Article: User Tracking, Sessions and Cookies

dotMobi just published a short article that I wrote that I think can be interesting for many. The article is an overview to navigation sessions and the usage of cookies to achieve it. One important part of sessions is also being able to track users so this is also mentioned in the article.

I think it’s an interesting article and should answer some of the questions that I have seen on wmlprogramming, mobiledesign and dev.mobi recur quite often. Maybe it’s because I wrote it, but I think it should be useful to many.

You can read it here, User Tracking, Sessions and Cookies

dotMobi’s mobile phone database, what is this?

You might have read the recent press release from dotMobi about the launch of a global mobile phone database. The press release also mentions that I have been appointed as Director of Device Initiatives and this means that I will be in charge of the project, starting from the design and down to the development and launch as a public service.
In the last few years I have made some good experience in device databases with WURFL and worked with some first class people in the W3C’s DDWG. dotMobi seemed like the perfect place to start a whole new adventure to create a new and innovative device database. I have all the experience of the open-source community and the will to make a first class product that can satisfy the small shops and the enterprises, dotMobi is the right place to try to achieve this huge task.

I joined less than a month ago and we are now in the most exciting phase of software development: collection of requirements and design. This is a very critical moment as we need to identify the meaningful use cases for the repository and then design our software and data structures so that they can satisfy the needs. In order to get started quickly, we reserved a meeting room in our Dublin offices, got coffee and cups for all, sat down and spent about 2 days talking about what the existing databases provide, how they are built, what they offer, what are the needs of the community of developers and designers and how we should build a new, revolutionary solution. We don’t want to re-invent the wheel, but we want to learn from past experiences and then try to make some steps forward. When the meeting started everyone had a number of ideas that did not really seem to work out very well with each other. I have to say that after two days drawing on a blackboard, talking, writing notes and sharing ideas, we have come to a very interesting solution. When the meeting started we had all these pieces that did not work very well, but after a lot of work, the dam was open and the river of ideas was flowing smoothly, every piece had found its place and the big picture had a very good shape.
We have now collected the requirements, we have defined the use cases and we are deep down in the design phase, this is the most exciting part of software development. We think that a mixture of Agile and XP programming is a perfect fit for this project, there are some functionalities that have been discussed only at a high level and that will be interesting to see them take a shape while the software grows.

Our desire is to make a few steps in the right direction and create new opportunity for developers, designers and companies in general. dotMobi is perfectly positioned as the company is all about mobile services. dev.mobi and ready.mobi are growing in popularity every day and the mobile phones database will be another quality tool offered to the community.
I am very excited about all the features we have thought so far and I am confident that most developers will be BLOWN AWAY by the software that we are going to build.

iPhone developers guidelines

Apple has posted the developers’ guidelines for content aimed to the iPhone.

It is good to see that they are telling developers to pay a lot of attention to the fact that the device is not a desktop PC and despite the fact that it supports web standards such as HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.0, it still has some constraints like missing a mouse and a small screen.
I also appreciate very much the strong suggestion of sticking to the standards, you really want to keep things simple for the iPhone to process and using weird tags or strange constructs in your markup is not a good way to make the browser’s life easy.

Go ahead, get started with the development, as soon as you’re done reading Optimizing Web Applications and Content for iPhone.