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Will You Change Your Web Site For the iPhone? 336

Posted by kdawson
from the multi-touch-is-not-a-mouse dept.
An anonymous reader calls to our attention a blog post about the way the iPhone's multi-touch UI will strain the interface conventions of Web 2.0. This looming clash comes clearer as Apple releases more details of the iPhone's UI. Much has been made about the iPhone including Safari to provide a full web browsing experience. But this reader is wondering how compatible certain sites will be with the iPhone's input. From the post: "[Web 2.0-style interaction] makes somewhat heavy use of 'onmouse' events and cursor changes... along with CSS a:hover styles. The iPhone challenges those particular Web 2.0 conventions, though, because it is a device that not only adds support for another pointer, but at the same time eliminates them as interface objects... [T]he user doesn't get to express their attention with the iPhone... They only get to express their immediate action." This reader asks, "What other pitfalls lurk in the multi-touch web? Do any Slashdot readers plan to adjust their sites to ensure they work with the iPhone, and can you think of any similar issues that will crop up with such a different browsing experience?"
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Will You Change Your Web Site For the iPhone?

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  • by crimguy (563504) on Friday June 22, 2007 @10:36PM (#19616467) Homepage
    Sure sounded that way. Lets just release the damn thing and see what it does.
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday June 22, 2007 @11:03PM (#19616645) Journal
      It's not really specific to the iPhone. Hover and mouse-over events don't work with any kind of touch-screen, even if they are not multi-touch. If your UI depends on them, then you are an idiot and should never be allowed near a web site. Fortunately, most of the web sites I visit know this. The last site I remember that used most-over events for important data was Jabber.org, which used to put data about public servers in a tool-tip. This was horrendously bad, since it meant that important information was unavailable to a large number of browsers (including Opera, which always put the address in the tool-tip), irrespective of whether they used a touch screen or not.

      In summary: Some web sites are badly designed, and if we try really hard we can tangentially relate this to the iPhone.

      • by Achoi77 (669484) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @12:31AM (#19617127)

        I wouldn't say that some websites are necessarily badly designed, it's just that there was a specific target demographic that web developers have aimed for when they were designing their websites. It just happens this largely includes websites that were mostly designed to be surfed with a keyboard and mouse, rather than some alternate input device, like a touchscreen

        As we see more fancy pants ajax techniques that are driven based on keyboard input, such as that neato google suggest thing that they put out a few years back - while that would be incredibly convenient to a user with a keyboard, it wouldn't necessarily have any impact on user performance when they are using a mobile phone, especially one without some kind if keyboard input. Things like that would be.. obsolete? (hah, for whatever reason obsolete doesn't sound too correct)

        IMO a complaint like the author's sure sounds like he's grasping at straws. Sure he could develop a one-size-fits-all site that will be (ideally)wonderful for using with kb/m along with a touchscreen, but all interface designers are keenly aware of the fact that optimizing for one type if interface will ultimately be sacrificing the other. A simple alternative would be to give a url that will redirect the user to an iphone(or similar device) optimized site when the user heads towards there, and another for the standard computer user. Why wouldn't companies that are trying to appeal to both demographics want to do this in the first place? Doesn't make too much sense to me - plus it would prolly be cheaper in the long run instead of trying to retrofit their site to be 'iphone friendly.'

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Lehk228 (705449)
          google suggest would work just FINE on a T-9 key input system.
          • by Achoi77 (669484)

            yes it would. But would it necessarily be _as_ efficient as using a keyboard and mouse? It's always being about being on par with the user-end standard in terms of end efficiency. I use a blackberry at work, and while it's miles more efficient than using a mobile phone in order to write emails, a simple laptop with wifi (or wireless broadband) beats the pants out of it - in terms of work (not necessarily mobility). I mean things like writing emails, or spreadsheets, or a terminal to do some emergency damage

      • Hover and mouse-over events don't work with any kind of touch-screen, even if they are not multi-touch.

        Hover does work with Wacom digitizers though, because they can sense the pen even when it's half a centimeter or so above the screen.

    • by Fordiman (689627)
      The question is stupid.

      Of course people won't be changing their sites for the iPhone. Hovers and mouseovers generally aren't used to direct action, just to highlight the potential for it.

