Archive for the 'iPhone' Category

Published by Fabian on 24 Jul 2008

Cross Browser Custom Scrolling

I am a bit frustrated.

I actually do like web page layouts that prevent scrolling of some content. Why? Because i have a 1680 resolution here and I really appreciate that some navigation stays in place. Even for small resolutions the loss of a few pixels is a gain of usability.

So far I have only seen and used two different techniques that do not use frames of any kind.

  1. Div-Puzzle
    In a Div-Puzzle you use some amount of divs to fill the screen. All these divs stay in place, most likely using an absolute css positioning. There is quite likely a “content” div that will be the only one that has a visible overflow.
    While this div puzzle works nice for many designs I tried so far it exposes some issues:

    1. Browser Quirks
      There are quite a lot of hacks required to get this working correctly and place all the puzzle pieces where they should belong in all browsers.
    2. 100% Issue
      It is even more complicated to get 100% width and/or height on all those elements where you want. Its possible, but depending on the nesting not very nice.
    3. Scroll Detection
      While many PC browsers manage to find out that there is only one div that can be scrolled, mobile browsers hardly can deal with that. Also scrolling wheel sometimes only works when the mouse is over the main scrolling div. Also the scrollbar will mess up the design. If its not only being it ugly looking, its also of different width when its not there. iPhone uses need to double scroll to be able to scroll inside.
  2. Fixed-Framing
    In this technique, you put all your main stuff to the body element. This is good for browsers, because that is what they want to have. In addition you build some divs that contain navigation or just background images. These divs get a fixed position and a higher z-index than the body. In addition the body gets some padding so it makes sure that no content will be under the frame. This solution seems to have less downsides for me:

    1. Format
      As the padding is required for this solution to work only rectangular window from the frame is easily possible.
    2. Browser Display
      At least my S60 browser displays the frame initially fine. But on scrolling it has redraw issues, hiding the content which is scrolled over (but which is actually fixed on a higher z-layer)

Are there any other good ideas for realizing a nice layout like the ones I implemented on or ?

Especially I am interested in “legal footer” solutions. I can live with the footer beeing relatively positioned to the end of the page, lets say with some 30 pixels spacing. However on larger resolutions, where the main content of the page filles only 50% of it, I still want the footer to be at the bottom of the page, as I think having the footer in the center of the screen distracts and looks ugly :-)

Published by Fabian on 04 Apr 2008

One Google to rule them all

I have some e-Mail accounts which get spammed by multiple spam mails per hour, but unfortunatly I could not make a clear cut and kill them. Now I found a neat feature in GMail which allows you to collect pop3 accounts and provide the mails via GMail interface. This is especially handy because then I have them on my iPhone as well. And most important: They have to pass the superb Google spam filter.

So as you see I dropped my resistance against Google crawling all my private data, because the service they provide is worth more than I consider the value of my mails.

Published by Fabian on 03 Apr 2008

Bye Bye iPhone, Welcome iPhone

T-Mobile announced today that there will be a special offer starting on Monday, where I would save 200 Euros for my phone. Too sad that I bought it already. Well I tried calling T-Mobile and negotiating about getting this back without any hassle. And yes! its not possible :-)

To bad, because here in Germany you can send back goods you ordered via phone or internet within 14 days.

So I will send back my phone on Monday and order a new one on Monday. Because terminating my account, charging 1/4 of monthly fee, inspecting my sent back phone, repackaging it and sending me a new via Express is cheaper for T-Mobile than just adding 200 Euro to my account.

Well if you (T-Mobile) want it like that you can have it. I can live two days without my iPhone.

Urks, I was pointed to a tiny detail: Upon activation I confirmed that I waive my right to return the iPhone. Of course if I would want to go into a lawsuit I could argue that I was unable to test the device (testing is the main reason for those magical 14 days, you have to have time to test it similar to what you do when you can hold it in your hand) without activating it.

Somehow I am reluctant and consider taking the offer of 100€ onto the account T-Mobile is giving at the moment.

Published by Fabian on 03 Apr 2008

Could not resist the iPhone

I really thought for a while that I could resist the iPhone. Being a quite expensive gadget makes this a though decision. But as a mobile application developer I just have to have one in addition to java2me one. So since a few days I am a happy iPhone owner. A really sweet piece of hardware and software. Usability is nearly flawless.
I am now looking forward to develop nice applications for it and tweak my websites.

Then next thing I have to do is learn all the tricks to use it even more effectively. The keyboard is very unusual in the beginning gut its clever autocorrection makes fun once you have switched it to the correct language :-)

PS: this was written on the iPhone using the wordpress wphone plugin which surprisingly also works well on 2.5 release, contrary popular believe.
Update: tweaked and linked with PC. Bit easier here :-)