Website: Walter Gregg

On this page: Main Content. What's Wrong?. Other Reports?. Reported?. Status?. Links. Test links.

The old W3C MobileOK Checker is No Longer Available

December 2016. The old W3C MobileOK Checker has been taken off line. It was still available until recently but wrongly claimed that virtually all HTTPS sites had invalid certificates. Evidently the W3C decided it not worth fixing. This page is here only as a record of some of its difficulties.

What was wrong?

For most linked to HTTPS sites the checker wrongly reported that

Testing this page on the old mobileOK checker reported the 'certificate is invalid' error for eight or nine of twelve formerly live HTTPS links below. (w3 2016b). It also usually reported that 'the certificate does not match the requested URI' for at least one of them. But which ones? It was different every time you ran the test. There didn't seem to be any predictable pattern.

Other Reports?

Others had noticed that there was an issue (Al-Anon 2015; Venerated 2015). (The referenced Al-Anon page had a footnote remarking that the W3C mobileOK Checker might only give a 65% grade because of 'invalid certificates of links'.)


I was able to report this to the machine secretary, but it wasn't delivering any messages to humans. I then tried to report it to the secretary's supervising machine, but it wouldn't take my report because it wouldn't trust humans. I did NOT make this up:

  1. October 30, 2015. I reported the issue to the machine secretary, and it did show up in the reading file (Gregg 2015). But the secretary clearly wasn't delivering messages to humans. Every month or two there was an inquiry from someone having trouble, but never a human reply.
  2. November 7, 2015. I tried to report the issue to the secretary's supervising machine. It did create an account for me. But then it refused to let me log in, mumbling that 'Buzilla is unable to trust your request'. This is apparently not an altogether uncommon issue with Bugzilla in general. (Google search 2016.)


As noted, the old mobileOK checker has finally been taken offline.

  1. October 6, 2012. The very last fix to any reported bug. With but one exception, newer bugs haven't even been marked as verified, invalid, won't fix, and so forth (w3 2016c).
  2. December 2010. The Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group closed (w3 2010).
  3. December 31, 2009. Funding ended, according to the MobiWeb2.0 project final report (w3 2009).


Test Links

Dec. 2016. This was a set of 12 live HTTPS links to various sites as a test, so that when the old mobileOK checker was run on this page, up cropped the wildly unpredictable HTTPS errors.

The checker reported errors on the 12 HTTPS links below. They all opened fine locally, even in the Kindle paperwhite's appallingly limited browser. And the certificate details appeared to be in perfect order. The errors were quite unpredictable.

  1. On one try, no error was reported for wikipedia, startpage, or duckduckgo; but the certificate for was said to not match the URL; and all others reported an invalid certificate.
  2. On another try, with no change to the source document, no error was reported for startpage or; the certificate for was said to not match the URL; and all others reported an invalid certificate.

It would have been nice if there was someone home at the W3C to deal with this and simply shut off the certificate warnings. But their choice was to shut off the validator entirely. Here are the test https links, but they're no longer live:


, The old W3C MobileOK Checker is No Longer Available (Dec. 2016) (available at .) © W. Gregg 2016; /licenses /by-nc-nd /4.0.

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