Forum: Ruby on Rails [Half-OT] PDA Clients and Rails

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Daniel Völkerts (Guest)
on 2006-02-25 14:18
(Received via mailing list)
Hello!

I'd like to gather some points about running a rails application on a
PDA. As a condition I'd like to use Palm and Windows Mobile based PDA to
  target a huge user audience (this could be become difficult I know,
only Windows Mobile for the start is although okay).

I googled the last weeks and found out that there were only a few web
browsers out there. E.g. Mozilla Minimo
(http://www.mozilla.com/projects/minimo/) sounds very interesting for
the task.

What I need:

- XHTML
- CSS 2
- JavaScript (for fancy AJAX stuff).

So, as the framework will be rails, has any of you experience which such
a environment and give me some hints?


TIA,
Wilson B. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 09:21
(Received via mailing list)
On 2/25/06, Daniel Völkerts <removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:
> the task.
>
> What I need:
>
> - XHTML
> - CSS 2
> - JavaScript (for fancy AJAX stuff).
>
> So, as the framework will be rails, has any of you experience which such
> a environment and give me some hints?
>

Do you mean viewing the output of a Rails app on a PDA, or actually
running the Rails application there locally, possibly disconnected
from the internet?
Daniel Völkerts (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 11:25
(Received via mailing list)
Wilson B. schrieb:

> Do you mean viewing the output of a Rails app on a PDA, or actually
> running the Rails application there locally, possibly disconnected
> from the internet?

Sorry for my unprecises question. Of course I'd like to say that the PDA
only have to view the website hosted by rails on an extra machine. The
network connection will be wireless lan.

So there are no changes to the rails installation (e.g. running
disconnected), but I wonder if modern PDA has the capabillity of render
'modern' websites which contains CSS + XHTML + JavaScript (which I would
use with rails).

My plan is to provide one view with different CSS styles for all users.
So the one is working on a client pc adjusting his settings with mouse
and keyboard for easyness. Then he pull his PDA from the docking station
and moved on his tour.

If he had a question converning a topic he lifts his PDA and look up the
part in the PDA's webbrowser.

Thanks,
Wilson B. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 18:30
(Received via mailing list)
On 2/26/06, Daniel Völkerts <removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:
> So there are no changes to the rails installation (e.g. running
> part in the PDA's webbrowser.
>

Rails is very happy in this environment, right out of the box.  I work
in XHTML and CSS, and usually the pages look pretty good on Windows
Mobile and Blackberry systems without further modification.  If PDA
users are common, and you want to provide them with better support,
you can define a stylesheet with the 'mobile' media type, and make
specific changes for them.

Sadly for Palm users (including myself), I'm not aware of a Palm web
browser with decent Javascript support.  Works fine in IE and whatever
the Blackberry browser is called, though.
Daniel Völkerts (Guest)
on 2006-02-27 20:27
(Received via mailing list)
Hi Wilson!

Wilson B. schrieb:
> Rails is very happy in this environment, right out of the box.  I work
> in XHTML and CSS, and usually the pages look pretty good on Windows
> Mobile and Blackberry systems without further modification.  If PDA
> users are common, and you want to provide them with better support,
> you can define a stylesheet with the 'mobile' media type, and make
> specific changes for them.

I'm very, very glad to hear this. I orderer a new Dell X51 with Windows
Mobile 5.0 and Wlan for testing I looking forward to start my testings.

Thanks in advance for your feedback, especially for the hint with the
'mobile' stylesheet. In addition, how do you layout you PDA screens? As
the most of the PDA have very standardized resolution, is a pixel layout
better over a point,percentage oder em (I wonder what does the
abbreviation 'em' means?) layout definition (as units in my CSS files)?


> Sadly for Palm users (including myself), I'm not aware of a Palm web
> browser with decent Javascript support.  Works fine in IE and whatever
> the Blackberry browser is called, though.

My choice was know against palm users as the palm web support is not the
best as you mentioned above. I'll concentrate on Windows Mobile and
Linux PDAs in the future.

Greetings,
Wilson B. (Guest)
on 2006-02-27 21:01
(Received via mailing list)
On 2/27/06, Daniel Völkerts <removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:
> I'm very, very glad to hear this. I orderer a new Dell X51 with Windows
> Mobile 5.0 and Wlan for testing I looking forward to start my testings.
>
> Thanks in advance for your feedback, especially for the hint with the
> 'mobile' stylesheet. In addition, how do you layout you PDA screens? As
> the most of the PDA have very standardized resolution, is a pixel layout
> better over a point,percentage oder em (I wonder what does the
> abbreviation 'em' means?) layout definition (as units in my CSS files)?

If you had a very uniform set of clients, you could probably make
things look very nice by specifying body widths and heights in pixels.
 For myself, things aren't quite that well-defined, so I usually use
relative values, percentages, etc.
One nice thing about avoiding tables is that block elements you have
"floated" with CSS will stack up nicely when shown on a PDA screen.
Easier to see than explain, if that sentence didn't make much sense.
Heh.

"em" is actually not an abbreviation, but rather a publishing term
meaning "the size of a lowercase letter 'm'".  With variable-width
fonts, you can't really talk about the size of a single character
(since a period or exclamation mark will be much narrower than a
capital L), so they standardized on the middle letter of the alphabet.

>
>
> > Sadly for Palm users (including myself), I'm not aware of a Palm web
> > browser with decent Javascript support.  Works fine in IE and whatever
> > the Blackberry browser is called, though.
>
> My choice was know against palm users as the palm web support is not the
> best as you mentioned above. I'll concentrate on Windows Mobile and
> Linux PDAs in the future.
>

Hopefully "Linux PDA" and "Palm PDA" will be synonymous in the future.
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