      There are a *few* UI mechanisms that may take advantage of the mouseover, but not much.

      And if your site has hover-over-drop-down menus, you're already an asshole. Nothing's more annoying than going from the system menu bar down to a link only to have it obscured by a menu you didn't click on.
  • Won't be a big deal (Score:5, Informative)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Friday June 22, 2007 @10:37PM (#19616479)
    Sites that don't support the fancy things will simply probably zoom in (and out) some preset amount on a double click, and a user will still be able to zoom an arbitrary amount with multi-touch (e.g., pinch and unpinch).

    Simple.

    For those who don't know, iPhone uses some tricks to detect "zones" or "areas" on web pages that will automatically zoom to fit when double clicked, like a photo with caption, or a story column on a newspaper web page.

    This person is overcomplicating things, and overreacting ("pitfalls"? "adjust [...] sites to ensure they work with iPhone"?) No sites need to be changed to work well with the browser (or, at least as well as, and, from all of the demos and appearances, probably quite a bit better than, any other mobile browser). The user wants to zoom in, they zoom in. So what if it's not perfect. Sure, some sites can offer a better "experience" specifically for iPhone if they choose, but they don't need to.

    That's why this thing having a real, full browser, able to be viewed in portrait or landscape, is great. It will be nice to have a full browser on a phone that doesn't suck, even if I can't double-click and perfectly zoom to fit on a photo and instead have to zoom on an area of interest manually. Some might say "but it's not consistent!" Well, what do you think it does when you double click? If a special "zone" isn't present, it will probably just zoom as close to where you clicked as it can. If it's not perfect, you can even drag the display around with your finger, or pinch/unpinch to zoom more/less as appropriate.

    Disclaimer: yeah, we don't "know" any of this yet, but just look at the demos and how the phone works. And anyone can try it out next Friday. It will probably be a much better browsing experience than on nearly any, if not all, other mobile browsers.
    • by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Friday June 22, 2007 @10:55PM (#19616585) Homepage Journal
      Actually the poster is correct -- there are issues, and it has nothing to do with Safari, it has to do with the UI assumptions made by Javascript programmers.

      For example, if you have a FORM that submits when the mouse "leaves" the drop down box, please explain how that event will be triggered since there /is no cursor/. Sure, Safari can fake it for the sake of making automatic form submission work, but its still an issue.

      This has nothing to do with rendering, it has to do with interaction.
      • For example, if you have a FORM that submits when the mouse "leaves" the drop down box.

        I think you need to adjust the question - why would anyone do a form submit when the CURSOR leaves a form element? I click in a form element to type and move the mouse out of the way, all the time.

        What I think you meant to ask is, what about a form element that submits when it looses focus - the answer there is, the keypad has a return key and I assume pressing it means you are done, which in turn would seem to be to tri
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Lepton68 (116619)
      I have noticed that every demo of the phone browser uses the NY Times site, which very nicely puts its stories in narrow columns on its page. This makes me wonder how well pages will look that have more normal, wide segments of text, especially in portrait mode, and especially with fixed width pages. Will we be doing a lot of horizontal finger scrolling to read such pages?
  • by rossz (67331) <ogre@@@geekbiker...net> on Friday June 22, 2007 @10:38PM (#19616489) Homepage Journal
    My stuff is writen to XHTML 1.0 Strict standards. If it doesn't work on the iPhone, it's not my problem.

    That's the whole damn point of standards. Write to them you don't have to worry if something will work. Use quirks and tricks, and you're going to be dealing with a tone of headaches every time something new comes out.

    BTW, "Hey, Microsoft! Fuck you and your shitty standards-ignoring browser!"

    • Everything that works in Safari works on iPhone.

      What this person is talking about is the zooming tricks iPhone uses to detect zones or areas on web pages.

      But since the user can zoom and unzoom arbitrary amounts, and also drag the page around arbitrarily with their finger, and also have the option of viewing the page in either landscape or portrait, this is just a case of one person overreacting, and doing a poor job of explaining what they're talking about.
      • by Firehed (942385)
        I'm not reading TFA, but the summary makes a valid point about uses of things like :hover in CSS. I made myself a little iPhone launcher homepage thing in anticipation of getting one (though not the first day) and it uses tr:hover and img:hover in CSS to achieve an iTunes-esque stock checker and opacity-reactive buttons for several bookmarks (if you're so inclined, check it at http://www.firehed.net/iphone [firehed.net]).

