In terms of the mobile web today, our real work will be directly related to the following standards and pseudo-standards:
XHTML Mobile Profile 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2
XHTML Basic 1.0 and 1.1
XHTML 1.0 and 1.1
HTML 3.2 and 4.0
HTML 5.0 draft
De facto standard (X)HTML extensions
CSS Mobile Profile
CSS custom extensions
This may seem overwhelming, but don’t panic: it isn’t really that complicated. We can distinguish two types of standards: HTML-based and CSS-based.
This discussion will largely ignore the desktop web, but not because I believe in two different webs. Desktop web development relies on techniques designed for desktop browsers, like Internet Explorer or Firefox. Many of the techniques used in mobile web development are different.
Why are there so many standards? The first answer is politics. Politics? Yes. Many actors are involved in the mobile web, and everyone wants to be part of the decision-making process. Are mobile web standards “mobile enough” to be managed by mobile standards organizations, like the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA)? Are they “web enough” to be managed by web standards organizations, like the W3C? Do the manufactures have enough power to decide on their own markup? Figure 5-4 shows the mobile-specific and generic web standards that are available today and those that are currently in the pipeline.
Figure 5-4. Today, ...