asters at member
organizations share their web development best practices
. Keeping content fresh
tools and platforms used
training; web applications for mobile device
and more are featured.
the original, unedited version in order to facilitate future networking.
NOREX Member Care Team for assistance.
*Please note that this is a transcript of an audio conference and it may contain misspellings and grammatical errors.
The names of participants have been abbreviated, and their organizations have been deleted from this transcript.
Training content authors and designers
Best practices to keep current with content
Browser versions supported
HTML5 and CSS3
Web apps for mobile computers and cell phones
How to accommodate multiple devices besides the desktop browsers
Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining today’s
ur first topic
submitted by Jonathon.
TOPIC: Web Development team size and budget
What is your team size and budget, including outsourcing? Jonathan, we
will start with you, and see if we can get some ranges. I actually created a poll
team size. You mean the webmaster department or web development department?
call them web work groups.
The rationale behind this is;
we do not
get to utilize a lot of other resources in our information technology group.
So, in order to
ration and perhaps get additional resources, we needed a comparison with our
organizations. So, what I am looking for is what the explicit size is for people that report
within the web development, web group, and perhaps what other external
you use. Right now, just because of the way hiring works, we have four people. But
really, we only have two normally, in addition to myself.
Jonathan, how big is your IT staff in general? That might be helpful, too.
our entire staff
is around 35 people, and it is for an organization of
Our total IT department is around 100 folks. People dedicated to web are only
two that are employees or contractors, but then we have outsourced as w
ell. I was
trying to look up the budget on the outsourcing, and I do not have immediate access to
it. We actually outsource the servers, the kind of care and feeding of the servers, the
upkeep of our CMS, and a little bit of web development. So, that is qu
ite a bit of money,
actually, per year. Then, our content authors are out in the rest of the organization, and
our communications group also does a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of updating the
content. I am not counting those folks.
thank you. The outsourced portions, has that been working out well,
especially the development piece of outsourcing?
e have taken the development kind of back in
house. The outsourcing
part is fine, but the development part was just too di
fficult to coordinate, with people in
various locations and time zones and levels of expertise with our content. So, we
stopped outsourcing some of the actual development, like a new form, something like
Thank you, Katie. Can we get any m
ore comments, please, and on your
We have sort of a hidden budget. We are part of IT, so it is difficult for us
to actually assess what ours is. So, I am really curious to know if other people have a
handle on that.
the percent of your IT budget dedicated to web development?
Yes, and also maybe, if people are doing outsourcing, how much of that
OK. Comments, folks?
It has previously been 80. We were four people for the web development. We
have been acquired during the summer by another organization, and now the total of
web development with the two locations is about ten people. The things we have a
problem with, fro
our shop, where we develop all from scratch, all the things on the
web, on the intranet, the accounting systems, finance systems, compliance, whatever
they need. When the company which acquired us takes a lot of software from vendors,
we customize the
m, and things like that. So, we have a problem adjusting with the two
things. I do not have any idea about the budget.
I have no idea about the budget. I know now, we were like four people before the
acquisition, and now we are about ten for web developm
I just wanted to be real corrugated on this. That is really helpful.
Great. Final opportunity for comments.
I would like to know if some other people use SharePoint in order to do web
development? Does SharePoint include the CMS system? That is what the company
which acquired us uses, and they still did not make any choice if they want to keep
going with SharePo
int and CMS for web development, or if they want to do it from
scratch as we do here with SQL Server, ColdFusion. If some people have SharePoint at
work, maybe they could share and say what
the experience with it is
Alban, I am jot
ting that one down as an additional topic. We will
definitely get to that one in just a moment. We will just go through our order, and where
it fits in with the types of tools and products used, we will add yours. Thank you.
TOPIC: Training content auth
ors and designers
How do you train your content authors and designers to take user
experience and accessibility into account? Katie, do you want to elaborate a little bit?