        I'm not really concerned about the multi-touch - I don't think it'll be used in websites for anythin
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by sribe (304414)

          If the :hover class works based on where your finger is (or if it has a proximity detecting screen...!), so much the better.

          It will not. This was pointed out by Steve Jobs in the WWDC keynote address.

      • Everything that works in Safari works on iPhone.

        Well, kinda, I mean, by definition that's true, as iPhone uses Safari, so it's effectively saying "anything that works on iPhone works on iPhone"

        But if people are more specific, and say things like "Yes, but my page renders ok on the Mac version of Safari, will it work on iPhone?", I would imagine the answer may differ.

        Most obvious thing I can see failing? UIs that rely upon mouseovers to trigger drop down menus. Seems to be very common, obviously these

    • by kestasjk (933987) on Friday June 22, 2007 @11:21PM (#19616749) Homepage
      This isn't about HTML standards, it's about changes to the way people will interact with websites.

      By the way it's a bit nieve to say that as long as you stick to the standards you're fine. The standards all leave room for ambiguity, such as different browsers interpreting elements as defaulting to inline or block, and there are many standards that aren't fully implemented. It's pretty hard to make a Web 2.0 site that looks good, it easy and intuitive to use, complies to appropriate standards, and works on all browsers (even all the big browsers).

      As someone said "The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from."
    • by General Wesc (59919) <slashdot@wescnet.cjb.net> on Friday June 22, 2007 @11:30PM (#19616823) Homepage Journal

      If I use the web without a mouse, I can't initiate a mouseover event (assuming I'm not controlling a mouse cursor with the keyboard or something.) What standard am I violating?

      There are two golden rules in web design: code to the standards and degrade gracefully. Both are important.

      • by rossz (67331)
        I probably break that second rule, and it's a good one, so I'm at fault. In my defense, I'm a system admin, not a web designer. :)
    • That's the whole damn point of standards. Write to them you don't have to worry if something will work.

      Nope.

      The great thing about standards, is that there are so many to choose from.

      Beef

    • My stuff is written to XHTML 1.0 Strict standards. If it doesn't work on the iPhone, it's not my problem.

      And I serve all my pages in a binary version of Morse code. If it doesn't work on the iPhone, it's not my problem.

      What really confuses me is that there are ancient interfaces in the browser that are universally implemented, but never standardized. Meanwhile there are conflicting modern interface "standards" where the vast majority of people are running the evil "standard" that is to be shunned.

      I

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Heembo (916647)
      XHTML 1.0 "Strict Standard" has nothing to do with the clusterfuck that Javascript has become. Ever try to code a complex ajax task to support a wide array of current browsers? This mess has nothing to do with XHTML.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Zhe Mappel (607548)
      You won't do backflips for a luxury cell phone that will be owned by 1% of users?!?

      What are ya, son, a Communist? ;-)

    • I agree with you 100%. I write things the same way and I never fear browser upgrades. Unless it's IE, just because IE is friggin' retarded. But standards are great news for things like (x)html and css.

      I did just learn, though, that user agents (specifically the browser on blackberries) dont't do javascript. Who knew? Not me! It's not like I have one. So, while your pages might work just fine, if you have javascript (you do use AJAX, right?) it won't work. Bummer.

      Like you, I am not as concerned how m
      • by rossz (67331) <ogre@@@geekbiker...net> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @02:38AM (#19617769) Homepage Journal

        When I use javascript is always in a way that is not going to cripple the user if they have it turned off. For example, on Ye Olde Booke O' Seadogs [bookoseadogs.org] the javascript is for a minor visual effect (hover your mouse over the jolly roger). In case you are wondering, those popout menus are pure CSS (with a hack to get it to work in IE, of course). In forms I've used javascript to set focus to the first field. In either case, disabled javascript is not a problem.

        I use this simple rule: Use javascript to enhance the user experience, not to restrict it.

