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Unread 29 Dec 2007, 05:04   #1
GReaper
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Mobile interface

Any chance of an alternative stylesheet aimed at mobile browsers?

I've mostly been restricted to phones unable to use a decent web browser, however after trying Planetarion with Opera Mobile it's clear that although it's workable it isn't exactly great for usability. Certain bits are acceptable to use, but it could use some improvements. It's a bit disappointing that a 7 year old web game doesn't take full advantage of the mobile web.

I'm not expecting a WAP version, just something which a few mobile browsers will render slightly better than they currently do.
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Unread 31 Dec 2007, 10:42   #2
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Re: Mobile interface

definitely! the new opera mini is good but theres something messed up in the style sheet or some bug somewhere because the menu images dont load anymore on the overview page etc
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Unread 31 Dec 2007, 11:11   #3
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Re: Mobile interface

I thought you could opt out of having a skin?
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Unread 31 Dec 2007, 12:06   #4
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Re: Mobile interface

on symbian also .. most skins are useable but not wonderfull
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Unread 31 Dec 2007, 14:41   #5
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Re: Mobile interface

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Real Arfy
I thought you could opt out of having a skin?
You can select the 'text-only'... 'skin'... (which, btw, I requested 2-3 rounds ago) which has always worked fine for me... but then I've been using mobile internet explorer on a smartphone.

Smartphones are gay for taking to nightclubs though, it's hard to look cool with a stylus. So now I have a Samsung G600 and can't use the internet at all, but that's fine because gf>pa.

I actually put that on her Christmas card... " you > pa. "

I got a funny look
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Unread 31 Dec 2007, 17:36   #6
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Re: Mobile interface

The text only skin is about the best of what has been offered so far.

Personnally, it still has to way much formatting on it for me. I would like to see all the "style" ripped off of it and just a plain and simple white screen with text links on it - that's it.

Don't see it happening tbh unless somebody from the community does it though.... hint hint
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Unread 31 Dec 2007, 18:09   #7
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Re: Mobile interface

It's not a skin I'm suggesting, but a seperate CSS stylesheet which renders the same data in a slightly friendlier way to a mobile device.

At the moment with Opera Mobile I can use screen format which looks fairly similar to regular browsers, a little bit buggy and awkward to navigate - but it's understandable as it's close to what you usually see. There is also the handheld stylesheet mode which tries to wrap the text so you don't have the horizontal scroll bar, without a proper handheld stylesheet it tries to render it as best as possible - it isn't going to be that great unless the site is designed/styled with it in mind.
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Unread 1 Jan 2008, 18:01   #8
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Re: Mobile interface

One round they did offer an Opera version for the skin. It was very plain but suitable for opera mini.
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Unread 1 Jan 2008, 22:28   #9
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Re: Mobile interface

I don't really play planetarion at all, but it works fine on my blackberry and whilst I may look like a knob for having a blackberry I don't look like a nerd so women dig it.
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Unread 9 Aug 2009, 21:44   #10
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Re: Mobile interface

Please excuse the bump of an ancient thread, however it still seems quite relevant.

I've got a new phone, even though it has a larger screen and a much better browser - Planetarion is still a poor experience on any mobile device. A mobile CSS file could make the experience a whole lot better by hiding the useless header, changing the layout to support small widths, navigation placed at the bottom of the page, along with other tweaks which could make the game more pleasurable.

I'm sure you've got some stats on how many players use mobile devices to see if it's worthwhile cause. I'm guessing that this game is heavily dominated by males who tend to like all things techie - players who are more likely to have decent phones?
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Unread 10 Aug 2009, 01:57   #11
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Re: Mobile interface

Navigation at the bottom? Horrible suggestion, I don't want to have to scroll all the way down to change pages.

PA looks just fine on my Nokia, using the default skin and the browser set to ignore images, only complaint I have is the bot question page, which I have to enable images for, and it's full of images! Adds an extra 200kb or so to my session. Also, replying/deleting mails is impossible with images disabled, the alt text doesn't appear for some reason so I have nothing to click!
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Unread 10 Aug 2009, 04:10   #12
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Re: Mobile interface

Quote:
Originally Posted by ellonweb View Post
Navigation at the bottom? Horrible suggestion, I don't want to have to scroll all the way down to change pages.