Well, specifically since we are a government organization, we have to comply
with Section 508 accessibility standards. So, that is anything that has to be available to
users who may be blind or have low vision, who may be deaf, who may have limited
ty and be unable to use a mouse, or various other disabilities. We find it difficult,
because our technology team kind of knows what the standards are, and some of the
best practices. But, since we let our content authors actually put the content out there
sometimes they are not using the best practices, like using headings appropriately. If
you have to have a table, you have to go into the code and make additional notations in
the cells as to what the layout represents. Captioning, people are pretty good
captioning and putting all text on images. But, it is hard when it is not a main part of their
job. I just wondered if anyone had any tips.
Great question. We do have quite a few government members on that have
submitted topics, and a var
industries on the call in general. We should be able to
get some help. Some hands are raised. Does this mean that you deal with this?
Christopher raised his hand, as well as Jonathan.
I can chime in a little bit. We are a semi
ental agency. We are
trying to be 508 compliant, mostly just out of fairness, not because we are under the
pressure. The management does not really see it as an essential, per se. We are using
Google as our content management system, and we use a theme tha
t has built
What we do is
we have a monthly web author group meeting.
have about 70 content creators, and we have these monthly meetings, and we go over
this periodically. Then, we also have an online author resource section, wher
e we list
best practices and, you know, the rationale behind it.
All that said;
we do not do any
If you look through the site, in fact, you find that there are some authors
who are really good, and most are, in fact, not bothering. So, I think
you have to couple
the education and the resources for how to do things with some sort of follow
Other comments on 508
? A difficult task, I am sure, Katie.
We are getting there.
I think we are starting to implement some of those
I can also say that, just for our group, we use various tools. We do not
have the budget for like
eader. But there are all sorts of plug
ins for, for
instance, Firefox, tha
t allow you to do like one, and in a way that allows you to test
things and see things in the way that
would. We try and test with that on
I am also one of the government co
for the New York State web
forum. The accessibility stuff is something we hit hard, especially the last year. What we
found worked best, for the most part, was, we would have sessions, and we have a
couple volunteers with disabilities who would access gove
rnment sites during the
meeting, and specifically go through why there are provisions in 508 for this. New York
State actually has stricter guidelines than 508, and we went through the reasons why
those exist, especially on the government side, where it is
our job to provide information
services to the public, especially those that need it, those who are disabled, if you can
get that message. Sometimes, the only way to get that message across is to put it right
in front of somebody and force them to acknowl
Thank you. I think that was very powerful for us. We had an audit done of our
website over the summer, and my team was able to sit in on a couple of the sessions
with disabled users using our site. It was very instructive. We have a few
and I think I need to try to show some of those at our next web group meeting. Thank
TOPIC: Best practices to keep current with content
Great. Katie, maybe you
Jonathan would want to talk offline a little bit
more in detail. We can help coordinate that.
e will move on to Theresa. Best ways to
keep current with content. This is challenging, isn’t it, at times?
more detail, or what best practices do you have for this?
Well, I do not know that we have any best practices in place right now. Our
web group tends to be isolated from our public information office. So, oftentimes, we are
the last to know of
events that are going on in our department. I am just wondering how
others handle it. We have a central area that updates all of our content. We do not
distribute that out to our employees. So, I am just wondering how others in that same
We should be able to get some good conversation here. Comments?
We do have a pretty good relationship with our comm
s group and our
(public information office.)
But, one thing that we have been able to do i
s get on
their mailing list. They have a daily mailing list of events, and like a roundup of coverage
in the area. So, even if you are not, you know, close to them physically or kind of
socially, water cooler talk, maybe you could get on whatever formal di
stribution list or
calendar they have, because they must have something. That is my only suggestion so
Thanks, Katie. Jonathan?
We just advocate a content management system, and let the authors of
the public affairs, all the
people who have ideas for content, put it up without having to
interact with the IT folks.
Jessica has got a nice chat comment here. Content authors, we do bi
monthly newsletters for authors with tips, tricks, and other info, to keep certain th
fresh in their minds. It has been useful to some degree, as we have some regular
turnover in parts of our agency, as the intranet’s responsibilities change fairly regularly.
Even though we cover the same topics a lot, new and old authors need the remi
Jessica, thank you for that chat. Anyone else? Please feel free to speak up on ways that
help you get those business units to help you with the content, whoever is responsible
for it. It is a little quiet. Nothing more on this topic? Theresa, do you
want to add
anything else here?
