It is very common that over the years something gets more and more cluttered, until at some point someone comes in and decides it’s time to clean up and start fresh, based on current and up-to-date needs. User-Agent strings, part of the HTTP request headers, are no different and between desktop and mobile browsers, the history is long and the amount of text (some might say useless text) has just kept growing. I am going to try and write down what is important today and why.
I felt like my little site to see a browser’s HTTP request headers, logme.mobi, would at some point die and that is why I have not updated it in months. The reality is much brighter and while I see crawlers visiting every other day (don’t care about those very much and I’m sure they do not care about the service!), I also see mobile devices and strange User-Agents coming every day. This is of course a good sign, a proof that it is useful to some and even if it’s very simple in concept it’s good that it is being used.
For this reason I have spent half an hour today to make a small change that I think can be very useful. Up until yesterday I showed the headers as PHP stores them which was probably OK, but less than perfect as PHP uses its own header names and changes everything to uppercase. Using a simple function (apache_request_headers) I have now changed to the actualy names as received by Apache. This is probably a change that will not make a huge difference to the most, but it’s a valuable improvement to some. I have some other improvement on my mind, but I need to install some software and unfortunately I don’t have time, but expect something soon.
I also removed the officially-dead-for-quite-a-while list of tests. I originally created them thinking of using them as a test suite for browsers and mobile devices and wanted to store results in a database. Eventually and thankfully, dotMobi came in and we developed a nice site for testing that is fully integrated with DeviceAtlas and so now I’m linking that site, if you want to run any tests (see the online docs for TA-DA). Remember that in order to login you will need valid mobiForge/DeviceAtlas credentials; on the up-side, all your tests results are stored with your profile.
I’m very pleased of reading a 2-parts article by Bryan Rieger. He has done a very good job with a WordPress plug-in to make his company site, yiibu.mobi, good for mobiles.
Not only he has done a very good analysis of the problem, but also provided for free a WordPress module called MIRF. Installation instructions are available on the site.
I always run Rescuetime in the background, even though I have to admit I don’t check it so often (anymore).
It was interesting to see that the week before the DeviceAtlas 2.0 release my efficiency was very high. See here:
It should be noted that normally during the day I spend some time developing and some time writing specs, talking to colleagues, on the phone and so on, but of course, just before the release it was all about development.
Within the DeviceAtlas team, on Monday 29th September, we worked an average of 11 hours and 30 minutes, plus the what the designers worked, that is probably about the same. What a team!!
My first video online is about DeviceAtlas, of course!
Introducing the new DeviceAtlas Data Explorer