        • Ah, good clean semantic markup! I even turned off CSS in Firefox and it was still readable, which is the gold standard in my mind. For maximum accessibility and compatibility, you have the right approach. Everyone, and I mean everyone, can read about Elizabethan Seadogs! Good show.

          Agreed about use of javascript, to a point. Javascript is a nicety for validation, but of course you cannot trust it for critical validation. The thing that makes me just LOVE javascript is AJAX. I guess, working on an intr
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by rossz (67331)
            The original version was most definitely not a clean job. I learned, though, and rewrote. Then rewrote it again. Then I had a blind co-worker critique the website and I implemented his recommendations (moving the menu div to the end of the document was his suggestion). I use my seadog website as a learning tool. The last round taught me how to divide up the content properly without any style at all, then apply a style sheet afterwards. I wish I still had the a copy as I original wrote it years ago. I
  • by mrcdeckard (810717) on Friday June 22, 2007 @10:41PM (#19616503) Homepage
    viewing websites on my current cell phone is a very lynx-esque experience -- arrowing between various links on the page, the pressing enter.

    i have downloaded "mobile" versions of gmail and google maps for my cell phone.

    i just don't see that this is a big deal. besides, to me, the most attractive thing about the iphone is that it will perfectly sync with my mac -- address book, calendar, itunes, iphoto, etc.

    mr c
  • Touch Screens (Score:3, Insightful)

    by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Friday June 22, 2007 @10:42PM (#19616511)
    This is an entire non-event that is barely slashdot worthy at best. This issue is the exact same one faced by every other touch screen in existence. It is not a pitfall in any way at all. Simply a circumstance of the technology. I've seen some excellent touch screen interfaces that do provide a good level of feedback anyway - flashy colours when you punch a button, dragging fingers across the screen to move windows...

    Do we really need to make stories from nothing?
  • I'm having enough headaches working on my webcomic [xepher.net]'s site, now you're telling me I gotta account for mobile viewing, too? I've shrunken that thing small enough for the rest of the internet, it's not fitting in the iPhone's screen!

    I may as well be designing for the DS... though speaking of the DS, wouldn't it have similar UI issues too?
  • Yeah, right (Score:5, Funny)

    by rueger (210566) * on Friday June 22, 2007 @10:45PM (#19616527) Homepage
    Most people here won't go out of their way to make a site work with Internet Explorer, and IE has 70% of the market... and you want to know of they'll accommodate the quirks of a cel phone?
  • Keep it simple (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Friday June 22, 2007 @10:49PM (#19616549) Homepage Journal
    I design my sites for compatibility. Sure I might tweak a small feature here and there in special cases, but compatability remains key. If the site is not compatible, then I lose some viewership somewhere. Google in many ways is what we all strive for, since they manage to add cool features, but still manage to provide backwards compatibility.
  • by imemyself (757318) on Friday June 22, 2007 @10:50PM (#19616555)
    Not specifically for the iPhone. Maybe a simple low graphics version for PDA's and phones in general, but I'm not going to do anything special for the iPhone. If the mobile version of pages is simple/lite and standards compliant, then it should work with pretty much all mobile devices. If it doesn't, then it's probably the device maker's fault for using a shitty browser/rendering engine.

    Realistically, the normal non-mobile versions of websites are not going to work well on mobile devices, period, because of the small size of their screens and limit forms of input. And the iPhones certainly not going to change that, especially given its lack of true 3G which will make the full versions of most sites horribly slow as well.

    Mobile browsing is nothing new - Most major sites that people would frequently access from a mobile device (ie webmail, news/homepages, search engines, etc) already have mobile versions of their sites that work reasonably well. With its pretty high price tag, lack of 3G, and very few third party apps (compared with BB, Windows Mobile, and Palm), I highly doubt that it will spark a "revolution" in web browsing. It may look very slick, but technologically speaking it probably won't be earth-shattering.
    • Built for Suckcess (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall (25149)
      Not specifically for the iPhone. Maybe a simple low graphics version for PDA's and phones in general,

      Then your site will suck on the iPhone compared to other sites. Why do that? Code as normal, make sure it works in safari, and make sure that even without a lot of mouse events the page still works OK (which you do anyway for those of us who like Javascript off by default, right?).

