfaces of mobile devices (e.g. reduced memory, processing power, bandwidth, and user-input methods). It defines application-level protocols, semantics, syntax, content formats, user-agent behavior and use of hypermedia transfer protocols.
The foundational elements of OMA Browsing include:
- WAP Architecture (with or without proxy)
- XHTML Mobile Profile
- Wireless Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
- Binary XML (efficient communications)
- OMA Push (asynchronous server-initiated content delivery)
- XMLHttpRequest (forthcoming in OMA Mobile Browsing 2.4, an important Ajax method)
For further details on specific versions see the following resources:
GSMA OneAPI Web Service Interfaces
The GSMA is working on OneAPI, a commonly supported API for mobile operators to expose network information to (Web) application developers. These APIs will use both RESTful and Web Services interfaces. This work is based on Parlay X as defined by 3GPP in TS29.199. The first APIs to be implemented will be for messaging and location functions.
An application developed with OneAPI can obtain information in a consistent fashion across operators that support OneAPI. Though expected to operate mostly on servers, applications using OneAPI can also run on a mobile devices.
This table describes the first phase of OneAPI functions.
|Short Messaging||Send or receive SMS, WAP Push.|
|Multimedia Messaging||Send or receive MMS.|
|Location||Determine the current physical location of a user/device.|
|Payment||Charge a user for an application via the operator (bill/pre-pay account).|
HTML5 - Next-Generation HTML
HTML5 is the next version of HTML and is currently in development with the first public working draft of the specification available in January 2008 and completion expected around 2012. Browser vendors, including mobile browser vendors, are already implementing some HTML5 features as they are defined. Originally named "Web Applications 1.0" HTML5 is intended to create a framework for much more capable applications than previously possible. HTML5 is being developed as joint effort of W3C and the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WhatWG).
Some key features of HTML5 include:
- Better page structuring through new elements (e.g., section, header, footer, article, nav and dialog).
- A canvas element with 2D drawing API for dynamic graphics and animation.
- Direction provision for audio and video content.
- Client-side persistent storage (key/value and SQL).
- Offline application APIs.
- Editing and drag-and-drop APIs.
- Network Web Socket API.
- Cross-document messaging.