You are previewing Programming the Mobile Web.

Programming the Mobile Web

Cover of Programming the Mobile Web by Maximiliano Firtman Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  1. Programming the Mobile Web
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. Preface
      1. Who This Book Is For
      2. Who This Book Is Not For
      3. What You’ll Learn
      4. Other Options
      5. If You Like (or Don’t Like) This Book
      6. Conventions Used in This Book
      7. Using Code Examples
      8. How to Contact Us
      9. Safari® Books Online
      10. Acknowledgments
    3. 1. The Mobile Jungle
      1. Myths of the Mobile Web
      2. The Mobile Ecosystem
      3. Mobile Knowledge
      4. Brands, Models, and Platforms
      5. Technical Information
      6. Market Statistics
    4. 2. Mobile Browsing
      1. The Mobile Browsing Experience
      2. Mobile Web Eras
    5. 3. Architecture and Design
      1. Website Architecture
      2. Design and Usability
    6. 4. Setting Up Your Environment
      1. Setting Up a Development Environment
      2. Production Environment
    7. 5. Markups and Standards
      1. First, the Old Ones
      2. Current Standards
      3. XHTML Mobile Profile and Basic
      4. CSS for Mobile
      5. Confusion
    8. 6. Coding Markup
      1. Heading Structure
      2. The Document Body
      3. Plug-ins and Extensions
    9. 7. CSS for Mobile Browsers
      1. Where to Insert the CSS
      2. Selectors
      3. CSS Techniques
      4. Common Patterns
      5. CSS Sprites
      6. WebKit Extensions
    10. 8. JavaScript Mobile
      1. Supported Technologies
      2. Coding JavaScript for Mobile Browsers
    11. 9. Ajax, RIA, and HTML 5
      1. Ajax Support
      2. JavaScript Libraries
      3. WebKit CSS Extensions
      4. Mobile Rich Internet Applications
      5. HTML 5
    12. 10. Server-Side Browser Detection and Content Delivery
      1. Mobile Detection
      2. Content Delivery
      3. Multimedia and Streaming
      4. Content Adaptation
      5. Mobilizing WordPress and Other CMSs
    13. 11. Geolocation and Maps
      1. Location Techniques
      2. Detecting the Location
      3. Showing a Map
    14. 12. Widgets and Offline Webapps
      1. Mobile Widget Platforms
      2. Standards
      3. Platforms
      4. Widget Design Patterns
    15. 13. Testing, Debugging, and Performance
      1. Testing and Debugging
      2. Performance Optimization
    16. 14. Distribution and Social Web 2.0
      1. Mobile SEO
      2. Mobile Web Statistics
      3. Mobile Web Advertising
      4. Mobile Web Social Features
    17. A. MIME Types for Mobile Content
      1. Markup and Script MIME Types
      2. Image MIME Types
      3. Mobile Content MIME Types
      4. Audio and Video MIME Types
      5. Widget and Webapp MIME Types
    18. Index
    19. About the Author
    20. Colophon
    21. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
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The Document Body

The body is the most important section of the document, as it will define the content that the user will see.

Key best practices include:

  • Avoid formatting tags.

  • Use semantically correct, clean XHTML; we will define styles later with CSS.

  • Don’t create a document larger than 25 KB. Larger documents cause problems on old browsers (and caching problems even on modern ones).

  • If you have a lot of text to show, separate the content into many pages.

  • Don’t use tables for layout.


The classic desktop web meta options, like refresh and cache-control, work well on mobile browsers. Usage of the refresh metatag for autoupdating documents is not good practice for mobile devices, though: it is difficult to scroll on some mobile browsers, and an unsolicited page refresh can be unpleasant for the user. You can do an Ajax autoupdate if it is really necessary to keep the document updated.

Almost every mobile browser supports caching, either in meta tags or using HTTP headers. It is best practice to use the meta cache tag for enhanced cache purposes. For example:

<meta http-equiv="expires" content="Mon, 5 Mar 2012 01:01:01 GMT">

Main Structure

A typical mobile document will be divided into four main sections:

  1. Header

  2. Main navigation

  3. Content

  4. Footer

The header should be as simple as possible, using an h1 title and/or a logo or company banner. The main navigation should be no more than five main links, ordered by likelihood of use in a mobile context (most to least probable). The content is obvious; ...

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