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Mobile template
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dogs and things
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Joined: 18 Nov 2008

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Location: Spain


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:15 pm 
Post subject: Mobile template

Hi,

During the last week I have been working on a mobile template for my board.

I now have a first start that is working nicely.

So far I have a very basic thing with very limited functionality.

Users can login/out, view the index, view forums, view topics, post topics, reply in topics, preview posts/topics, quote and edit posts.

I also managed to make the keepunread flags and the auto image resizer working.

My next goals are the searchresults pages and the private message part.

I have been looking around for resources on mobile web styling and it seems to be rather limited, although I found some nice things.

Another nice function I added is the fact that when user visits the board from a mobile device the mobile version will open automatically.

Anybody else been doing work in this area?

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dogs and things
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:25 am 
Post subject: Re: Mobile template

For those of you interested in seeing how their board/site visualizes on a mobile phone you can have a look through this Mobile Emulator.

If you visit my board through that same Emulator you'll see the mobile style I'm bulding. icon_wink.gif

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Dog Cow
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Joined: 18 Nov 2008

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:06 pm 
Post subject: Re: Mobile template

dogs and things wrote:

Another nice function I added is the fact that when user visits the board from a mobile device the mobile version will open automatically.

Anybody else been doing work in this area?
I need to collect usage statistics first. How many people are using a mobile device to visit my site? I do, but I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this if it's just me and a handful of other people.
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dogs and things
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Joined: 18 Nov 2008

Posts: 621
Location: Spain


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:22 pm 
Post subject: Re: Mobile template

In my Google Analytics I can see that in the last month I had 1391 visits from mobile devices. That's 2,32% of the total visits.

Maybe not a lot but it's about as much as visits from users on Safari. icon_biggrin.gif

I'm sure those numbers will continue to increase, and I believe that the sooner I will offer a complete mobile version of my site those numbers will increase quicker than when I don´t bother yet.

I started with my forum because that's the most interactive part of the site and in it's unadapted version also the hardest part to use when on a mobile device.

Terra-WURFL is what I use to detect mobile devices and open the mobile version of the board upon detection.

I recommend you have a good look at it, it's very complete and can offer every possible information about all sorts of mobile devices visiting your site and can be used to do many interesting things.

In it's stripped down version it will just detect if a visitor is on a mobile device and offers you the possibility to do something with that info.

In it's current state my mobile version has been stripped down to a point where 15 smilies weigh more than the whole rest of my posting body, including header, bbcode, preview and footer.

For instance my index_body.tpl is just this:
Code:
<!-- BEGIN catrow -->
<h3 class="cat-titles">{catrow.CAT_DESC}</h3>
<!-- BEGIN forumrow -->
<p class="index-links"><a href="{catrow.forumrow.U_VIEWFORUM}">{catrow.forumrow.FORUM_NAME}</a></p>
<!-- END forumrow -->
<div class="divider"></div>
<!-- END catrow -->
<div class="foot-links">
<!-- BEGIN switch_user_logged_in -->
<a href="{U_SEARCH_NEW}">{L_SEARCH_NEW}</a><br /><a href="{U_SEARCH_SELF}">{L_SEARCH_SELF}</a><br />
<!-- END switch_user_logged_in -->
</div>


466 bytes. icon_biggrin.gif

And I'm wanting to remove
Code:
<div class="foot-links">
<!-- BEGIN switch_user_logged_in -->
<a href="{U_SEARCH_NEW}">{L_SEARCH_NEW}</a><br /><a href="{U_SEARCH_SELF}">{L_SEARCH_SELF}</a><br />
<!-- END switch_user_logged_in -->
</div>
and place those in the footer.

That will mean removing one third of the code out of the index_body.

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Salvatos
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Joined: 19 Feb 2009

Posts: 428
Location: Québec


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:44 pm 
Post subject: Re: Mobile template

dogs and things wrote:
In it's current state my mobile version has been stripped down to a point where 15 smilies weigh more than the whole rest of my posting body, including header, footer and preview.

