“I’ve never understood the need for .mobi, my mobile site is doing fine with a .com domain.”
Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the Web, is none too keen on dotMOBI.
Berners-Lee — who also is the director of the W3C consortium and a senior research scientist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — argued that adding domain names indiscriminately is not the best way to insure the Web can scale up and out.
Berners-Lee also questioned the grounds for a .mobi mobile domain. The .mobi has the backing of Nokia, Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and others.
Even though there is a need for more content that can be browsable from PDAs and cell phones, a separate domain isn’t the way to achieve this, Berners-Lee said.
“What happens when you run .mobi (content) on a laptop?” he asked. “It’s a mess.”
Another problem: The definition of “mobile” is constantly changing, Berners-Lee said. “What’s a ‘small’ screen? What’s ‘low’ bandwidth? It changes second-by-second and year-by-year.”
There are better solutions for encouraging the growth of mobile Web content, such as designating a mobile search portal as a preferred port of entry, he claimed.
Berners-Lee isn’t totally dead-set against expanding domain names. He said he sees some cases where it would make sense, such as with telephone numbers and/or latitude and longitude data.
If new-domain proposals move forward, Berners-Lee said they should be administered by a nonprofit; be technically sound (and not break the Web); and not be a simple money-grab scheme.