Producing images of the perfect size, when you create a Web site that targets multiple device classes with very different screen sizes is always a problem. There are a number of solutions out there, but they all require some kind of server-side detection and image wrangling. tinySrc is a nice and simple solution that takes away most if not all of the legwork. Possibly the only downside of tinySrc is that it relies on server-side detection itself. A lot of developers that worked with browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Opera advocate for client-side detection where it’s the browser that tells you about its capabilities instead of relying on a static database. I will not go into the details of why and when one is better than the other, let’s just say that tinySrc already gives you the power of the server-side, with my little software you can also benefit from the power of the client. Continue reading “Responsive images and tinySrc”
All this is great, but what about mobile devices?
Since release 0.9.0 W3 Total Cache has an excellent mobile support. The author has done a great job with this update and now it works smoothly. Different mobile plugins or themes might require some slightly settings, but the default should work for most cases.
Configuring WordPress Mobile Pack
Continue reading “Getting W3 Total Cache and a mobile plugin to work in WordPress”
If you are using WordPress for anything critical beyond your local football team, then you know that the use of a cache plugin is a must.
WP Super Cache is the best known cache plugin, if not the most famous plugin of all. Initially it did not play well with admins that also wanted a mobile presence and it is very simple to explain, the whole purpose of the cache is to generate the file dynamically once, store it and then serve it again without any further computation. As the years went by, mobile became more important and WP Super Cache integrated a basic mobile support. Recently donncha introduced a fundamental new feature, the ability for other plugins to define actions. I will not go into the details of how this works and what you can do, you can read all of it on the WordPress site.
Continue reading “Making Super Cache and mobile work well”
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.
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.
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.
Volantis had announced a few months ago that they would open-source their software. They later offered a binary download while making the final touches to the open-source version. Well today is the day they release the entire software to the community.
BIG step for a company that has sold the software for so many years.
Here is an e-mail I just received:
I wanted you to know that we have today released a version of the Framework, the Volantis Mobility Server, to the open source community under the GNU General Public License (GPL), version three.
Volantis is the first mobile content delivery solutions vendor to open source its code. In offering its Mobility Server to the community, Volantis aims to drive adoption and encourage more companies to bring usable and compelling content to the mobile Web.
“The Internet grew, in large part, because it was easy to develop for the Web. Not only were browsers relatively standardized, but the tools to create databases and complex systems are open and available,” said Volantis CEO Mark Watson. “Our goal is to bring that same openness to the mobile Web. Developing for this market is difficult thanks to the splintered phone market, which will only continue to diversify. Developers need an easy-to-use tool with a proven device library in order to help their creativity come alive.”
If you would like to receive a copy of the full press release please let me know. You can visit http://opensource.volantis.com to access the software and for further information and you can contact us via the community website or me individually at this address.
Volantis Systems Limited
Here is also a link to the official press release on their site.
Of course Volantis is also a partner of DeviceAtlas and we are working closely with them in order to integrate their great device database with ours so that developers can get the best of the best.
I know this has certainly circulated on the network a lot, but I think I need to pay my tribute to this as it’s really BIG, I think.
Here’s the official press release.
Why is this a PC motherboard and not a PDA?
Only now I read that a new version of Tera-WURFL has been released.
Steve, the author, finally feels confident to call it stable and I can tell you it’s been tested by many companies and has been running in its previous incarnations on my high-traffic sites.
Well done Steve!
You can read the changelog and download it from the official site, Tera-WURFL