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RFC: Browsing PerlMonks on the iPhone

by kimmel (Beadle)
on May 26, 2012 at 19:10 UTC ( #972642=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Testing Opera and Android browsers is easy because emulators are provided on Linux. The iPhone emulator only runs on MacOS X so I have had to look at online emulators for testing. In addition, I have never owned or used an iPhone so I have no baseline of comparison for what should and should not function properly.

I tried iphone4simulator dot com first. Here is a portrait and landscape of the current PM. Looks normal enough so far, then I tried /bare/ and that is when the breakage appears. In both portrait bare and landscape bare mode the page background is grey instead of white. I am pretty sure this is an emulator bug because the other one I tried did not have this issue.

testiphone dot com is the other site I tried. It only does only portrait mode but the portrait bare version works fine. Now with this inconsistent behavior and no access to an iPhone I am asking the monks at large for help answering the following questions:

  • Does PM on the iPhone look like either of the emulators' screen shots?
  • Does the iPhone always start a web page zoomed in ?
  • Are there any better iphone emulators to try out?

Comment on RFC: Browsing PerlMonks on the iPhone
Re: RFC: Browsing PerlMonks on the iPhone
by Anonymous Monk on May 27, 2012 at 02:11 UTC

    1. Why are you targeting phones for your first test cases of a PM redesign?
      • What data and/or member feedback indicates a desire for a PM mobile redesign?
    2. Are you intending on presenting desktop solutions for Firefox/Chrome?
    3. Assuming a positive response to your redesign, what is the roadmap to implementation?
    4. Is there going to be any HTML/CSS with these designs you are presenting or will it be left up to others in PMDev to translate the images to markup?

    I'm just trying to give you a heads up on a few things I think you should be considering. I'm still not sure attacking this redesign on phones is going to be very fruitful. Even if this /was/ something monks were strongly in favor of, you may want to show a few more phone resolutions for the Android.

    Good luck

      Why are you targeting phones for your first test cases of a PM redesign?

      Because that is where his interest lies, and he is funding this redesign

      Is there going to be any HTML/CSS with ....

      Well if you're interested you can find the html version right next to the screenshots

      I'm just trying to give you a heads up

      Here is a heads-up for you: PerlMonks site design, RFC: Current PerlMonks page rendering, PM redesign: status update

      Why are you targeting phones for your first test cases of a PM redesign?
      What data and/or member feedback indicates a desire for a PM mobile redesign?
      Are you intending on presenting desktop solutions for Firefox/Chrome?

      When I first posted PerlMonks site design I listed my intent in a few clear points (emphasis added)
      1. Tableless layout
      2. Responsive on cellphones and other small screen devices.
      3. Less visual clutter
      I am not changing the color scheme or the layout so it looks the same as it does now.

      So to answer you questions the desktop version of the site looks just like it does now and the mobile experience gets a face lift. Mobile is the fastest growing segment of the browsing market and they already sell more smart phones than desktop pcs. According to some reports the percentage of worldwide traffice done on mobile devices current sits at 10%. Now looking at the feedback I have received so far and doing some background searching of PM the most common thing I hear is "I do not use PM on a mobile device, therefore a mobile site is not needed" which is just anecdotal evidence and wrong. Ignoring the importance of the growing mobile market and its users is like saying "This Internet thing is just a fad" back in the 1990s. If the potential for 1 out of 10 users is on a mobile device then why shouldn't we support a new mobile experience?

      Assuming a positive response to your redesign, what is the roadmap to implementation?
      Is there going to be any HTML/CSS with these designs you are presenting or will it be left up to others in PMDev to translate the images to markup?

      As I finish parts of the design I am updating my PerlMonks redesign github repo. I already have HTML, CSS, Javascript and screenshots uploaded. I have not asked or implied that the pmdevs or the gods build this design for me. If they are willing I will do all the code editing myself.

      I'm still not sure attacking this redesign on phones is going to be very fruitful. Even if this /was/ something monks were strongly in favor of, you may want to show a few more phone resolutions for the Android.

      To address the need of phone users I will just point out the reoccurring talk about Perlmonks SmartPhone App and perlmonks iphone app as well as others that can be found via super search. This is a responsive, mobile first design. Meaning it looks the same on mobile devices under 600px wide resolutions.

        I use my iPhone a lot for browsing, nav, various apps, plus the usual email and things, and occasionally make phone calls with it. I don't read PM on it. The main reason for that is that it doesn't run Perl, and Apple won't let you make apps that run code. I mostly read PM when I'm in front of a regular computer with a real display and keyboard.

        I will admit to reading technical docs on it reasonably often, and even learned how to make Wordpress widgets while sitting in a club in LA waiting for a band to come on. It's good for reading static docs like that, but PM tends to depend more on the ability to do some coding on the fly while reading it (which is possible, though inconvenient, using a terminal app). The iPad (just got one, as I got pulled into ebook publishing) is sort of more convenient for reading docs, but it suffers the same walled garden problem-- it's basically just a big iPhone that doesn't make phone calls and won't run arbitrary code.

        If it exists though, I'll probably end up using it. It would be useful if it's flexible enough to display reasonably on an e-reader. I can imagine wanting to read something on PM and using a kindle for it, just to have the extra screen real estate.

Re: RFC: Browsing PerlMonks on the iPhone
by Argel (Prior) on May 29, 2012 at 22:40 UTC
    Based on my 3GS running iOS 5.1, all of your screenshots are way too zoomed in (update: would be more accurate to say the text is much larger than on my iPhone). And no weird gray background issues like you have for 'bare' mode. FYI, portrait mode seems barely useable due to the small text, while landscape mode is much more readable (normal or bare). As a side note, I had to use http://www.perlmonks.org/bare -- without the 'www' I was served the normal version.

    Update: PM looks fine on an iPad2, especially in landscape mode.

    Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks
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Reaped: Re: RFC: Browsing PerlMonks on the iPhone
by NodeReaper (Curate) on Jun 02, 2012 at 03:15 UTC
Reaped: Re: RFC: Browsing PerlMonks on the iPhone
by NodeReaper (Curate) on Jun 02, 2012 at 12:58 UTC
Re: RFC: Browsing PerlMonks on the iPhone
by frozenwithjoy (Curate) on Jul 11, 2012 at 19:58 UTC
    I've uploaded screenshots of PM's front page on my iPhone 4S and 'new' iPad in landscape/portrait modes for both default and bare. This is before any manual zooming or scrolling. Let me know if any other pages would be helpful.

    P.S. One of my fantasies is an Alien Blue-type app for PM. That'd be hot, but likely quite an endeavor.

    edit: I've added screenshots for anon mode as well. I only added default, not bare, since in anon mode they seem to be exactly the same. (Is this intended?)

      Um... What do I have to do to get the images to display? (Looking at page source, it seems as though some JSP/PHP/something-server-side is being fed straight through rather than executed.)

        I changed the default viewer mode. Click on the link again and let me know if that helps. If not, what do you see?

        edit: nm, you can just go to kimmel's github!

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