The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced a new standard designed to make it easier for developers and content providers to create dynamic mobile Web applications. Published as a W3C Recommendation, Mobile Web Application Best Practices offers practical advice from many mobile Web stakeholders for the easy development and the deployment of mobile Web applications that work across many platforms, the organization says.

“I am very excited about this document, which I've already used myself to ensure that the W3C Cheat Sheet, a mobile Web application, works not just on mobile devices, but on all devices,” said Dominique Hazaël-Massieux, W3C Mobile Web Initiative Lead. “These guidelines include sound advice from real-world Web apps developers, telcos, and browser vendors.”

Application designers value the ability to write code once and have it work in multiple environments. The rapid growth of the market for mobile applications has increased the appeal of using the Web as development platform on these devices as well, according to the Global Intelligence Alliance.

Web applications already are replacing native applications in many computers, and the W3C expects a similar trend on mobile devices in the near future since the Web platform addresses the fragmentation issues so familiar to mobile developers. The Web also makes it fast and easy to deploy and update applications without requiring any intervention of the user. And, it enables seamless integration of cloud-based services. Users, too, recognize the value of Web-based applications.

With the ongoing work in the HTML5, CSS3, SVG, and WAI-ARIA Working Groups, the Web is catching up quickly with the ability to build a superior user interface. This concerted work drives innovations and new uses that only the Web platform enables.

The W3C says it is working to create an even more powerful platform for developers, including better hardware and sensors integration. The Web Applications, Web Notifications, Web Events, Device APIs and Policy, and Geolocation Working Groups are developing JavaScript application programming interfaces (APIs) designed to reduce the gap between Web and native applications, the group says.

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Mobile Web Application Best Practices offers guidance on which Web technologies are particularly relevant on mobile devices. The guidelines also explain how to design Web applications that are responsive to their usage context, while sparing the network and optimizing response time to significantly boost the overall mobile user experience.

The Mobile Web Best Practices (MWBP) Working Group participants are declaring their support for the published mobile Web application guidelines. The group comprises AT&T, Boeing Co., China Unicom, China Electronics Standardization Institute, Deutsche Telekom, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Fundación ONCE, France Telecom, Google, HP, MobileAware, Mobile Web 2.0 Forum, Nokia, Novarra, Openwave Systems, Opera Software, Rochester Institute of Technology, SK Telecom, Telefónica de España, University of Manchester, Vishwak Solutions, Vodafone, Volantis, and invited experts.

Support from the MobiWebApp project, part of the European Union's 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7/2010-2012), enables W3C to continue to actively develop extensive test suites and online training courses in this area.

The World Wide Web Consortium