At Mobile World Congress, we announced Ringmark, a browser test suite for building apps on the mobile web. We've received overwhelming feedback and interest in helping us build Ringmark in order to make the mobile web better.
Today, we're excited to announce that we are open sourcing Ringmark so that anyone can contribute tests.
Very soon, we will also contribute Ringmark tests to the Core Mobile Web Platform Community Group in the W3C. Our hope is that that Ringmark becomes the canonical test suite for the group, with tests for the specs the specs and feedback of the group baked into Ringmark itself.
You can view the code immediately by going to the GitHub repo at https://github.com/coremob/ and the tests at https://github.com/facebook/coremob-tests. Start to contribute by joining the Group discussions around the specifications.
It's important to note that this is just a starting point. We fully expect the rings to evolve as the group makes progress.
This is the beginning of a process, starting with open sourcing the tests. As we continue to build, we'll continue to open source even more of this work.
Before we dive into the details of Ringmark, we'd like to share some perspective on why this is important for us at Facebook - and more importantly to our developers.
Ultimately, we believe that web technologies are important to the future of mobile and that we can help to make HTML5 a well-supported platform for mobile developers to build upon. For those that are building with the web today, it's a major hurdle to learn native technologies like Objective-C and Java--we hope that an improved mobile web can unlock a large contingency of developers that could, and will, be developing for mobile.
At Facebook, we work with hundreds of mobile developers, including all of our Platform launch partners and we know the web remains a vital target for many of you.
We learned a lot from these discussions. Most importantly, we learned that 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.
Ringmark and the Core Mobile Web Platform Community Group are designed to address this problem head-on.
The W3C Community Group includes the perspectives of app developers, browser vendors, OEMs, and carriers — all of the necessary ingredients to help make the mobile web better and raise awareness of our challenges.
Ringmark is designed to be the canonical testing suite for those mobile web browser capabilities. It will help developers know, in a glimpse, whether their app can or cannot run on any given mobile browser. It will help mobile browser vendors build browsers that better serve developer needs and bring better apps and games to consumers.
For example, when a developer hears of a new device running a Ring 1 browser, they'll immediately understand that 2D games, audio, video, and camera apps can be built on that device.
We believe that Ringmark and the ring methodology bring an empirical tangibility to what HTML5 means on mobile devices.
The W3C Community Group will now be selecting, augmenting and prioritizing the tests received via Ringmark. As those decisions are made, Ringmark will evolve to reflect the latest recommendations of the Community Group. In the spirit of making progress quickly, this initial version of Ringmark reflects our best attempt at this prioritization.
The test suite is focused on enabling the mobile web to be a viable platform for mobile web apps. It's also important to outline what this initial version of Ringmark is not focused on. Operating system utility functionality, telephony, and niche apps like flashlight apps or battery monitoring apps are examples which are currently out of scope.
We want the mobile web to be a viable platform for app developers to build upon. So let's move fast, keep our focus, and deliver on that mission.
Get involved by contributing to the GitHub Ringmark repository and by joining the W3C Community Group. Have you run Ringmark in a mobile web browser? Spread the word about rng.io and post a photo to the Ringmark Facebook Page or tweet using the hashtag #ringmark.
UPDATE:As a follow up, we've posted detailed information about the methodology and Rings. You can read about it in the post "The Methodology Behind Ringmark".