[pmwiki-users] Web for mobiles -- Apple sold over 1 million iPhones last weekend...

kirpi at kirpi.it kirpi at kirpi.it
Mon Jul 14 14:43:06 CDT 2008

It is today's news that Apple seems to have sold over one million
iPhones within this last weekend.[1]
Web for mobiles (and pocket-size devices in general) is every day
closer or, at least, not too far.

According to many people I heard and read from, the vast majority of
web-enabled mobile phones and PDA provide, as of today, poor support
to existing "standard" sites. Instead, there are some browsers like
Opera Mini http://www.operamini.com/demo/ or some devices like Apple
iPhone http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/ which perform
astonishingly well.
Even so, the default www.pmwiki.org home page appears quite inadequate
as you test it in Opera Mini http://www.operamini.com/demo/ (please
have a try!) and here is why I wonder whether we can do better.

I suggest that we:

  - Add a "mobile" command next to the "print" one. I do not see any
reason why we should have a customized "experience" for printing
devices and should not, instead, for mobile devices. Conceptually, it
is just the same. As a matter of fact the
[[{*$Name}?action=mobile|mobile]] link could then be "echoed"/copied
manually to any other part of the site at will.

  - Provide a %nomobile% (and/or >>nomobile<<) markup in order to
exclude certain parts of the page which we deem not appropriate for
mobiles. As an example, in the pmwiki.org homepage the advertising
inside the sidebar could be marked
     (:ad adsense-1:)
thus excluding it from the mobile view. Such a way to tag parts of the
page to be stripped off in a particular view is consistent with
similar markup in the wiki, like (:if action browse:)(:ifend:) and

Now, attempting to provide a proof of concept to the community, I made
a copy of the /print/ folder within the pmwiki skin[2], named it
/mobile/ and changed every occurrence of the "print" string with
"mobile" (observing the right case, also) anywhere. I hoped to have an
?action=mobile available to start testing, but I failed miserably;
perhaps the engine is more complicated than I can handle.
Nevertheless, I feel that this road could easily lead to some
positive, working results. And, most probably, with not much effort at
all (if one knows how the system works).

Once enabled, it should be rather trivial to obtain results similar to
this working example[3] http://www.kirpi.it/176/index.xhtml (to be
seen in a narrowed browser window.

Does anybody know how to (correctly) enable an ?action=mobile command
which invokes a /mobile/ skin the same way ?action=print does, please?



[1] http://news.google.com/news?ned=us&hl=en&ned=us&q=iphone+weekend+million
[2] For obvious reasons, one of which is that any development should
be done at the standard level, the skin of choice is the "pmwiki" one,
I guess.
[3] This example is provided as a template to study and start from by
the .mobi domain site.

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