Set Skin for Mobile Browsers

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11/17/2009 2:12:14 PM
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Set Skin for Mobile Browsers

Would it be possible to add a feature that allows a site admin to choose a different skin for mobile browsers?

11/17/2009 3:20:30 PM
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Re: Set Skin for Mobile Browsers

It is possible to implement it, it would require knowing/detecting the user agent strings for the mobile browsers, I mean I know the one for the iphone but not for others. I can look into adding a site setting for this but to be honest I think it would take a lot more than skinning changes to make a mobile optimized experience, we would need to change the output markup not just css. However, with zooming and scrolling even the normal site skin is not too bad on the iphone since it is a real full blown browser.

It is possible to iphoneize your blog using a service like Intersquash http://www.intersquash.com/, like here is the mojoPortal Blog optimized for iphone http://www.intersquash.com/feed/d6e1fc27#___1__, doesn't look right in IE but in Chrome it's basically how it would look in the iphone.

Best,

Joe

11/17/2009 3:41:52 PM
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Re: Set Skin for Mobile Browsers

You may want to take a look at the WURFL project at SourceForge. I just stumbled across this today, it is an XML file which contains info about capabilities and features of mobile devices.

Personally, I only care about the "real" web browsers on mobile devices. WAP/WML browsers are on their way out the door anyway.

Later,
Joe D.

11/9/2010 3:05:15 PM
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Re: Set Skin for Mobile Browsers

I just received a request from our Library site administrator to see if there was a way to do this. She was requesting something simple like this. I'm thinking that if we just had a way to configure mojoPortal to redirect mobile clients to their own special landing page, we could put a mobile-optimized skin there and create a few companion pages with the most requested info.

Also, I found this great article about using CSS3 media queries to serve all browser clients, regardless of supported resolution, from a single set of CSS. It's a really clever technique, but I'm not sure if it could work in mojoPortal.

11/10/2010 8:02:04 AM
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Re: Set Skin for Mobile Browsers

Hi Jamie,

While modern mobile phones have a real web browser and can therefore use normal web pages, there is definitely a trend in trying to make mobile optimized browser experience.

One could easily develop a custom HttpModule that redirects requests from a mobile browser (or even the IIS url rewriter could probably do it), but I'm not really convinced that an optimized experience can be created by a skin. I think it would really require major changes in html and navigation structure. I'm sure it could be improved by skinning, just not sure you can get all the way there to an idealized experience.

If you'd like to take a crack at making a mobile optimized skin or at least one that is substantially better that would be great. I would love to be able to include such a skin with mojoPortal and if it worked well I'd be willing to figure out a way to make it possible to use that skin for mobile devices.

It is a problem that I'm pondering solutions for the long run but I still have many more things with higher priority. Even though mobile phones and mobile web are of growing importance, when I look at the percentage of traffic coming to my sites from such devices it is very small. Now it might be higher if we had an optimized experience but realize when I say small I mean less than 1% of traffic like iphone 0.2%, Android 0.1%, and even less for other devices, so even if an optimized experience boosts it I don't think it would be by that much at least at this point. So for now I'm more focused on adding more value for the vast majority than the very few.

Best,

Joe

11/10/2010 4:39:32 PM
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Re: Set Skin for Mobile Browsers

Thanks for the detailed reply, Joe. Those are interesting stats on your visitors. I personally don't know if I'll ever want/need a smart phone, but they seem to be all the rage in the press these days. Makes you wonder if the upcoming death of the full-sized browser has been greatly exaggerated?

If I come up with a decent method for mobile browser auto-redirection and a custom mobile skin, I'll be sure to share!

Jamie

12/6/2010 11:26:19 AM
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Re: Set Skin for Mobile Browsers

Hi Jamie,

fyi, if you get the latest code, it is possible to force mobile devices to use a specific skin by config settings:

<add key="UseMobileSpecificSkin" value="true" />
  <add key="MobilePhoneSkin" value="mobile1" />
  <add key="MobilePhoneUserAgents" value="iphone,android" />

so it is possible to experiment with designing a skin for mobile phones, the MobilePhoneSkin must be the name of a skin in your site specific skin folder but since it is a config setting it is not site specific it will affect all sites so other sites would need a skin with the same name, if anyone comes up with a skin that really is nicer for mobile then I could promote those settings to site settings but for now it works at least for testing and for single site installations.

If you want to make your web browser use the mobile skin you could edit the MobilePhoneUserAgents, for example to make it use the mobile skin in Chrome for dev/testing purposes you could append ,webkit to the MobilePhoneUserAgents setting.

I think making a skin where the column layout is removed and the sections divCenter, divLeft, divRight just flow down the page would be a little better and there are probably other things that could be done as well.

Best,

Joe

12/6/2010 12:06:36 PM
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Re: Set Skin for Mobile Browsers

Thanks for this Joe, that's great!

6/7/2011 3:12:00 PM
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Re: Set Skin for Mobile Browsers

Hi Joe , i'm an italian developer and i'm using mojoportal for sites i'm developing . I need to make available my sites also from mobile browsers ( android and iphone ) . I tried to add the key you mentioned

<add key="UseMobileSpecificSkin" value="true" />
  <add key="MobilePhoneSkin" value="mobile1" />
  <add key="MobilePhoneUserAgents" value="iphone,android" />

to the web.config of my sites that have release 2.3.5.4 and seems mojo doesn't change the skin when accessed via mobile browser . I used last release 2.3.6.6 on a local installation and this time it works . can you please confirm me

1) release 2.3.5.4 doesn't support the change of skin when site is accessed by mobile browser ?

2) which is the first release that support change of skin when site is accessed by mobile browser ?

thank you in advance

Giorgio

6/8/2011 6:34:40 AM
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Re: Set Skin for Mobile Browsers

Hi Giorgio,

I think it was included in version 2.3.6.5, but I would upgrade to the latest version.

Best,

Joe

7/12/2011 7:51:06 AM
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Re: Set Skin for Mobile Browsers

Anyone interested in mobile should check out today's blog post Going Mobile with mojoPortal.

Best,

Joe

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