No, I think I am fine. Thank you.
TOPIC: Browser versions supported
All right. You have our next topic. It is, what browser versions are you
supporting? How far back? Jonathan, you shared on the last topic, we have not done it
yet, but are SFCs. For promoting content updates, is that right, Jonathan?
information from other entities that might be of interest, that might
want to give us
lot of CMSes will allow you to
aggregate from others, if you
get the others and post those directly on it.
Thank you for your suggestions.
May I say something? For the browser versions, we support IE, Firefox, and
Chrome. Also, I would be interested to be in touch with Jonathan after the talk, because
it seems he has a very good idea about organizing the information flow by putting
online. I would be happy to get some tips from him.
How many versions, I think, is what she means.
Right. How many users support IE6, for
I can speak to that a little bit. We decided we are no longer supporting
full functionality. But, you still need to be able to read the content on it. We are doing
like a graceful degradation approach, or you could say, a progressive enhancement
approach. In the latest version of Chrome, the latest version of Firefox,
it is going to look
much better, and even in IE7, it will not look terrible. But in IE6, it may look kind of
disjointed, but you can still accomplish your task or read everything. We just look at our
website statistics, and we say, if something falls below
a certain percentage, we are not
going to support it anymore. For a long time, IE6 was the bane of our existence with
that, and it was kind of high up there in the percentage. But, it finally dropped and
dropped and dropped, and now, I think in the last y
ear, we have stopped supporting it
Which one did you stop supporting?
IE6, OK. But you support 7 and 8?
Yes. IE6, you still have to be able to read our website on it. But, we are not
holding the desig
n to look good in IE6.
I like your approach. It is useable, but you do not look at the details of the
presentation. I like your approach, how you are doing it.
Katie, do you know that percentage?
That is a good question. A
t first we were kind of saying, when it was like 20%,
we said we have to support it. When it started dropping, it started dropping fairly quickly.
Eventually it got down to like less than 2%, and we are not supporting it anymore. I think
it would have been
a tougher call if it were maybe at 5% or 6%. We would have had to
say, well, and we would have had to look more closely and said, who are these users.
But when it got down below 2%, it was pretty easy. If you do the progressive
enhancement or graceful deg
radation, then it is easier to convince people that, the
content is still there, but it is just that we are not holding it to the same design standards.
I think that is a good approach to it. Because if you want to reconcile all the
versions, that should be impossible to get only one percent. So some choice must
be made, and I do like the way you approach it.
Excellent. We have some great chats, and we will definitely take more
comments. I am going to share, Blaise, you de
velop in Firefox, then check other
browsers. You say you support IE6 only if you have Windows 2000 computers in the
group. So, a lot of these relate to IE6 and how you are addressing this older version.
Jonathan shared, we cut off, so everything is possibl
e except IE6, very much echoing
Katie. More importantly, we are also moving to try and support mobile higher end stuff,
also trying to get into progressive enhancement.
The more important thing I wanted to say was, we are in the Bay Area, so
eople are pretty much up with technology. So, we were able to look at the stats and let
the stats drive us. IE6 is like less than a percent of our users. We were able to just look
at the stats and say, we do not have the do this anymore. But, you cannot ju
st make an
arbitrary decision based on what people here might be saying. You really need to look
at your data and say, what do we need to support? If everybody is running on some
ancient version of
, or if everybody is running on iPads, that shoul
d drive the
TOPIC: HTML5 and CSS3
Thank you. Great question, Theresa. Shall we move on? Your next one is,
how are others using HTML5 and CSS3? Anymore detail from you, Theresa?
I am just curious if others have started,
and ways that they are finding it
So, when you say started, does everyone relate to this HTML5 and what
OK. How are others using it, or are you using it? Are these more up and
We are just exploring HTML5 so far. We are not fully developed into it. We do
not use CSS here. I used it in my previous shop. We used CFBuilder.
CSS competes with HTML5? No?
(Cascading Style Sheets)
No. Those are two different things. HTML5 is some code. CSS is a framework
for development like Dreamweaver. It deletes part of reduction. Dreamweaver is p
CSS, 3, 4.
