Mobile Web Formatting Can Bite

December 3rd, 2007

Take a look at these two web page headers:

<head><title>MSNBC - MSNBC - Breaking News, World and US News Stories & Headlines - Get the Latest Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports, & Technology updates from around the world Front Page</title><script src=”/js/std.js” mce_src=”/js/std.js” ></script></head>’

<head><title>MSNBC - Breaking News, World and US News Stories & Headlines - Get the Latest Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports, & Technology updates from around the world- msnbc.com</title><link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”/css/html40.css” mce_href=”/css/html40.css” /><link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”/default.ashx/id/21589549″ mce_href=”/default.ashx/id/21589549″ /><link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”/default.ashx/id/21731496″ mce_href=”/default.ashx/id/21731496″ /><script type=”text/javascript” src=”/js/std.js” mce_src=”/js/std.js” ></script><script type=”text/javascript”>gEnabled=false;</script><meta http-equiv=”content-type” content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8″><meta name=”description” content=”MSNBC.com is a leader in breaking news and original journalism. Stay current with daily news updates in health, entertainment, business, science/technology and sports.”><meta name=”Search.Document” content=”front”><meta name=”Search.Updated” content=”Mon, 03 Dec 2007 23:17:49 GMT”><link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”MSNBC - Top Stories” href=”http://rss.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032091/device/rss/rss.xml”&gt;
<link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”MSNBC - Most Viewed” href=”http://rss.msnbc.msn.com/id/3058960/displaymode/1026/eventType/1/rss/rss.xml” mce_href=”http://rss.msnbc.msn.com/id/3058960/displaymode/1026/eventType/1/rss/rss.xml”>…

Can you tell the difference? Okay that’s an easy question… they’re totally different.  Nice job grasshopper.  Well, these headers come from the same web resource (msnbc.com). The only distinction is that one is served up to mobiles.  And I’ve seen similar behavior for many of my test sites.

So, the piece that annoys me is the removal of the link elements (that’s bolded above) used for feed autodiscovery (the RSS icon that lights up in the browser, the super cool functionality you get in FeedDemon for adding subs, etc… you get it).  Ah man, no feed auto detection love on mobile devices for lots of web properties.  That sux.

Entry Filed under: Mobile