After many hours of work spread over a couple of months, I have finally released the first version of the Nokia Mobile Theme on drupal.org.
The theme is really a theme on steroids! While normally it should just deal with printing out to screen a few tags and content, in my case I had to add a number of functions for device detection. We wanted to be able to distinguish between a basic mobile device and a high-end one, plus we laid down the foundations for a mid-end presentation. Since the Mobile Plugin did not provide the level of detail that I needed, I had to create my own functions that at this stage are mostly overriding what the plugin does. A lot of the experience made with the WordPress Mobile Pack was put to good use, fortunately.
You can check out the official project page to download the files. Also, check out the handbook page for installation details and if you feel too lazy to read, why not look at the video tutorial?
The work is not over, the plugin is good, but I think it could do better and for this reason I’ve teamed up with the author, Teemu, and we will release some interesting updates such as a new light detection and some extra extensibility that should allow template designers to have more freedom.
Feedback is very welcome, of course, either here or on the Drupal site.
In an effort to show what you can achieve with the nokia_mobile theme that (hopefully) will be released shortly, I set up a small demo site with some dummy content. You can visit the site with your mobile device at dtest.dreamhosters.com. Don’t hold your breath, it’s dummy content, but the device detection and how the theme adapts based on the device capabilities should be evident.
The Mobile Plugin normally uses a PHP implementation of the WURFL API, unfortunately on a cheap hosting service (I bought dreamhost’s CHEAPEST possible offer on purpose) this crashes the server. So for this demo I started implementing what is in my view the next step, a very basic device detection that will enable site owners to decide what they want to do. If they have a lot of content optimised for different devices, they should pick WURFL and use the advanced rules settings available in the plugin, on the other hand, if they want a basic detetion and provide just two or three layouts, a simple detection should be more than enough. With the current demo version, no cache files are generated and the detection is instant. I would like to make this part of Mobile Plugin, eventually and better integrate the device classification that I built in the nokia_mobile theme.
More on device classification in the next days.
Nokia has always had great resources for developers and designers and I am very pleased to note that they keep being ahead of the competition. Forum Nokia recently released some nice templates to help inspire designers and also make it easier for new comers to get started. This is all great, but what about the site owners? Creating a mobile presentation for their sites isn’t THAT easy. So, which are the most popular Open Source CMS platforms? Easily said, Drupal and WordPress.
Here I am today showing you a fully functional preview of a nice mobile theme that I designed based on the official Nokia templates. It comes with two design implementations one for low-end devices (will work on all Nokia devices, but should be good for any XHTML-capable browser) and one for high-end devices such a Series 60 (Symbian) and Maemo, but also iPhone, Palm Pre and Android – all running webKit!
Also, we have provided buttons and images in 4 different colours so you can personalise your design easily via the standard theme configuration menus.
The theme relies on an existing Drupal module called Mobile Plugin, so you will need to isntall that along with the plugin.
What should you do with this theme? Well, if you are lazy and all you want is to turn your Drupal site into a mobile-friendly site, just install the plugin and the theme and all your mobile visitors should be very pleased. On the other hand, if you agree with me that mobile is the future and that it’s the most exciting thing happening in technology today, what you should do is download the templates and see how you can further extend the theme and make it better and more the way you like it.
The project is Open Source and should very soon appear on drupal.org, so you are more than welcome to send feedback and improvements. In the meantime you can download a preview.
PS: If you use WordPress you might want to take a look at the WordPress Mobile Pack that has just implemented the same templates!
DISCLAIMER: This project was kindly sponsored by Forum Nokia
UPDATE: link to the preview has been removed, see the official project page for the final release.