      Shrink it down for other mobile phones, fine, but don't degrade my iPhone browsing just because you lump all mobile browsing to
    • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:32AM (#19618187)

      It may look very slick, but technologically speaking it probably won't be earth-shattering.
      Neither was the iPod and to add insult to injury it even had fewer features than the competition which is exactly why watching it become a phenomenon annoyed the sh*t out of all of Apple's competitors.

      With its pretty high price tag, lack of 3G, and very few third party apps (compared with BB, Windows Mobile, and Palm), I highly doubt that it will spark a "revolution" in web browsing.
      Having been around long enough to remember people saying the same about the iPod and that it wouldn't do a thing to change the music business beacuse it was a niche product that was way to expensive and would only become popular with Apple fanbois I'll take that prediction with a grain of salt. :-D

      Mobile browsing is nothing new - Most major sites that people would frequently access from a mobile device (ie webmail, news/homepages, search engines, etc) already have mobile versions of their sites that work reasonably well.
      Actually many of them don't and those that do often have bad support and the same goes for client apps making use of web based services. It seems to me everybody is to busy trying to sell me video and TV streaming to my mobile handset over 3G to register that the kind of stuff which is really useful to a run-of-the-mill consumer is stuff like Google Maps Mobile [google.com] on his/her phone. I still have not managed to get Google Maps or similar services to work on my own mobile which IMHO sucks since it, or a similar service, would have been very useful for navigating the last time I was in London. If the iPone becomes anything like the success the iPod is, even if it gains only a quarter as of the iPod's popularity, it will raise the bar on what people expect from a mobile phone. In that case I think we can expect *some* changes in the amount of attention developers and handset manufacturers pay to the needs and wants of the mobile browsing public. I won't expect a revolution any more than you do but significant changes might happen.
  • The web, and for that matter an application, is not designed to be input-device-specific. If a site actually cares that I'm using a mouse, then it already has some pretty fundamental problems that the iPhone did not introduce, that you would in fact see on any phone. (Not long ago, I could browse any site I wanted to from a terminal with Lynx. In fact, I still use this as a basic compatibility metric.)

    Applications should respond to requests for action. How that action is performed, on some level, should
  • onmouse and :hover can be nice eye candy, but if a website doesn't work without them (and doesn't degrade nicely), maybe it's broken.
  • I'm building a complicated multi-user ajax game that I plan to get working on iPhone. At first, testing it was fairly difficult because I didn't have a Mac. For a while I was trying a webkit hack that ran on windows, then I got the Mac emulator to run the actual Safari. I was so glad when a Windows Safari was released!

    I have found that Safari is quite compatible, most stuff works great if it was designed to strict standards. I have had some issues with listbox controls, so I wrote my own which look nic
  • content (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pytheron (443963) on Friday June 22, 2007 @11:03PM (#19616637) Homepage
    every time I read stuff like this, I think about what makes me visit webpages. Content. You can have it in bold clashing flashing colors if it pleases you, but if I _want_ to read it, I'll put up with it, or at least bypass your presentation. If my device won't co-operate, I still want your information, so I'll use another device.
    This image of webmasters throwing their hands up in the air and running around "We've lost another random passer-by.. noooo!" makes me chuckle. It all comes back to content. If your site has something worthwhile, people will make the effort.
  • by freeweed (309734) on Friday June 22, 2007 @11:08PM (#19616669)
    You know, people have been browsing the web on Blackberries and Treos for quite a while now, right? While many sites decided to go the "mobile." route, a good chunk of the web works just fine on a smartphone. Has for a long time.

    Mostly it's things like tables and oddball CSS that bugger up smartphones. I can't say that I've ever experienced an "OMG NO MOUSEOVER" moment with my Crackberry.

    Shit, Google even has several of its apps specifically released for smartphones, because they realize the AJAX stuff only half works right. Google Maps + Blackberry == invaluable when travelling in another city.
    • by Shados (741919)
      Though a carefully designed web site for mobile devices tend to hike up usuability quite a bit... just reorganising how much info is displayed at a time, reformating tabular data, adding lower resolution pictures for devices that load em, and other usuability things help a lot. Also, making a web site -just- for mobile devices, if your code is loosely coupled to the UI, is often a matter of hours, top, plus testing on a few standard devices. Much, MUCH easier than developing for the "real" web, so its not m
  • Is now useless. It's far too gui friendly - and they have sacrificed a great deal of functionality to accomplish it.

