Thursday, August 21, 2008

Qantas iPhone Mobile Web Site

Qantas have created a subset of its web site for mobile phone users called "Qantas WAP". This provides Timetable, Arrivals, Departures, Contacts and an email address for Feedback. According to ITWire (iPhone popularity with tailored website, Stephen Withers 19 August 2008) the pages have been tailored to suit the iPhone 3G (and you can see the iPhone version using developer features in Apple desktop Safari browser), with versions for BlackBerry and other smartphone to follow. However, I found it works fine in the Firefox and Opera desktop browsers.

Qantas provide a simplified web page to suit mobile devices, even to a desktop browser. This can be useful as web pages designed for mobile devices tend to be faster to load and easier to read. The pages are coded in XHTML Mobile 1.0, a cut down version of HTML (associated with WAP 2). The mobile version seems to be being provided by Telstra, with references to Telstra's mobile portal appearing occasionally.

It looks like the developers have taken the sensible path of creating a general purpose mobile web interface, rather than one heavily customised for different smartphones. The code includes access keys, so pressing "3" on a phone will select the third option on the menu for "departures". But the menu is in the form of a table, not a numbered list, so the user would be unlikely to know they could press 3. This looks like a very early and tentative attempt at a mobile interface, of the sort a second year university student might do on their first attempt. The page failed both W3C Validation (66 errors) and W3C Mobile OK tests (5 errors).



Code for the page:
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//WAPFORUM//DTD XHTML Mobile 1.0//EN" "">
<html xmlns="">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
<title>Qantas WAP</title>
<body link="#990000" alink="#990000" vlink="#990000" text="#000000">
<table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="3" bgcolor="#FFFFFF">
<td bgcolor="#990000"><img src="/img/wap/logo_qantas.gif" width="109" height="32"></td>
<table border="0" width="100%" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">
<td><img src="/img/wap/icon_tail.gif" border="0" hspace="3"> <a href="/flightinfo/do/dyn/SchedWAP?imode=true" accesskey="1"><font size="3">Timetable</font></a></td>
<td><img src="/img/wap/icon_tail.gif" border="0" hspace="3"> <a href="/flightinfo/dyn/wap/search_arrivals" accesskey="2"><font size="3">Arrivals</font></a></td>
<td><img src="/img/wap/icon_tail.gif" border="0" hspace="3"> <a href="/flightinfo/dyn/wap/search_departures" accesskey="3"><font size="3">Departures</font></a></td>
<td><img src="/img/wap/icon_tail.gif" border="0" hspace="3"> <a href="/flightinfo/dyn/wap/contacts" accesskey="4"><font size="3">Contacts</font></a></td>
<td><img src="/img/wap/icon_tail.gif" border="0" hspace="3"> <a href="" accesskey="5"> <font size="3">Feedback</font></a></td>
<table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0">
<td bgcolor="#990000">&nbsp;<img src="/img/wap/icon_backarrows.gif" border="0" width="15" height="19">&nbsp;<a href=""><font color="#FFFFFF">Home</font></a></td>

<!-- SiteCatalyst code version: G.7. Copyright 1997-2004 Omniture, Inc. More info available at v1.1 Shub 14/09/06 -->
<img src=" - Qantas WAP - Home" alt="" />
<!-- End SiteCatalyst code version: G.7. -->

The page failed a W3C mobileOK Checker [Beta], but this might be due to limitations in the test, not the page:

NB: Note that this service is very experimental: it is based on a beta-released library, and based on a non-yet stabilized version of W3C mobileOK Basic. Please get involved to help improve this service!

Evaluating with mobileOK Basic gives the following results:

This page is not mobileOK Basic!


  1. Error Tests failed: 5 / 25
  2. Info Tests passed: 20 / 25
  3. Warning Warnings: 3

The page failed W3C Validation: with 66 errors. These appear to be real errors due to the use of incorrect markup in the page:

Errors found while checking this document as XHTML Mobile Profile 1.0!

Result: 66 Errors
: iso-8859-1
: XHTML Mobile Profile 1.0
Root Element: html
Root Namespace:

Help on the options is available.

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Validation Output: 66 Errors

Error Line 8, Column 11: there is no attribute "link".
"#990000" alink="#990000" vlink="#990000" text="#000000"> ...

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