On Tue, 6 Dec 2005, Christopher Kobayashi wrote:
> ..."Mobile Web Development in Japan: A Tag Soup Tale".
Well, basically web sites in Japan are a mess. No big surprise there.
Web sites are software. This is Japan. No more need be said, really.
As far as using common pages across phones and computers, sorry, but
no, I don't think so. You may be able to deal with a lot of the layout
issues and so on, but you can't deal with the fact that you can display
ten to fifty times as much or more information on a PC page as on a
keitai page, as well as the fact that you have a mouse on a PC, but not
on a keitai. You really do want to design a different user interface for
each of these circumstances, if you can at all afford to.
> - In the current state of the Japanese mobile web, is developing only
> in XHTML a reality?
Yes. I do this for mobile.tabemo.com, and the only phones that have a
problem with it are Tuka phones, and even for them, it's not the simpler
marketup but things like form dropdowns that are a problem.
There's still some stuff you have to tweak for the different carriers,
such as emoji, but overall, most of your code can be exactly the same
across carriers and phones.
The sad thing is that the ability to use CSS stylesheets is basically
not there at all, and doesn't show any sign of coming soon. That hurts.
> - How many older keitais are out there that would barf at XHTML.
A reasonable number, I understand. However, they are mostly AU, and AU's
gateway is very kind and converts the XHTML for you.
Outside of Tuka, you've not been able to buy a new phone that won't
render XHTML for at least a couple of years.
> Also how about the need for SJIS?
Unfortunately, yes, you must use this. Docomo--at least for non-FOMA
phones--will not render UTF-8 at all on the web, though it seems to have
no trouble with e-mail. (Again, gateway issues.)
> I personally believe that some type of server-side piece is required
> that will custom-serve content.... BUT this is a moving target ... and
> older keitais must be dying quickly, so eventually we'll get there.
> Question is when?
Basically, as far as return on investment goes, we're there now. Doing
multiple forms of content (outside of images) is going to be a very
large investment for, at best, a low-single-digit percentage increase
in the number of users who actually use your site. (Keep in mind that a
lot of the people with really old phones are perfectly happy with them
because they never use the web. But even they will have to upgrade to 3G
Curt Sampson <cjs_at_cynic.net> +81 90 7737 2974
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Received on Tue Dec 6 10:27:03 2005