You can say HTML5 is kind of the bones and the contents, and CSS is
cascading style sheets, and it is how it is presented.
So how it looks is controlled by the
CSS, and what it is controlled by the HTML.
HTML will tell you,
this is a heading one,
this is a heading three, this is a heading three. Then, CSS will tell you, OK, the heading
one is this big and this color, heading two is this big and this color, and it is indented
and has italics or whatever. As far as us, we have
started to use it. So, what we are
doing with it is, creating a template for our new forms. Our regular pages that are in the
CMS, we are not touching those right now. But brand new forms, we created a template
using HTML5 and CSS3. So any new forms that
we create from now on, we will use
that template to create them. That also helps us with accessibility. There are some
things in HTML5 that makes that easier.
What are the advantages of HTML5 versus previous versions?
I do not know if
I can actually answer that. There is more.
You can do rounded corners.
We just got done with the process of hiring a mobile developer who is going
to come on board in January and we expect virtually everything that he is going to
develop to be in HTML5 and CSS3. Part of the great advantage to it, I am not sure if
anybody on t
he call is familiar with responsive web design. Essentially what responsive
web does is allows you to build one website and there are break points within the
cascading style sheets so that allows the exact same website to render correctly in
es. So instead of siloing off your development where you have a desktop
site and a tablet site and a mobile site you are essentially building one website that
renders correctly across all devices. There is great benefit to that obviously because we
now exactly what devices are going to be popular next year. I have heard it said
as; we don’t know what the devices are that are going to be Christmas presents next
year, but they
all have browsers. Part of the great way of developing that way is that
it hits Blackberry, Android, iPhone, iPad, desktop and you
it; all devices. I believe
that we will start seeing a lot more of the HTML5 CSS3 development, not only for the
accessibility benefits but that it is going to be usable by virtually everyone.
I have something to say about the mobile app or actually web app. We
started to explore it so I did the part (?).
f us started to create standard ____
toward our intranet application accessible on the mobiles because we have many
traveling around the world. We have contracts in various many countries so
sometimes in Africa or many places they don’t have good connections for computers so
they should be able to access our intranet the mobile app. What I did was just
t using CSS positioning I could have a good result whether on the
desktop iPad or any kind of phone; iPhone or Blackberry, Android. IT was
simple. I was a little bit
. I have a colleague who investigated
is new for mobile app. It works well on it with the phone. If we go on the
desktop with other browsers it doesn’t render well depending on the browser. So doing
just CSS positioning was working quite well. It was quite kind of simple.
We are also using
at least as our temporary mobile framework for the
home page. There are benefits to it. It was easy to develop. It was easy to deploy. At
the end of the day however we do realize that
people are coming in on the mobile
devices and the last thing that we need to do is have them download lots of Java script.
l throw this out here so that you all can try this out. As far as the responsive web
design one of the greatest examples is pro
bably the Boston Globe. Bostonglobe.com,
pull it up in a desktop browser and then minimize the screen and watch what happens
to the content. It is the exact same website. Basically the layout changes as you move
the browser back and forth.
If you have 240
pixels of width real estate then it is going to
present the content in 240 pixels.
Well what I did with CSS position in
(?) different styles of
positioning; absolute or relative or whatever, it was all of the time all the features were
fitting well on either mobile phone screen or on iPad or on the desktop. We don’t have
any problem with any browsers with
Building for mobile web and building for CSS3 and HTML5 is sort of going to
have to take us out of the
of traditional web mastering where we were all down
erfect and placing items exactly where we want to on the
screen. Part of
having to build this way allows for fluidity across multiple devices so that it is going to be
virtually impossible to have headers exactly where we want them. We are going to have
to at some point shed the whole Pixel Perfect mindset and
embrace that devices are
Our end users, our customers are all using different devices.
Great conversation here folks. I am going to share a few of these chats.
to all for contributing to the call.
shared that he is
just starting for the
mobile to use…
going to redo our intranet.
We are starting our intranet redo and are doing mobile first with these.
