Adapting Web Sites for Mobile Devices - A Comparison of Different Approaches

Adapting Web Sites for Mobile Devices - A Comparison of Different Approaches

Henrik Stormer (University of Fribourg, Switzerland)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-866-6.ch019
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Abstract

With the rise of mobile devices like cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) in the last years, the demand for specialized mobile solutions grows. One key application for mobile devices is the Web service. Currently, almost all Web sites are designed for stationary computers and cannot be shown directly on mobile devices because of their limitations. These include a smaller display size, delicate data input facilities and smaller bandwidth compared to stationary devices. To overcome the problems and enable Web sites also for mobile devices, a number of different approaches exist which can be divided into client and server based solutions. Client based solutions include all attempts to improve the mobile device, for example by supporting zoom facilities or enhance the data input. Server based solutions try to adapt the pages for mobile devices. This chapter concentrates on server-based solutions by comparing different ways to adapt Web sites for mobile devices. It is assumed that Web sites designed for stationary devices already exist. Additionally, it concentrates on the generation of HTML pages. Other languages, designed especially for mobile devices like WML or cHTML, are not taken into account simply because of the improvement of mobile devices to show standard HTML pages. The following three methods are generally used today: Rewrite the page, use an automatic generator to create the page, or try to use the same page for stationary and mobile devices. This chapter illustrates each method by adapting one page of the electronic shop software eSarine. Afterwards, the methods are compared using different parameters like the complexity of the approach or the ease of integration in existing systems.

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