    Look at the trailers page. Pointlessly large and confusing to anyone used to a normal webpage.

  • Segway (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 22, 2007 @11:22PM (#19616755)
    I'm sure I remember a quote from Dean Kamen claiming cities will be rebuild to accomodate the Segway. Yeah, they're almost done I think.
  • Next question!
  • Hype, hype, hype (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East (318230) on Friday June 22, 2007 @11:29PM (#19616813) Homepage Journal
    Can someone please tell me how Apple pulls this off? I mean the frigging phone isn't even on the market yet, and we have Slashdot stories talking about redesigning the web to work on this thing. Give me a break. It appears "multitouch" is the next buzzword. The issues the article discuses, like mouse over events and hovering, isn't even specific to a multitouch panel in the first place. These are issues that have surfaced decades ago, and are typically addressed by a tap-hold style action.

    Sorry, but this is just getting to me. It's like there is a certain percentage of the population (and press), that is willing to give Apple a wink and a nod, and pretend that every last freaking thing the iPhone encompasses was just invented by Apple. Wee! It can browse the web (never mind that its display has 1/2 the pixels of a VGA Pocket PC). Wow! It can play MP3s (boy the music sounds extra special somehow on an iPhone). Neat! It has a soft input panel (lets ignore that there is no tactile feedback, thus typing requires visual stimuli to make sure you're pressing the right areas). Yeehaw! What battery life (even though you can't swap batteries, preventing the user from purchasing as many extra batteries as necessary to meet their usage needs).

    For every true innovation there's three caveats. Maybe once this thing actually hits the market we can get at least a small dose of reality.

    Dan East
    • by dr.badass (25287)
      Can someone please tell me how Apple pulls this off? I mean the frigging phone isn't even on the market yet, and we have Slashdot stories talking about redesigning the web to work on this thing. Give me a break.

      You had a break, but you wasted it commenting (at length) on a story that you seem to be actively disinterested in.
      • You had a break, but you wasted it commenting (at length) on a story that you seem to be actively disinterested in.

        He's a Slashdot reader. He feels this piece of news is not important enough to be posted compared to other more important stuff. That's his comment. What's the problem?

        You Apple fanbois need to loosen up a little and take the "I don't like what you say but I defend your right to say it" attitude a bit more.

        The majority of people consider Apple users a bunch of elitist snobs and you've don

    • Sorry, but this is just getting to me. It's like there is a certain percentage of the population (and press), that is willing to give Apple a wink and a nod, and pretend that every last freaking thing the iPhone encompasses was just invented by Apple. Wee!

      Please pick up your official "Curmudgeon" hat down at the Elks Lodge. Thanks!

    • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @06:10AM (#19618485)

      Can someone please tell me how Apple pulls this off?

      Magic runes, chutzpah and Steve Jobs' third testicle.

  • I expect that ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by constantnormal (512494) on Friday June 22, 2007 @11:32PM (#19616835)
    ... both AT&T and Apple (both significant advertisers) will provide some subtle inducements for site owners to provide a view of their pages that works well with the iPhone.

    And if a site is well-designed, separating the "view" from the "data" using CSS or javascript or whatever, it should not require a massive overhaul of a site to provide an iPhone-friendly view. And it certainly shouldn't require any non-standard web page syntax to do so.

    Anyone know what the user-agent string is for the iPhone?
  • No (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Friday June 22, 2007 @11:48PM (#19616921)

    I don't test my site except with the browsers I use anyway. If your browser is broken, not my problem. Also, my UI is simple. I dislike using JS, and try to minimize it.

    As a sidenote, I believe the iPhone will be an overhyped failure (not in sales, but as a product). My coworker disagrees with me. Other than shorting Apple stock, with the expectation that I can buy it back two quarters after the iPhone's arrival (after a long enough period of time that inital sales, which I expect to be extreme, will die down), is there any way you can recommend for the two of us to use for us to put money on it?