Virginia says; we are still waiting for HTML5 standards to be finalized. Ken
are looking into TML5 but have found few browsers who currently support it w
that is something that we
covered yet regarding HTML5. Anybody with a
comment on that?
That is a problem with HTMS5; not all of the
browsers support it yet. We have
to actually code even more.
So if you code more that is how you get around it?
Any other folks with comments on th
r browser limitation right now? OK,
ica shares; Adobe CS5.5 allows for HTML5 Css3 development and will make
responsive web design easier to accomplish as a previous speaker was touching on. It
has capabilities with the click of a few buttons and a few simple code adjustments that
allow you t
o develop your desktop website and use native functionality in the CSS5.5
software to add code to your site that will make it render correctly across devices.
essica. From web to mobile to app in 60 seconds with
You have got a
ink for us here, right Jessica?
Yes, there is a link there. It is a quick video to show you how CS5.5 works
to render your website. I actually watched an Adobe
with the department of defense go through how it a
ll works. It really looks like a great
product. We are in the process of
trying to get it ourselves and trying to head that
Jessica, thank you. All
the chats, I am sharing them vocally as much as I
can but that link and others wi
ll all be in the transcript too. Do you need something
Enhanced HTML5 Capabilities in CS5.5
Updated Support for CSS3
I just wanted to say that for people who are researching this and were
embroiled in it right now, the things that people have been saying; progressive
enhancements and responsive web and mobile first, they are all sort of intertwined so if
you search for those things you can get some idea.
Excellent, thank you very much. Blaise is asking; can I have the contact
on who hired
an HTML5 mobile developer. I am trying
recall who that
was. Can you share?
That was me.
Thank you very much. Blaise we will get the two of you connected. Moving
on to Julio
is converting from an apache PHP MySQL website to
a Microsoft .Net
infrastructure. What are the challenges and issues you face during this conversion. Julio
I see that you are on. Has anyone done this on
We don’t use PHP or .Net.
Julio could you speak up at all?
shares; increased cost. When
you go to Microsoft
We are actually running
on Microsoft IIS platform for various
reasons. I am sort of joking about the cost. That is an obvious one. Any time you move
, when y
ou go away from the open source and out
the very broad
in some ways it gets harder to support. You can buy products
maybe more easily but you don’t get the open source community support like Apache
Thank you. Blaise asks; do you need to host the PHP in
Blaise, that relates to when you convert to a .Net infrastructure? Jessica shares;
. Jessica, your comments rela
te to this topic right? You
have some links here again. I think they are more related to SCC3. She is sharing
several links. They will all be in the transcript. Jonathan says; you can do PHP on either
platform. I don’t know if Julio has up on mute or had t
away. Anything else on this
topic? From here I would like to add Alvin’s topic on SharePoint and using SharePoint
for web development and CMS. You were SQL cold Fusion, is that right Alvin?
Yes, the organization which has been acquired I
am working for, we develop
web development from scratch. We use SQL server, Cold Fusion and CSS HTML of
course but that is the main thing. Now the company which acquired
and they use the CMS built in SharePoint to do the website a
nd the intranet.
Their big discussion now is to which way
want to go. Do they want to go our way
from scratch or do they want to buy off the shelf and do some CMS with SharePoint? So
I would like to know more if someone is using SharePoint for the dev
elopment of the
web site I would be very interested to know more about that.
Let’s do a show of hands for those who are using SharePoint for the
of their website.
. Blaise, can you speak. And we have Patty with her
hand raised. Katie has her hand raised so three. We have about 22 on folks and
everybody is on the web portion so that is great.
Comments from those with their hands
experience with it?
Yes, how do they do it?
How good is it?
What are the pros and cons and all
We have to make some decisions.
What version would that be? Would that be the 2010?
Well I don’t know which one. I
t doesn’t matter which version. Basically how it
works, I know
they use CMS within SharePoint.
If people want to develop websites
with SharePoint through CMs I would like to know if it is possible to customize it on top
of CMS or if it is possible to
even go from scratch within SharePoint or not.
