back to article IBM boffins unfurl mobile browser reading map

Mobile web browsing is indisputably a tech on the rise, but cruising the internet while clutching a tiny handheld remains a far more frustrating endeavor than on a traditional PC. A team of IBM researchers in Japan are tinkering with a technology that could possibly help ease the endless scrolling, pinching, and tapping …


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Couldn't we just come up with an "order=" attribute for DIV's? That way you could specify the order the elements should be stacked in order to render a page in a sensible manner as a vertical list.

And before anyone decides to try to patent that - it's mine!


Good! - But why with an East-Asian speakl?

No further comment.

Hope, the reading map does not mess 'L' and 'R'!

Silver badge

The internet isn't designed for screens

Perhaps websites are.

If you want to be pedantic, the Internet was designed to move data. Screens mean nothing. Even email does not imply screens (or internet fro that matter).

Anonymous Coward

Unfurling of CSS, I mean "reading map"

Seems like their talking about structuring CSS for optimal display and accessibility. Nothing new here.



CSS has the capability to specify the media type so you can apply different layout rules for "handheld" and "screen" media types, amongst others. It's a shame many mobile browsers don't support that. So you do what Facebook did and create a mobile website at a different url ( If you really wanted to, you could try and detect mobile users and redirect them to the mobile version of your website. You could look at the user agent or peak at the screen size via js.

Bronze badge

Reinventing a wheel

Sounds like they're reinventing the wheel of additional accessibility aids, which have in fact been standard since HTML 4 / XHTML 1 in 1997/8.

Those never worked, because they relied on web deezyners to be proactive, and more importantly because they were never supported in mass-market web authoring tools.

The difficult task facing these "boffins" is one boffins are not always successful at: namely persuading everyone else to adopt an idea.

[comment inspired by Chris Dickens above, suggesting reinventing a wheel I instantly recognised from my own work developing web accessibility tools ( ) and in two relevant W3C working groups].

Gold badge

How it will really work.

1) This simple and easy to use method of helpfully organising web page read flow takes off and loads of devices start to support it.

2) Greedy bastard web admins cover their screens with virtual arrows pointing at the ads to generate more views / clicks / anglo-saxon words from adblock+ users.

3) World + dog curses and switches off "page flow assist" (or whatever) in their browsers.

4) The technology dies.

5) Someone invents a new way of handling web pages on small screens which is simple for web admins to implement.

6) GOTO 1


Rubbish idea by IBM

Overly complex we need to use the existing technologies. Being a small home run website I use the user agent and within the php select the mobile template. The mobile template consists of no graphics and simple layouts. Links instead of buttons etc.

Far too many websites are graphics hungry or fixed like the BBC webpage.

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