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Chapter 11. Mobile Web Development

In this chapter, I discuss the foundational principles and techniques for creating designs for multiple mobile devices. As discussed earlier, the mobile web is the only ubiquitous platform for delivering content to mobile devices. This makes it an incredibly powerful platform in terms of its reach, but like most things in mobile, every blessing comes with a curse. The price for ubiquity is that not all designs are rendered the same.

There are two basic approaches to creating cross-platform mobile designs: content adaptation, in which you create many versions of your site, or no content adaptation, in which you don’t. In either case, you need to have a firm understanding of how to design content for the mobile context. Though I won’t discuss the pros and cons of adapting for devices until Chapter 13, for now it is important to understand that the rendering of many of the standards and techniques I discuss in this chapter are measured on a sliding scale of consistency across multiple devices.

Now this doesn’t mean that mobile standards are not standardized. Many coming from the desktop web world mistakenly assume that because a mobile browser renders elements inconsistently, there is no web standards support within the mobile web—this isn’t exactly the case. The mobile web actually has been very standardized, with defined specifications—in some cases, with standards older than the specifications we use on the Web. The problem is the technical constraints ...

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