PA looks just fine on my Nokia, using the default skin and the browser set to ignore images, only complaint I have is the bot question page, which I have to enable images for, and it's full of images! Adds an extra 200kb or so to my session. Also, replying/deleting mails is impossible with images disabled, the alt text doesn't appear for some reason so I have nothing to click!
Indeed. I use the text-only skin for playing on my phone, but still have to download all the images on the login pages. Those two pages account for about 90% of any PA session.
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Unread 10 Aug 2009, 06:21   #13
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Re: Mobile interface

yeah, I would be happy with a different login page for mobiles so they didn't have to load all the background images and such. the only usable skins i've found for mobile are r21, text only, and spreadsheet skins. the rest take too long to navigate between pages from all the images

(this is on a bb curve 8330 w/ Verizon/Alltel - on my HTC Diamond everything worked fine because it had Opera Mobile. Opera Mini is more of a hassle )
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Unread 10 Aug 2009, 10:38   #14
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Re: Mobile interface

My mistake regarding navigation. The entire navigation list on every page isn't needed though, it's probably better having the front page as a basic overview with links to pages, with other pages having their content near the top of the page with just a back link at the very top (breadcrumbs). My point is you shouldn't have to scroll through 2 pages of navigation links just to get to the content. Maybe the navigation could still be at the bottom but with a "Navigation" link at the top which instantly skips down the page to it.

You say it's fine, yet you've had to disable images in your browser, but you also have to enable images and suffer over 200kB downloading just to get past the bot stopper?

I'm not claiming to be an expert on the entire handheld devices thing, but it would just be nice to see some effort being put in so it's a better experience. These are just some ideas on how it could be done.
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Unread 10 Aug 2009, 12:24   #15
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Re: Mobile interface

Quote:
Originally Posted by GReaper View Post
My mistake regarding navigation. The entire navigation list on every page isn't needed though, it's probably better having the front page as a basic overview with links to pages, with other pages having their content near the top of the page with just a back link at the very top (breadcrumbs).
Again a bad idea. Mobile browsers often can't cache previous pages visited (due to lack of memory), so going back often requires reloading pages, so having to go back to a previous page in order to go forwards is horrible.

Quote:
My point is you shouldn't have to scroll through 2 pages of navigation links just to get to the content.
I don't understand this last bit, but as a stab in the dark, your browser isn't showing page content to the right of the menu, but below? That's pretty crap if that's the case, but I'm pretty certain most mobile browsers these days shouldn't have a problem with that.
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Unread 10 Aug 2009, 13:38   #16
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Re: Mobile interface

I agree totally about an absolute img free page + login for mobile access.

Data transfer in Belgium is pretty expensive, and those 200kb of useless images i get to login are pretty sucky
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Unread 10 Aug 2009, 15:45   #17
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Re: Mobile interface

Quote:
Originally Posted by ellonweb View Post
I don't understand this last bit, but as a stab in the dark, your browser isn't showing page content to the right of the menu, but below? That's pretty crap if that's the case, but I'm pretty certain most mobile browsers these days shouldn't have a problem with that.
Varies on the handset and browser.

On my Nokia E65 with Opera Mini, Opera Mobile and the default browser it's painful to navigate in full page mode. Doing anything requires scrolling throughout huge sections of the page. It's only a 240x320 screen, although it's still perfectly capable of using most sites. Forcing the site into mobile mode makes it easier to navigate pages in general (as you only need to scroll down and not right), but it's a bit of a hack when the site doesn't provide a handheld CSS file (hence the 2 pages of navigation).

On my Android phone with 320x480 it's better, but it's still not an optimal experience, I'm sure the same applies to the iPhone and any other fairly recent devices. You still have to scroll around the page but it's obviously faster than older phones to do so.

