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The Mobile Information Divide

  1. Jun 26, 2017 #1

    anorlunda

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    I just went to follow @Nugatory 's interesting suggestion. When I got there, I found that Wikipedia's interface for iPads, does not include a "talk" tab. When using a tablet, "you can't get there from here."

    Similarly, on a recent thread it became obvious that some of us were miscommunication about PF because the right sidebar does not appear on mobile devices such as iPads.

    Mobile devices also sometimes fail to render latex, video, or graphics information.

    I just wanted to point out this new kind of information divide. The Internet is becoming divided into "desktop" and "mobile" domains. The same information does not appear on both. If we are aware of that, we might avoid incorrect assumptions about what the other person does nor does not see.

    Since more people every day are using mobile devices and abandoning desktop ones, the problem will get worse before it gets better.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2017 #2

    jedishrfu

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    The problem is that mobile is a dumbed down interface and there's little distinction between tablets and mobile phones. A website developer could make the changes to support it but now they contend with a third platform to maintain.

    Anyway, I agree with your assessment.
     
  4. Jun 27, 2017 #3
    It all depends on the device resolution, not the device itself.
     
  5. Jun 27, 2017 #4

    jedishrfu

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    Except you determine resolution using device type and sometimes they lumped together right?
     
  6. Jun 27, 2017 #5
    Right. Phones will likely not show the sidebar. ipad 1 and 2 should show the sidebar using landscape mode and ipad 3 and 4 should show the sidebar always.
     
  7. Jun 27, 2017 #6

    jedishrfu

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    I'm using an iPad now and don't see the side bar. Mine is a pretty recent model bought a year ago.
     
  8. Jun 27, 2017 #7
    Portrait or landscape? Or both?
     
  9. Jun 27, 2017 #8

    jedishrfu

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    Both

    When you say sidebar that's the column on the right showing who's on, right? I don't see that feature.

    I'm using safari.
     
  10. Jun 27, 2017 #9

    anorlunda

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    I'm sure you're right Greg. I love the heroics that platforms do to support such diverse devices.

    The problem I commented on is the assumption of people in a conversation that ohers see the same info/same features on the same page as they do. It is a device-dependent variant of social media sites presenting reader-dependent versions of the news.

    My comment was triggered by the realization that an iPad user and editor on Wikipedia could be unaware that the talk page feature of Wikipedia even exists.
     
  11. Jun 28, 2017 #10

    jack action

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    I don't understand this concept where an information relevancy is judged based on the type of machine. You can change how it is accessed (full detailed menu vs a small menu icon that links to the actual menu, for example), but if you judge the information unnecessary for one user then why would it be useful for the other?

    A good web designer is even supposed to make the website content accessible to text-based browsers (Lynx) and screen readers by adding more information like, for example, providing a textual description for every image.
     
  12. Jun 28, 2017 #11
    Altering menus is easy, but figuring out how to transform blocks of content from a say 1920x1080 screen to fit nicely on a 375x559 screen is not easy. Mobile speed also factors in. There is also plenty of functionality that is appropriate for desktops but very difficult for mobile to handle. I've spent years working on this.

    This is idealism but not realistic anymore. Websites have become far too advanced and text browsers far too rare.
     
  13. Jun 28, 2017 #12

    anorlunda

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    Lots of luck reading your way through Avatar seen on the text-only version of Netflix. o_O
     
  14. Jun 28, 2017 #13

    jack action

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    What does that mean? How can websites be "advanced"? They are programmed differently, that is true. But I'm not sure it is necessarily an "advancement".

    A web browser is supposed to fetch a HTML document with a styling sheet and maybe some javascript for extra interactivity. That is good for most information you need (certainly no less that reading a book). But this trend of today, where it seems that the document must continuously change while you're reading it, I think is overkill most of the time. It doesn't even help speed-wise and I know because I use a slow connection and an old computer.