    • Don't short the stock, especially when you claim to know that you're betting on the stock movement for exactly two quarters. Instead, buy a "put". That way, you limit your potential losses, and you also avoid getting scared out of you position if the stock goes up for a while before going down (plus, you don't risk a margin call, etc.) Similarly, your friend can buy a "call" and get the same sort of advantages.
  • by LBArrettAnderson (655246) on Friday June 22, 2007 @11:52PM (#19616953)
    The only things that are mentioned in this article about the question of whether or not we will change our websites to better suit the iPhone are things that are already present in current mobile devices!

    Why do the majority of iPhone related articles on slashdot ignore the fact that it's nothing new?

    Sure there is the zoom stuff, that's one difference, but that has nothing to do with me adapting my website for the iPhone and everything to do with the iPhone adapting itself to be able to view the full-version of websites instead of mobile-versions.
  • I'd change it (Score:2, Informative)

    by pajeromanco (575906)
    Only if my employer buys me one in order to test the site.
  • Well? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by machine of god (569301) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @12:22AM (#19617077)
    Will you redesign your cities for IT???
  • Only because I am getting an iPhone and I want an iPhone optimized version of it for personal use. If I had not been getting an iPhone, chances are I wouldn't do it. I am going to guess the same holds true for many site owners.
  • It's called backwards compatibility. When you have something that is better (at least you say/think it is), you emulate the functionality of the existing, older standards.

    Tablet PCs have done this... forever. The mouse cursor moves to and clicks wherever the user touched. The browser will probably do something like this, and as for handling multitouch... use it for zooming or whatever, but for normal cursor operations, ignore it! Problem solved.

    With onmouseover/out stuff, they would be triggered imm

  • Why should we have to change our sites just because they cannot make a better phone-based web browser?

    Didn't the commercials say it is the full Internet or something in that regards? What is up with this article?
  • Heck no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gravis777 (123605) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @12:40AM (#19617183)
    I tried when the webtv came out, then i realized that if i just wrote with standards, while it may not look great on non-pc platforms, it looked good enough that you could get what you needed. Now if the page did not work at all on the iphone, that owuld be one thing, but my guess is that it will display just fine, just not be "Optimized" for it. And quite frankly, my site is probably not something people are going to want to be browsing from a mobile device anyway. I point this out to our users all the time when they grip about their blackberries not having all the features of Outlook - Your mobile device is there as a CONVIENIENCE, not as a replacement for your desktop / laptop. Quite frankly, I do not see the lure of mobile devices. I want my phone to make phone calls and do text messaging. I am not going to try to type out an e-mail on one of those tiny keypads (omg, have you tried typing on a Pearl?), the screen is really too small to read anything more than maybe a rss feed, data plans are astronomical, and speeds suck.

    This reminds me of people complaining about the quality of stuff on the itunes music store. So before videos were not at full dvd resolution. Guess what, the ipod doesn't support that resolution. So what if the songs are at 128k, the majority of people are listening on earbuds anyways, not on a full stereo system.

    The point is, the trouble of rewrittign a site for the iPhone is just not worth it unless you are something like CNN or BBC or Google. You are not going to be browsing your church website, pepsi.com or a porn site on your iPhone, are you? (Okay, SOMEONE will, but not the majority of people).

    When I was even running highly popular sites, in the days when webtv was popular, with the hundreds of hits I got a day, I may get a hit once every two weeks from a webtv. I spent hours pulling out my hair trying to get it all looking pretty for them, and in the end, the tradeoff just wasn't there. It worked, it just was not optimized before.

    I mean, I am sorry, but unless you are running one of the top 20 internet sites, there is just no reason to optimize your site for the iPhone. Its pointless, its a waste of time, and people are not going to want to view your myspace profile from a mobile device, you just are not that popular.
  • by crossmr (957846)
    As soon as apple gives me a free phone and 1 year subscription for testing purposes.
  • by MBoffin (259181) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @12:45AM (#19617209) Homepage
    One of the big marketing points they've been pushing in their ads for the iPhone is that you don't have to browse a "watered down Internet" on the iPhone. Go watch the ad called Watered Down [apple.com].

    If Apple thinks their browser is good/robust enough to browse the "real" web, then making my site look fine in Safari (which any web developer should be doing anyway) is all I should have to do.

