Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mobile Web Rendering Standard

The web needs a simple de facto standard for mobile vs. desktop web rendering.

When someone tweets out a link from their smartphone (mobile web), it looks terrible if I click their mobile link in my desktop browser:

Just like hard or soft page breaks in word processing, there needs to be a simple standard for web servers to render an HTML page based on the user agent or force a particular rendering when desired.

Blogger makes it simple and obvious based on the URL query string:

Render based on user agent:

Force mobile, regardless of user agent:

Force desktop, regardless of user agent:

This technique makes it easy for me when tweeting out links. Much easier than changing to to see if I've figured out a particular web server's URL naming scheme. I understand that m. and www. are different host names which makes it easier for load balancing, but there are ways to manage that with load balancers, etc.

PS – My other pet peeve is a mobile web page that doesn't allow zooming. What's a user to do when the fine print is too small to read?

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