[LINK] Dr. V N BRIMS Library - Mobile Website

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Mon Nov 3 09:07:16 AEDT 2008

At 03:47 PM 30/10/2008, SANDEEP BHAVSAR wrote:
>... DR VNBRIMS Library has launched its Mobile Website. ... Users 
>can now connect with library resources and services through their 
>Pocket PCs, Palmhelds, and Blackberries ...

Having a library accessible from a mobile phone is an excellent idea, 
but I suggest some changes to improve the service. The mobile web 
site seems to have been created by running the main library web site 
<http://www.vpmthane.org/im/elib/main.htm> through a mobile phone 
gateway <http://wapamama.net/>. Unfortunately the gateway is 
inserting ads for "Sexy Hunks Pics", and the like, on the top of each 
page, which detracts from the professional business orientation of 
the enterprise. I suggest you modify the original site so the gateway 
is not needed.

The gateway allows for conversion to several different types of 
mobile markup: xhtml, wml, chtml. Phones released in the last few 
years are likely to use the newer XHTML format. WML is an older 
mobile web format. CHTML is used for Japanese mobile phones and is 
unlikely to be used in India (a deal was cancelled in 2007 
<http://archive.japantoday.com/jp/news/406004>). See my mobile web 
lecture notes for a detailed explanation: 

WML is the default for the gateway, presumably to cater to older 
mobile phones in India. But, it seems likely that students of a 
business library will have newer phones and it might be better to 
have XHTML as the default.

The best option would be to modify the original web site to make it 
compatible with modern mobile phones, without the need for the 
gateway. The XHTML used on mobile phones is a subset of that used by 
desktop computers. By limiting a web site to just the features a 
mobile phones uses, a web site can be made compatible with both 
desktop and mobile browsers.

Your web site doesn't use excessive formatting or graphics and so 
would not need many changes, nor look much different to desktop users 
when made mobile compatible.  See: "Converting an existing web page 
to a more flexible format" <http://www.tomw.net.au/2004/wd/converting.html>.

The W3C Mobile Okay tool can help with this. Here is the home page 
run through the tool: 

The modified web site could still be used through a mobile gateway 
for users of older mobile phones, if required. The mobile compatible 
web site should work better through the gateway, than the current site.

If having advertisements is acceptable to the organisation's clients, 
you could gain revenue by placing advertisements on the web site 
itself, rather than having advertisements inserted by the gateway 
provider. These advertisements could be selected to be compatible 
with the aims of your organisation and you would receive the revenue. 
You could also have you web system omit advertisements on web pages 
seen by registered users, so that only visitors see the advertisements.

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                      http://www.tomw.net.au/
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Australian National University  

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