Where we are right now is we have kind of a pilot SharePoint 2007. We are
getting SharePoint 2010 for our intranet as someone else mentioned. So intranet right
now. Our thought is in about two years
we may expand that to our
however we are also keeping an open mind and thinking that in two years technology
may change. So I have sat through a lot of Microsoft demos and worked with it a little
bit. The best analogy that I have hea
rd so far is that SharePoint is like a swill army knife
and it does a lot of little things. It does a lot of things but it
to be the best
tool for any one thing. I think that the CMS portion is
weak compared to
other things that i
t does. If you talk to Microsoft you can look at ferari.com and that is
built on SharePoint. It is built entirely on SharePoint.
like the car and it is a very
impressive website. So you can
lot. My opinion is that you can do anything as long
s you have very strong .Net developers.
OK, I see. And is it possible also to develop a website from scratch within
SharePoint or that is only through CMS?
I am not sure how to answer that actually. Like you would pull content from
within SharePoint but display it though your…
I would say using SharePoint to develop a website from scratch meaning not
using the CMS coding or coding all of it.
You would have
have really strong .Net developers. Very strong.
The other company, they used because they had SharePoint and they used
.Net when they are using Cold Fusion. Not quite compatible.
I have a comment here from Jan. She shares; we use SharePoint for our
external website but I have no
t been involved in the development. I only maintain the
pages and I find SharePoint very restrictive because they limit the customizations to just
a large farm. It certainly is not good for conte
t management. She echoed I believe
Katie’s comment on that.
says he used SharePoint at Morgan Stanley when
he was there a long time ago. Very expensive and difficult
work with but
long time ago. Blaise, did you have a comment. You had your hand raised as well as
We use Share
Point primarily for our intranet. We mostly use it out
the box. I
did do some
forms using that and minor kind of development things. We have
also found that
we are in a shared environment, a large farm, customization is
we would affect other SharePoint sites.
So we haven’t done a lot
of that. We found it works great for our
. We have not used the content
management feature. Pretty much out of the box for our intranet.
It seems then all
mmands goes (?) then it is easy if they do general
things but as soon as it would be content or specific customized it doesn’t seem to be
You just have
have someone that
knows what they
because it is really easy to break.
Thank you very much. Good comments folks. We have several other
topics yet. I am going to go to Katie
TOPIC: Microsite policy
How do you support users who want their own website a
nd not a page on
your organizational website? Do you have a microsite policy?
We kind of have, this is going to address her and then SharePoint as well.
anything externally. You have to use what we have and we work within a
cific framework. We make people do that and if they don’t want it then they don’t get
anything. Internally however we do use SharePoint for our internal sites but we also
30+ team sites that we use for divisions, sections, units or special
ttees that will last as long as the committee lasts. So kind of internally they can
have their own space. Then going off of SharePoint the biggest problem that we found
that we consistently have to deal with all
the time is permissions problems. Who has
permission to what and people not being educated about what they can do with their
permissions. So people who have owner rights will accidentally delete their own owner
rights and then they can’t fix themselves. So we are constantly having to fix permissi
for SharePoint sites, all of the time.
e, you have 2007 SharePoint, correct?
Yes, but this is specifically about our public facing site which is not
SharePoint. I guess our situation is a little bit different than a corpora
tion partly because
there are people who get grant money and then go and do their own thing or they just
feel like; we are separate. We are different. It is a struggle for us. We are trying to
support them but let them have their own branding. When people
just go off and do their
own thing we are trying to come up with a better way to support them.
We do have, we have put a business owner
the site. Our particular
business owner is our government media relations department. So if people come
and say; we want our own site. We want this separate. We pretty much tell them; you
go through them. So there is just one group of people they have to go through
to get approved. So that has been a real help for us because we as the web team
have to deal with someone wanting something that we know they can’; have so we send
them to someone who has more authority than we do to tell them that they can’t have it.
In this particular case we do have a few kind of satellite sites but that is
grants provided money to have those sites built. So if we don’t get that money then we
have to go through our regular process. The media relations department
is in charge of
what the public is going to see on our site. If you can convince them
that you deserve
your own little separate area then that is where it comes from for us.
