Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wikipedia for Mobiles

A version of the Wikipedia for Mobile phones is now available. This uses the HAWHAW PHP toolkit convert the usual Wikipedia page into a format more suitable for a small mobile phone screen. It also makes the images smaller and chops each page up into segments to reduce download time. The result is similar to Google's mobile interface. This is useful, but perhaps whoever did this might try a slightly less condensed version which would be more suitable for netbooks and smart phones.

Because the Wikipedia has a very regular structure it should also be possible to tune the conversion more. As an example, at present a section heading can appear on the bottom of one page, with the text it refers to on the next page. It should be possible to keep the heading on the next page with the text.

Below is a sample of the mobile version of the entry for the ANU's Wikipedia page. Compare this with the standard version. The mobile version is 63 kbytes in total, whereas the standard page is 261 kbytes. The mobile version is divided into 11 segments, plus a table of contents of 2.5 kbytes.. So if you started at the top of the page, went to the table of contents and then to the page you wanted, that would be about 15 kbytes in total, a saving of more than 90% on the download.

Australian National University

Online Systems and Services for Teaching
In 2009 the ANU introduced a new framework to bring together the online systems and services used for teaching and learning. ' external link[WATTLE] ' (Web Access To Teaching & Learning Environments) commenced with a pilot of [Moodle] for selected courses in first semester 2009. The system is being used to support flexible and distance education courses as well as conventional on campus education. external link[Green ICT Strategies] (COMP7310), is the first flexible course to use the system.


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1 comment:

nihiltres said...

The version is actually an older version that's been around for a while. If you're looking for something that's good for more advanced mobile devices, try instead, which is designed for devices like the iPod Touch or the Palm Pre, and implemented in Ruby. The latter is the one that was recently announced.