And I suppose you could remove the smilies altogether from the mobile version ^^ (or replace the image links with buttons similar to the BBCode, that would show each smiley's code).
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dogs and things
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Posts: 621
Location: Spain


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:32 pm 
Post subject: Re: Mobile template

I did remove the smilies altogether, and the bbcode buttons and such.

The posting body is just the preview, the textarea and the preview and send buttons.

As a matter of fact I removed all images everywhere.

One of the basic important things to have in mind always is reducing weight, as much as possible, images weigh and are not needed. Another basic factor is as easy as possible navigation, keeping in mind the user is on a tiny screen.

I replaced my edit and quote buttons with a short text-link.

I added a tiny <div> next to the textarea with a tiny <ul> of codes for the most commonly used smilies. This means the user has to write this code in the message, the same goes for the bbcode.

I consider the mobile version as a surrogate for the real thing for users that want to quickly check the board when they are away from a computer. This is why I added a short textlink for flagging the post/topic as unread. Thus enabling the user to find back the read topic when connecting from a computer.

The casual mobile visitors are a secondary target group, in the first place I want to make life easier for my regulars, cutting down on page weight and fitting the whole thing in a tiny screen.

So far I managed to remove the need for horizontal scrolling, for instance...

Of course, I am having users on simple mobile phones in mind, not the ones using iPads, iPhones and other devices with biggish screens, although even those users will likely benefit from this lightweight version, as many of them pay per downloaded byte.

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dogs and things
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Joined: 18 Nov 2008

Posts: 621
Location: Spain


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:34 pm 
Post subject: Re: Mobile template

Just a small update,

I disabled the parsing of smilies in posts viewed with mobiles.

This is done with speed in mind, topics with plenty of smilies load much faster now.

Wurfl comes in very handy for this. icon_wink.gif

Another handy tool is Opera Mobile emulator.

It installs Opera Mini om your PC and thus enables you to view your mobile version or your actual site as seen on a mobile.

Although this is not at all true, the window is quite biggish, which comes in handy when developing a site/template because seeing what your doing on a true tiny mobile screen is heavy on the eyeballs.

It's good enough to give you a good idea of what your doing, in combination with the emulator I linked to earlier you can get a good impression of what things are turning into. Without having to pay any fee to mobile company. icon_biggrin.gif

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drathbun
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008

Posts: 663
Location: Texas


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:17 pm 
Post subject: Re: Mobile template

I would assume that the reason the number of mobile visitors is down is because the site is not optimized or even available on that platform. Once you have completed the work, can you post back - perhaps in a few months - as to what the percentage of mobile browser use might be? If my theory is correct, once the word gets out more folks will use mobile devices to view your site.
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dogs and things
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Joined: 18 Nov 2008

Posts: 621
Location: Spain


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:04 pm 
Post subject: Re: Mobile template

Over the last week I have been working on this little project.

I undid the smilie-remove, due to visitors protesting, now smilies are shown in posts and when posting a topic 10 smilies are available. I selected the 10 most popular ones.

I finished the profile view and the private message section.

Search_results_topic.tpl is finished.

I tried to optimize navigation.

I also did some minor changes to the markup.

Apart from the smilies not a single image is used, even the avatars and signature images are not shown. Buttons are simple textlinks with different background colors.

As it is now it is a template that offers basic functionality, easy navigation, high speed.

Is is surprising how little needs to be left in a template file to make it mobile compatible.

