Just Shelley

Many Moving Parts

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I don’t get the web on my cell phone. Personally I don’t like to take calls on my cell phone when I’m out and about. I carry it with me more for telling me what time it is (I don’t wear a watch) and emergencies, as in:

“Help, I’m trapped in my car and there’s a bear outside who thinks I’m a big marshmallow.”

I know this is going to be traumatic and I’ll try to break the news as gently as possible, but when I’m out and about I don’t want to keep up with what you’re all doing. I’m sorry, I know that you feel cut adrift by this.

I know, though, that there are those of you who check my site 30 times a day on your Blackberries, waiting for the next gem of wit and wisdom. Who am I to stand in the way of your need for such treasures?

I added a mobile stylesheet to all my sites. The page just contains the following:

* {
position: static !important;
float: none !important;
background-image: none !important;

img { display: none }

#sidebar, #header, #footer { display: none }

What this does is remove absolute positioning and floats, the background and other page images, and removes the sidebar, header, and footer from display. What you get is posts, links, and comments. That’s it. I picked up part of this from this older article. I’m not up on mobile phone styling and haven’t downloaded any emulators, so if it tanks in your handheld device, consider it a perk.

Amyloo was blown off in this discussion but her question, and Paul Montgomery’s followup was a good one: what is wrong with providing a handheld stylesheet?

Stylesheets too big? If mobile stylesheets such as the one I just demonstrated are ‘too big’ to download, all of the web is too big to download to a screen that’s typically 2 by 3 inches in size.

Not all handheld devices support a specific handheld stylesheet? In this case I also provide full content feeds. Most mobile browsers can read syndication feeds.

What I won’t do is provide separate content pages just for mobile devices. I also won’t support yet another kludged extension to an already kludgy RSS 2.0 specification. Over-engineering. Can we say, over-engineering?

Put it away. Look at the birds.

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