QuirksBlog monthlies

This is the monthly archive for March 2010.

Why AdMob’s reported iPhone and Android market shares are inflated

Permalink | in Apple, Google, Market share
10 comments (closed)

AdMob, the mobile advertiser that was bought by Google some months ago, has released its latest market share figures for the mobile browsers.

Their main findings have already been discussed extensively:

  1. Smartphones are on the rise; 48% versus 35% last month.
  2. Feature phones are falling quickly; 58% to 35%.
  3. Still, the absolute number of feature phones rose by 31%, which means that the market as a whole is growing rapidly.

The AdMob report, however, is not about browser market share but about ad impressions. And that may matter a lot. Unfortunately we don’t know how much it matters.

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CSS vendor prefixes redux

Permalink | in
51 comments (closed)

Well, reactions to my proposal to abolish vendor prefixes are mixed, and I might have overshot my target here.

Eric Meyer, Jonathan Snook, and Stephen Hay reacted to my post, and it’s clear that they believe vendor prefixes ought to continue to exist. Many commenters said the same thing, although some other commenters agreed with me.

Daniel Glazman, W3C CSS co-chair, reacted in a similar vein, and agreed that there is something wrong with the current vendor prefix implementation. He even welcomed the discussion. Yay!

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CSS vendor prefixes considered harmful

Permalink | in Browsers
51 comments (closed)

I recently came across a post about border-radius by the IE team, that said IE9 supports border-radius (cool!) without vendor prefix (even cooler!)

The post continues:

While a number of web pages already make use of this feature, some [...] do not render properly in IE9 or Opera 10.50 because they lack an unprefixed declaration of the border-radius property.

As the specification nears Recommendation and browser vendors are working on their final implementations and testcases for submission to the W3C, we recommend that new content always include a border-radius declaration without vendor prefix.

I’d like to go one step further.

It’s time to abolish all vendor prefixes. They’ve become solutions for which there is no problem, and they are actively harming web standards.

Vendor prefixes force web developers to make their style sheets much more verbose than is necessary, while also running the risk of accidentally forgetting one set of vendor-prefixed declarations.

Besides, why do we need to use several declarations for obtaining one single effect? Weren’t web standards supposed to prevent that sort of thing?

Guys, let’s stop the vendor prefix nonsense. Enough’s enough.

Update: Although the problem is real, my solution is not the best one possible. See the redux for more discussion.

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The payment argument is nonsense

Permalink | in Mobile
25 comments (closed)

In response to my HTML5 apps argument a few people came back to how the payment thingy is missing from my idea, and how it will (apparently) be worthless because of that. I’ve been thinking about that a lot in the past few days, and I’m increasingly of the opinion that the payment argument is nonsense.

Sure, everybody who does iPhone apps, or who’s glancing cursorily at the mobile market without trying to gain in-depth knowledge, currently believes that the App Store concept is going to be a huge success because of the opportunity for developers to earn some money. But they’re just wrong.

I did some back-of-napkin calculations and found that, macro-economically speaking, iPhone app development costs money right now. And yes, an individual developer can strike it rich, but that’s getting rarer and rarer. I do not want to build a new app ecosystem based on arguments from developers who just want to take a gamble in the App Store roulette. Gamblers’ arguments are not real arguments.

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HTML5 apps

Permalink | in HTML5, HTML5 apps
23 comments (closed)

Right now nobody’s interested in a mobile solution that does not contain the words “iPhone” and “app” and that is not submitted to a closed environment where it competes with approximately 2,437 similar mobile solutions.

Compared to the current crop of mobile clients and developers, lemmings marching off a cliff follow a solid, sensible strategy. Startling them out of this obsession requires nothing short of a new buzzword.

Therefore I’d like to re-brand standards-based mobile websites and applications, definitely including W3C Widgets, as “HTML5 apps.” People outside our little technical circle are already aware of the existence of HTML5, and I don’t think it needs much of an effort to elevate it to full buzzwordiness.

Technically, HTML5 apps would encompass all websites as well as all the myriads of (usually locally installed) web-standards-based application systems on mobile. The guiding principle would be to write and maintain one single core application that uses web standards, as well as a mechanism that deploys that core application across a wide range of platforms.

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Fronteers 2010

Permalink | in Conferences
1 comments (closed)

Fronteers 2010 has been announced: 7 and 8 October, Amsterdam. Jeremy Keith and Jeff Croft have been announced as speakers. Ticket sale will start in April at the latest.

For clarity's sake: this year I have nothing to do with the organisation; I'll just attend the conference, relax, enjoy the show, as well as a beer or two.

Maybe I'll meet some of my readers at Fronteers 2010.

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See the February 2010 archive.

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter.
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