According to Lukas Hasik, Sun’s Mobility Pack 6.0 now uses WURFL to determine device capabilities. Lukas wrote about the new release of Mobility Pack citing that many developers wanted to get more information about devices. Thanks to WURFL they are now able to dig in and see device information.
Nokia recently (May 29, 2007) released Version 1.0 of a document describing the guidelines to develop Mobile Web sites specific for their devices, of course. The document is specifically aimed to developers and authors that want to target the most recent and advanced mobile browsers, based on Apple’s Webkit. The document is called “Nokia Web Browser Design Guide” and you can download it for free (after registering) from Forum Nokia.
Thanks to Nacho I just found out that there’s a case study [PDF] published by dotMobi about the creation of a mobile site for 3 using WURFL.
The site was created by Future Platforms and I had even read a post by Tom Hume about this, but did not realize they used WURFL (and that it was named in the document).
BeeWeeb Technologies, an Italian software-house (does anybody still use this term?), has recently launched the first version of a new software called “Mobile Web Toolkit“.
The Mobile Web Toolkit is more a technology and a set of tools rather than a simple software. The technology is the result of a few years of experience developing software for mobile devices and for mobile operators, it is a technology to produce a layout that is mobile-friendly from content that was meant for desktop browsers.
Its current incarnation, and only open-source, is a plug-in for WordPress, but BeeWeeb has promised to release more plug-ins and libraries. The open-source version is based on WURFL, but reading the FAQ I think they also mean to provide tools to carriers and that will be based on a proprietary technology that might, later, be integrated with WURFL.
I also spotted a web-version of a presentation they made on the Mobile Web Toolkit that also adds some info about the technology in general and their plans to release more software in the near future.
SourceForge has eventually restarted showing statistics of the CVS usage. I think a couple of years have gone since the last time this worked.
Now it’s back. Take a look at the last two months.
One of our loyal users of WURFL and wmlprogramming posted on the mailing list a reference to a new developer tool provided by Ericsson (not Sony Ericsson!) to produce mobile-optimized web pages.
Quoting from the site:
The Mobile JSF (JavaServer Faces) Kit consists of the MobileFaces core library, a developer’s guide and sample applications to help Java EE developers to rapidly develop internet mobile applications.
The library comes with a complete documentation describing how to install and use and even an expected timeframe to learn JSF and the toolkit. Very nice.
Modules are also supported and they already released an extra template module for dotMobi compliant pages and CHTML (i-mode).
What I think is a great news for WURFL is that they decided to use our little project as the foundation to build their own implementation.
The documentation goes down into the details of how to download the XML, the Java API, install and configure.
Quoting from Chapter 4.4:
You can determine a lot of device features from the request head. But it is still restricted. For example, you cannot determine the screen size from the request head. Is there any better solution for the device feature source in the industry?
WURFL is such an industry solution for the device feature source.
If you like JSF and want to start a mobile project, this library is probably a good place to go, download and have something already done to use as a foundation.
A bit more than 2 months have passed since the last public release of WURFL (Nov, 16 2006: WURFL 2.0.3 is ready).
I originally hoped to be able to make a new release every month or so, but Christmas and new Year were in the middle. Also, we always have so many great contributions that it’s hard to say “STOP, we make a release and then we can restart collecting data”.
So WURFL keeps growing, our community of users and contributors keeps growing and keep getting better and better. We have almost reached 2000 unique devices (1984) and passed 9600 unique user-agents. I can tell you from now that I already have a queue of updates and that our run for the coverage of all the mobile devices won’t stop.
If you are serious about web browsers too, you should not forget to check out the web patch. There are some updates in CVS, see here: WURFL web browser patch (please use the CVS client as the web interface is very good to check logs, but not as good to download big text files).
So go ahead and download WURFL 2.0.4 (zipped is easier).
I have written in the past about a job posting in which WURFL was a reason of preference (you can read about it in WURFL means real money).
Now James Pearce, the new CTO of mTLD, has posted a message on the developers’ site blog. .mobi is seeking developers that know WURFL, that have experience with adaptation, mobile sites and have done something outstanding.
If you think you fit or are interested in working with .mobi, you should check out this post, Technical genius sought.
It all started from a Google Alerts, I found a post about a small DB like WURFL, but specific for Flash Lite, the author called it “Flash Lite UAProfile“. From there I got on a blog that linked to a video on YouTube, of course, that shows how you can use Flash Lite to personalize your mobile phone. Flash Lite is used to make the animations and I have to say that while I generally stick to the default themes on the phone, these are really interesting. Simple animations that can make your phone a little bit more “alive”.
NOTICE: While the database has ‘UAProfile’ in the name it’s not a UAProf; while the author names WURFL, it’s not compatible with WURFL.
If you are a content provider you should start considering a bit more the Themes topic. Themes have been available on mobile phones for a long time, but not many content providers sell them. It’s because all the phones user their own standard, all the phones have a different screen size and probably don’t seem so attractive as ringtones.
I can understand that today, with the integrated cameras, most users prefer to take a picture and use it as a wallpaper, but they can’t make animations and of course can’t make a theme out of an image. This is a good example of something else that can be done to make a mobile phone unique.
Last night I was literally hypnotized by a very simple script (AJAX?) that refreshes every few seconds. I was browsing around and got on AdMob‘s site and immediately was captured but the device names on the right. I kept reading device names, countries and mobile operators for quite a few minutes… Yes, I know, I’m sick! 🙂
I just love these features, I can’t get away from them.
In a similar effort and only for the happiness of my eyes, I recently added a feature that is totally useless, but makes me giggle every time I see it.
Every time someone visits t.wurfl.com the user-agent is recorded in a database. It is possible to query the user-agents and see the values captured through another webpage. Well, I have added device thumbnails just to entertain myself, of course. If you wanted to see the last 10 Sony Ericsson devices that visited the site, for example, you will see the nice thumbnails.
All this was developed using free software, of course. WURFL, Tera-WURFL and the device pictures that the community has collected. Device thumbnails were developed this Sunday, instead of going out, seeing people and having some real relationship with human beings…