Just one example, search_results_topics.tpl:
Code:
<p class="head-links"><a href="{U_INDEX}">{L_INDEX}</a><br />
<a href="{U_MARK_READ}" >{L_MARK_FORUMS_READ}</a></p>
<p>{L_SEARCH_MATCHES}</p><br />
<div class="search-divider"></div>
<!-- BEGIN searchresults -->
<p>En <span class="forumlink"><a href="{searchresults.U_VIEW_FORUM}">{searchresults.FORUM_NAME}</a></span></p>
<p><span class="nav-link">{searchresults.TOPIC_TYPE}<a href="{searchresults.U_VIEW_TOPIC}">{searchresults.TOPIC_TITLE}</a><br /></span>&nbsp;{L_AUTHOR}:&nbsp;<span class="name">{searchresults.TOPIC_AUTHOR}</span><br />{searchresults.GOTO_PAGE}</p>
<p class="postdetails">{searchresults.LAST_POST_TIME} por <span class="name">{searchresults.LAST_POST_AUTHOR}</span></p>
<p class="date">{L_REPLIES}: {searchresults.REPLIES}</p>
<div class="search-divider"></div>
<!-- END searchresults -->
<p><span class="nav">{PAGE_NUMBER}</span></p>
<p><span class="nav">{PAGINATION}</span></p>
<div>{JUMPBOX}</div>
<p class="foot-links"><a href="{U_INDEX}">{L_INDEX}</a></p>


I have one global announcement running where I update all the changes made to the mobile version. Hopefully this will make my users aware of the possibility to visit my board via mobile.

I keep an eye on the mobile visits/page views. I must say that those numbers from before I started this where encouraging enough to start working on this little project.

There's still a good bit of work to be done, step by step I pretend to get it all done.

A side-effect of all of this is that I will have to make a mobile version of the rest of my site. icon_confused.gif That's okay though, it keeps me of the street. icon_biggrin.gif

Will continue...

**Edit** Search_results_posts.tpl and search_body.tpl have been done. This means I have been able to incorporate the search function to the mobile template. icon_smile.gif

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dogs and things
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Joined: 18 Nov 2008

Posts: 621
Location: Spain


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:19 am 
Post subject: Re: Mobile template

Another update:

I added most moderation tools to viewtopic and viewforum.

Some Moderation MODs I installed are pending, but the standard functions + merge topics is available now.

Very little work remains to be done on the public part. icon_biggrin.gif

I'm not sure if I will start working on the admin panel though. icon_rolleyes.gif

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dogs and things
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Joined: 18 Nov 2008

Posts: 621
Location: Spain


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:12 pm 
Post subject: Re: Mobile template

I have been working on improving the navigation.

Instead of images I use text-links with different background colors for the different elements.

Sometimes I can make use of the existing alt text language string but sometimes those strings are far too long.

In those cases I have to make edits to core files, placing new language strings.

This makes this style a style that will require some additional edits, apart from just uploading the template folder and an edit to functions.php to determine whether a user is on a mobile device and which style to offer, the standard or the mobile style.

If I ever get to finish this style and decide to release it I'll have to write an additional install.txt. Something I won't mind doing, it'll just make installing this style a tiny bit more complicated.

As it is now I only need to write the registration and profile edit related files and this template will be ready, not counting with the admin panel that is.

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dondino
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Joined: 09 Dec 2008

Posts: 144


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:58 am 
Post subject: Re: Mobile template

we can't wait to see this in action!! icon_biggrin.gif
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wkdwich
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Joined: 24 Oct 2011

Posts: 29
Location: NY & VA


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:53 pm 
Post subject: Re: Mobile template

Has there been any progress on this MOD? I am extremely interested..
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dogs and things
Board Member



Joined: 18 Nov 2008

Posts: 621
Location: Spain


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:38 pm 
Post subject: Re: Mobile template

I've got a working version on my forum, to see it in action visit my board with any mobile device.

It has been quite some time since I made all the code changes needed.

One part is the template and another thing is the code changes in the .php files. Those code changes are needed to adapt some functions so that f.i. the mobile template has colored text links in place of buttons...

The problem is that I didn´t write up the code changes, I'd have to search in the files to find them and write up the instructions. And I don´t have the time to do that right now.

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wkdwich
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Posts: 29
Location: NY & VA


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:24 pm 
Post subject: Re: Mobile template

OK thanks no hurry.. I dont know what I'm going to do on that note yet.. there is one built into the phpbb-fully modded version I'm playing with now.. there is another I can buy for $20 that the guy is still responsive and even made me a test to check out.. he has a free version also. The paid version allows registration, log in and posting..
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