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dotMobi Switch On! Web Browsing Guides

Following our post about the dotMobi TLD, here are the rules of the dotMobi Switch On! Web Browsing Guides:
1. Mandatory Registrant Rules
- XHTML Mobile Profile
When a dotMobi web site is accessed using a URI consisting only of the second-level domain name or second and third level domain name (e.g.,, the response must be encoded in XHTML-MP (zipped .doc) unless the device accessing it is known to support an alternative choice of markup.
If the site provides its home page by redirection then all intermediate pages that are delivered in the course of the redirection must comply with this rule.
- Second-Level Domain Site
Sites must implement a page at the second level domain i.e. a web server must respond to HTTP requests to (if necessary in addition to
- Use of Frames
Do not use frames under any circumstances. i.e. in HTML, XHTML or other mark-up languages that support similar constructs, frames must not be present.
2. Highly Recommended Best Practices
- URIs for Country Specific Sites
Identify national variations of dotMobi sites by using the corresponding country code top level domain identifier (ccTLD) as the third level domain identifier.
- General Best Practice
Take all reasonable steps to find out about the device/browser (client) capabilities, adaptation and other transformation that takes place for any instance of an access to a resource.

Exploit device capabilities. Do not take a least common denominator approach.

Take reasonable steps to work around deficient implementations.

Carry out testing on actual devices as well as emulators.
- Navigation
Keep the URIs of site entry points short.

Provide minimal navigation at the top of the page.

Design the service with a broadly balanced navigation tree where numbers of links on pages is balanced against depth of navigation.

Use navigation mechanisms in a consistent manner.

Assign access keys to links in navigational menus and frequently accessed functionality.

Clearly identify the target of each link. Use clear, concise, descriptive link text to help users decide whether to follow a link. Identify the implications of following a link if the target is notably large and the user might not anticipate this from the context.

Note the target file’s format unless you know the device supports it.

Do not use image maps unless you know the target client supports them and has sufficient screen area and an appropriate means of selection, such as a stylus or navigation keys. When using image maps under these circumstances, use client side image maps unless the regions required cannot be described with an available geometric shape.

Do not use a server side image map unless you know that the client provides a means of selection within the image map.

Do not cause pop-ups or other windows to appear and do not change the current window without informing the user.

Do not create periodically auto-refreshing pages, unless you have informed the user and provided a means of stopping it.

Do not use markup to redirect pages automatically. Instead, configure the server to perform redirects by means of HTTP 3XX codes.
- Page Content and Layout
Limit content to what the user has requested.

Divide pages into usable but limited size portions.

Ensure that the overall size of page is appropriate to bandwidth, the memory limitations of the device and other device and delivery channel characteristics if they can be determined.

Limit scrolling to one direction, unless secondary scrolling cannot be avoided.

Limit secondary scrolling to objects that require it, where it cannot be avoided.

Do not use graphics for spacing.

Do not use images that cannot be rendered by the device. Avoid large or high resolution images except where critical information would otherwise be lost.

Ensure that information conveyed with color is also available without color.
- Page Definition
Provide a short but descriptive page title.

Ensure that perceivable structures within the content can be programmatically determined.

Do not use tables unless the client is known to support them. Do not use multi-layer tables.

Do not use tables for layout.

Where possible, use an alternative to tabular presentation.

Provide textual alternatives for non-text elements.

Do not embed objects or script in pages unless you know the device supports them.

Always specify the size of images in markup.

Resize images at the server.

Create documents that validate to published formal grammars.

Use style sheets to control layout and presentation, unless the device is known not to support them.

Organize documents so that they may be read without style sheets.

Keep style sheets as small as possible.

Use terse efficient markup.

Send content in a format that is known to be supported by the device.

Where possible send content in a client’s preferred format.

Ensure that content is encoded using a character encoding that is known to be supported by the target device.

Indicate in the response the character encoding being used.

Provide informative error messages, and a means of navigating away from an error message back to useful information.

Do not use cookies unless you know the device supports them.

Attach caching information to the content.

Avoid free text entry where possible.

Specify a default text entry mode, language and/or input format, if the target device is known to support it.

Create a logical tab order through links, form controls and objects.

Label all controls appropriately. Explicitly associate labels with controls where the device supports this. Position labels relative to controls appropriately.
3. Other Best Practices

Ensure that links provide a thematically coherent experience when accessed from a device other than the one on which they were captured.

Ensure that content is suitable for use in a mobile context.

Use clear and simple language.

Ensure that material that is central to the meaning of the page precedes material that is not.

Ensure that foreground and background color combinations provide sufficient contrast.

When using background images make sure that content remains readable on the device.

Do not use pixel measures and do not use absolute units in markup language attribute values and style sheet property values.

Keep the number of keystrokes to a minimum.

Provide pre-selected default values where possible.
The complete dotMobi Switch On! Web Browsing Guides: