Does .mobi go Against the Ideals of the Internet?

Thread Title:
.Mobi’s Contentious Ride
Thread Description:

MocoNews threadlinked above point out that the W3C's Device Independence Working Group are up in arms about the proposed .mobi TLD. They argue that it goes against the core principles of the Internet: That the web should be device agnostic.

A consortium of mobile players led by Nokia have proposed the addition of .mobi to the top level domain space so that users and application/site owners can specify that is for mobile devices, such as cell phones or PDA's. The W3C argue that this is harmful to the web:

This domain will have a drastically detrimental effect on the Web. By partitioning the HTTP information space into parts designed for access from mobile access and parts designed (presumably) not for such access, an essential property of the Web is destroyed.

It is true that to to optimize the use of any device, an awareness on the part of the server allows it to customize the content and the whole layout of a site. However, the domain name is perhaps the worst possible way of communicating information about the device. Devices vary in many ways, including:

  • Network bandwidth at the time,
  • Screen size and resolution,
  • Intermittent or continuous connectivity,

and so on. While with the current technology, the phrase "Mobile" may equate roughly in many minds to "something like a cell phone", it is naive -- and pessimistic -- to imagine that this one style of device will be the combination that will endure for any length of time. Just as concepts such as the "Network PC" and the "Multimedia PC" which defined profiles of device capability were swept away in the onrush of technology, so will an attempt to divide devices, users and content into two groups.

Im with the W3C on this (surprise surprise), If you push thoughts of market domination, segregation and profit as motive for the proposal of .mobi what you're left with, outlined in the quote above, is still a dramatic argument against the .mobi TLD.