Tuesday, July 17, 2007

iPhone for emergency management

iPhone SmartphoneThe iPhoneWebDev is providing a discussion forum for developing applications for the iPhone. A simple way to provide an applciation is by adapting a web interface. So I asked the forum if the Sahana disaster management system works on it. So far I have had two replies. The first reply indicated that it worked reasonably well. The second indicated some problems:

* Sidebar too narrow: This could be fixed if the iPhone accepts the CSS media type of "handheld". We can then automatically replace the sidebar with a menu the full width of the screen, when an iPhone, or other smart phone is used. I have asked the community to test this using my old Sahana prototype on the iPhone. On a desktop PC the menu should appear as a bullet list on the right of the screen. On a handheld device it should appear as a numbered list at the top, taking up the full width of the screen.

* Incident / language too small: The text for the form on the top right of the page for setting the language and selecting the incident needs to be made larger.

* Wrong tab: Using "next" (equivalent to the TAB key on a PC) caused the pointer to jump from "Incident" at the top of the screen down to "login", skipping the menu. As per the web accessibility guidelines the logical tab order should be used. This can be changed using the tabindex attribute. But generally the natural order of left to right, top to bottom (for English readers) should be used.

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