    Care to argue otherwise?
  • by Lord Ender (156273) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @12:55AM (#19617251) Homepage
    Redesigning a web app that uses a significant amount of AJAX functionality is going to take hundreds of hours of developer time. Suppose the average AJAX developer costs $50/hr. For 600 hours of work, we would need to make MORE THAN $50x600 = $30,000 worth of developer time to redesign!

    For the redesign to be worth it, we would need to pull more than $30,000 in AFTER TAX, AFTER RISK profit! Not revenue--profit.

    Since web businesses have lower margins than "traditional" businesses, we are going to require many hundreds of thousands of potential iPhone-only dollars being spent at our site before we consider it.

    Show me the study with killodollars (per site) of potential iPhone purchases, and have it coming from Gardner, or Forester, or whichever "reputable" BS analysis company--and we'll start to consider it.
  • I know a few folks who spent a fair amount of time tweaking their sites to make them work with WebTV, back in the day. According to some, WebTV was going to someday comprise an appreciable portion of Web viewing, so we were all supposed to craft all sorts of tricky solutions. Of course, WebTV never panned out.

    My point is not that we shouldn't be cognizant of how a new device will display websites. But until your logfiles start showing some actual traffic from said device, it's not worth losing sleep over.

  • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @01:02AM (#19617305)
    Almost every "Web 2.0" site I visit actually works less well than equivalent sites did years ago. Now, photo galleries use ajax and javascript to switch pages, making it impossible to, say, open each page in a new tab and switch between them. Obscenely huge tables are loaded and sorted using javascript instead of letting me sort on the server side. Forum software prevents me from replying in a new window, or heck, even gracefully switching between threads. Keyboard support is often non-existent, since everyone thinks it's cool to reimplement the button element with sixteen DIVs and a Javascript widget framework.

    You know what the worst is, though? The most useless example of sheep-like trend following?

    Go to eBay.com's front page, and mouseover one of the menus at the top. The damn server PERFORMS AN AJAX QUERY to eBay to get the four items in the menu. They should know better.

    Please, just wake me up when the "web 2.0" fad is over.
  • Assuming it turns out to be worthwhile to make web pages that work well on Apple's multi-touch screens, there are two big issues. On the one hand, multiple touches are possible. On the other, fingers are blunt instruments and the user can't see through them. Targets have to be big. Look at any touch screen in retail. The buttons there are huge.

    Rearranging playlists and changing channels should work fine, but anything that needs real input will be tough.

  • Apple's own stated target is 1% of cell phone users.

    Given relatively few sites take their time to optimize for Safari on the Mac (which has 5% of the desktop market), what are the odds they'd optimize for Safari on an iPhone that has 1% of it?

    Even Opera has 1.5% of the web market and, other than its robustness saving it, most web developers don't even bother to check if sites work in it.

    Next question: What percentage of users are partially sighted? That dwarfs the 1% of the iPhone. What percentage of sites
  • by PietjeJantje (917584) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:53AM (#19618267)
    Stop it. Just stop it. I know "web 2.0" is considered evil here and all problems are probably caused by it, but mouseover or a:hover is absolutely, completely unrelated to "web 2.0", nor is it an convention of it. That is just nonsense and the same as saying javascript or a div are web 2.0 inventions, just because someone used those elements for what he calls a web 2.0 site. Although I'd be pretty interested to find out how someone can either do Ajax calls with a:hover or how it does perform a social function for the community. Surely web 2.0 deserves all the cliche rants that this article results in here, but there is a time and place for things, and a different interface paradigm of the iphone and possible problems with mouseovers on existing web pages isn't one.
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @07:04AM (#19618647)
    We should definitely make sure the best ever experience for the iPhone! Right!

    Some stats based upon web client hype as of late:

    1. iPhone: 5 million publications of iPhone taking over the world
    2. Safari for Win: 3.2 million benchmarks proving Safari is teh greatest Windows browser ever.
    3. Firefox: 2.1 million "take the web back" propaganda blog posts.
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    612. IE6: 1 positive article and 40 million "I hate IE" quotes from IRC Efnet.

    And now, let's see the web client stats:

    1. IE6: 448 million people
    2. IE7: 128 million people
    3. Firefox: 96 million people
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    821. iPhone: 11 people (including Steve Jobs)

    Puts things in perspective.

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