    For example, with PF, every time I load a page with a fragment in the URL (#), it should load, then go to the anchor and be done with it. It actually does this process 3 times. Every time, the browser goes to the anchor of, say, the last post, then I begin scrolling to the top to see the first post and just as I begin to read, it goes back to the last post again :mad:. I scroll back to the top, begin to read and it sends me back to the last post again :mad:. I finally can read the first post on my 3rd trial :H. And that is just a tiny annoyance. Because a forum should be nothing more than a set of ordered text files, with some images and (links to) videos here and there.

    I recently change from hotmail to gmail, since they now force you to use the «standard» view which basically loads a server on your computer. All that wait is supposed to be rewarded by a faster communication once the «server» is installed. It is not, really not. Hotmail is actually unusable (anyway with my slow connection and older computer). Gmail is better, but I can also switched to the «basic HTML» view which is fast as lightning! :bow::partytime: Guess which one I use? What is the gain for that "advancement" that is now the «standard» view? I really can't see it.

    Don't get me started on Facebook, which is basically unreadable from my point of view. How this website can be ranked #2 after Google is beyond me :confused:o_O.

    I understand how this is due to a lot of modules interacting independently from one another, but I don't call this "advancement", it is a bug due to bad programming. And if people were trying a little bit more to follow standards and ask themselves a little more often "Do I really need this or is it just for a «new is cool» factor?", the web would be a lot more enjoyable.

    There is a difference between downloading a movie to read it with an appropriate program and downloading the catalog of the movies available on a website. Your movie is probably also available with sub-titles and descriptive video.
     
  15. Jun 28, 2017 #14
    Most serious websites have loads of javascript. Try running them in Lynx. I any case, in my preference Lynx would be such a miserable experience I'd not use the internet if it were the only option.

    So you'd prefer to go back to a system such as this? (This was the most popular message board script pre 2000)
    http://www.scriptarchive.com/demos/wwwboard/wwwboard.html

    I think we just have personal preference differences. The websites move to the general preference of it's users. So you may wish back for the days of Lynx only, but the vast majority of internet users apparently want more interactivity and dynamism.
     
  16. Jun 28, 2017 #15

    jack action

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    And most of it should be for an «enhanced experience» which I have nothing against. For example, I like when I select text on PF and I get a «Quotes» and «Reply» buttons. But it doesn't alter the information provided and the website could be fully usable without it (i.e. without loading the javascript file related to it).

    It's mostly the javascript that is constantly fetching stuff from the server that is really annoying or when videos starts on their own. It is most often a waste of bandwith from my point of view. For me, any website should be usable without immediately fetching the linked documents (css, javascript, images, videos, etc.). Could you imagine if a browser opened in a new window every clickable link that is on a web page just because it is there? That would be insane. What do we do, then? The browser patiently waits for the user to decide what he wants to download. It's really nice that some programmers want to anticipate what the user will do next, but I often feel they anticipate too much and that is annoying.
    What is wrong with that web page? How is that different from PF (other than allowing anonymous users to post)? Don't let yourself be fooled by the presentation which is only a question of styling. Sure, it shows only one post at a time instead of the first few posts following a thread, but that is only presentation. Sure, today you look for BBCode in the message instead of parsing a POST request looking for them (image and link URL), but it is merely smart programming (on server side) rather than "advancement".
    No I don't and that wasn't my point. The point is about presenting the information. Mostly about presenting the same information to all users.

    The point is that with a text-base browser, you could still download an image and store it on your computer. Your experience is greatly enhanced by using a browser that can show it directly and that is OK. But that shouldn't be the webmaster's choice, but rather the user's choice. Usually, browsers cannot open pdf files, but most of them have an app installed such that pdf files can be read directly instead of giving the traditional "save as" pop-up. But that is the user's choice, not the webmaster's choice.
     
  17. Jun 28, 2017 #16

    OCR

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    Well, this seem like a really odd form of... «enhanced experience»... ?


    PF4.JPG



    Maybe, it's for someone like... Zafa Pi* ? :oldtongue:

    *He knows it's just a joke...
     
  18. Jun 29, 2017 #17

    OCR

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    Well, Reader View might be better than I thought... since I'd never used it, I didn't know about some controls it has .
    Here's another picture...

    PF 5.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
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