At Mobile World Congress, Facebook announced Ringmark, a browser test suite for building apps on the mobile web. Today, the company announced that it was open sourcing Ringmark, so that anyone can contribute tests. By making ringmark open source, Facebook just did a really good thing for mobile app developers. The goal of these tests is to help developers develop mobile apps that run better in mobile browsers using the Web’s next generation browser tech, HTML5.
Today, developers, have to create a version and a different app for each device iPhone, Android and Windows. While this is fine for Apple, Google and Microsoft as they not only get their online stores filled up but get a cut of the work done by the developers, this tends to make thing more time consuming. HTML5 promises to give mobile apps another option. Apps will run in a mobile browser, not directly on the device. Because all mobile browsers are not all the same, and because HTML5 is very young and still in flux, it’s hard for developers to verify theirs app will run properly in all browsers on all devices.
"The mobile web has great potential, but still needs a lot of work. One of the most frustrating problems was that of fragmentation in mobile browser capabilities and of understanding what’s possible on any given mobile browser," Facebook’s Matt Kelly wrote in a blog post.
That’s where Ringmark comes in. It lets app makers see how their HTML5 app is working on all different types of browsers. It also lets the browser makers (Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, Opera and of course Google ) how to beef up their browsers to bring better Web apps to mobile users.
Do you think this is a good push to move the web forward by Facebook? Leave us your comments…