A few tweaks could go a long way towards making the game easier to use on mobile devices, along with reducing bandwidth and memory usage.
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Unread 10 Aug 2009, 16:25   #18
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Re: Mobile interface

some time at the beginning of this round i coded a small mobile detection thing for the game, it's not really fully done etc, but it has actually been publicly accessible on the beta for quite a long time, not that many knew

so if you just go to http://beta.planetarion.com/login.pl with a phone browser it should hopefully detect it and display a slightly more friendly page. The css is just a quick mockup and atm it only applies to the login and a couple of other pages.
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Unread 10 Aug 2009, 17:31   #19
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Re: Mobile interface

A step in the right direction!
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Unread 10 Aug 2009, 22:07   #20
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Re: Mobile interface

much better

as already said, it's at least a step in the right direction, guess it's something.....
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Unread 11 Aug 2009, 00:03   #21
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Re: Mobile interface

that loads like.. 500x faster..
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Unread 11 Aug 2009, 02:47   #22
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Re: Mobile interface

(include in next round please? )
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Unread 11 Aug 2009, 11:25   #23
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Re: Mobile interface

Quote:
Originally Posted by ellonweb View Post
(include in next round please? )
i'm hoping to, at least in the sense it'll lighten the login etc like it currently is on the beta, might need to do some tweaking in the css though.
Hoping to get the same applied to ingame pages as well, for now anyway, the option to remove/lighten contents output is technically there but it would required altering each page, obviously, so that'll have to wait a for like r34 (hopefully).

Probably gonna need to try to check for false positives as well, and have a system allowing for overrides, but hey, just not loading all the extra image data and other relatively useless things should make it easier on phones.
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Unread 11 Aug 2009, 12:28   #24
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Re: Mobile interface

Long live the text only skin.
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Unread 11 Aug 2009, 12:34   #25
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Re: Mobile interface

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Long live the text only skin.
Except that you still have the login page that consists of nothing but pictures
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Unread 11 Aug 2009, 15:01   #26
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Re: Mobile interface

Which is why I said that in reply to Cin's post about the ingame pages, not the login page. Do keep up.
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Unread 11 Aug 2009, 15:07   #27
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Re: Mobile interface

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cincinnatus View Post
Probably gonna need to try to check for false positives as well, and have a system allowing for overrides, but hey, just not loading all the extra image data and other relatively useless things should make it easier on phones.
Perhaps add a mobile.planetarion.com domain, so people can explicitly choose? (Or better yet, just m.plan..., less typing = win :P)

Also, you could perhaps automatically forward people to the mobile domain, and add a link at the bottom of the page to go back to the full site instead?
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Unread 11 Aug 2009, 16:07   #28
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Re: Mobile interface

please don't do automatic forwarding to mobile. i curse olive garden every time i try to look at their menu on my mobile phone. they forward you to some text only crap that doesn't even have descriptions of the dishes. a m.planetarion.com or a mobile.planetarion.com (or both, ha!) would be awesome though!
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Unread 28 Aug 2009, 01:35   #29
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Re: Mobile interface

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Originally Posted by Zaejii View Post
please don't do automatic forwarding to mobile. i curse olive garden every time i try to look at their menu on my mobile phone. they forward you to some text only crap that doesn't even have descriptions of the dishes. a m.planetarion.com or a mobile.planetarion.com (or both, ha!) would be awesome though!
I wasn't going to chime in because a lot of the useful stuff has already been said, but I think Zejii makes a point worth reiterating here. There should be a separate login page for mobile devices, and the regular login page should not automatically redirect to it. There should, however, be a link at the bottom middle of both login pages allowing the user to switch over to the other version if they have a need/desire to. (i.e. "Looking for the mobile login page? Click here" and "Looking for the regular login page? Click here")
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Unread 28 Aug 2009, 02:17   #30
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Re: Mobile interface

(This was actually my suggestion, not Zae's, see the post above his! )
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Unread 28 Aug 2009, 05:13   #31
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Re: Mobile interface

i like the way its done. it auto-detects and loads up the mobile login and keeps you on the same server! no forwarding! yay! <3
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Unread 30 Aug 2009, 01:28   #32
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Re: Mobile interface

While I totally love the mobile login screen, I dislike the auto-detection. What happens with people running a normal browser on their laptop, but accessing internet through their phone or a 3G dongle or something like these? They'd have to download all the pictures. Time and money!
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