Thank you. I did put a poll up here folks too, microsite policies in place to
accommodate users; no, no but considering or yes. So far it has been a u
with six people responding but many more to come yet. Patty shares; we don’t have a
policy on microsites but we don’t allow them. Thank you Patty. Please participate in the
call. We have got nine who have; all unanimously no. we have got a yes
here. Can we
ask for that person to speak?
We have I think almost 1000 policies and
. Actually probably
more than that because we
have been around
a long time and that is the way that
we do thing. So naturally we have a policy o
We basically have public affairs and
community affairs office vet anything. We have had some external sites that were
created because we were doing these pilot projects for like automated meter reading
and stuff like that but we are very careful ab
out how we disseminate branding and then
for internal stuff we do allow anybody to create a workgroup
. They are not really
. They are all part of the intranet.
Thank you. Our results so far show nearly 85%
no for micro
and two, we heard from Jonathan. Anyone else with a comment here? Is that helpful
Blaise also had chatted, it is related I believe to SharePoint, yes we need
.Net programmers. Setting permissions cor
rectly is also very important. Blaise did you
want to share anything vocally too? I think he may be muted. Thank you for that chat.
Any final things on microsites?
eb apps for mobile computers and cell phones
Peter chats that t
hey are sharing that they are doing a big revamp of the
with the public with a rework of their website. We are exploring
what it would take to offer our site as a suitable display to users of mobile devices. We
would like to maintain
our regular HTML pages as we always have through Adobe
products. It would be nice if there was a piece of software available that would server
that content up in the appropriate format for mobile users. Now maybe one was
mentioned here already today. I thi
nk he is going to appreciate the transcript but any
comments here? What would you do if you had a full revamp of your website?
I would see there are two offerings. There is HTML5 is not fully supported
yet. It would be a little bit early to go
it would be a lot of problems for
some people to access it. The easy way would be we develop it here to be acc
on computers and mobile apps using CSS positioning and with the ID or VH (?) tag on
the form and actually it is very eas
y we don’t even need to use tables. We just lift the
, the text box or whatever we need on the phone. We even don’t need to
be in the proper order with the CSS positioning. It comes right on a mobile phone
whether it is a big screen mobile p
hone, a very small one which flips over, iPad; it works
fine. Now of course HTML5 and CSS3
be the future and it will be better to develop
in it so I would say if you want to go ready for the future I would wait until HTML5 and
CS3 are more widely acce
pted or supported, I would say. Otherwise if you want
right away you can do it this way. It is actually very easy to code.
So that is the two
choices I see.
Also jQuery for mobile apps also is not well supported by many
it is mostly ____
_ the future like HTML5 and CSS3. Currently there is an easy way to do
it but if you want later on you may have to redo it if you want to go to HTML5 and CSS3.
Thank you very much Alban. Jessica shares; Adobe Creative Suite 5.5
y do the job for them. It is just an updated software of what they already
have. Thanks Jessica. Then Verlene chats; you need to consider what content mobile
users need to see. Good comment. Verlene, anything else? Anything more on this
one? Otherwise I a
m going to move over to a similar
; how do you make a web app
usable for computers and cell phones?
That is about the same thing as what I just said.
Maybe we can get you some more conversation going here Alban.
just described how we did it here. We had two approaches because we
were exploring. One of my coworkers was exploring with jQuery for web apps. Coding
wise it is easy but we felt the most flexible was just using CSS positioning with the ID
tag with only t
ables even, no structure on the phone. Just put the list of the tags we
, text boxes, drop down list button and then we use the ID with the CSS to
position them on the phone and this was very well received by iPads, any computers,
cell phone. That is the best result we got for compatibility with everything.
Now I feel it is not quite the future but for now that is what
works the best for us.
ly thing that
might add is if possible you might have already covered
this but to accommodate if it is a web app any entry fields. If it is a web address, if it is
an email address, if it is a phone number, that the markup note what kind of entry it is,
that the device
can serve up the right keypad for it. Like on an iPhone if you are
an email address it gives you the @ button and the .com or if it is a phone number it
gives you the keypad rather than the keyboard.
With what I have developed with ju
st CSS positioning and ID the phone was
working the way
to. It is an iPhone and there is a drop down list. The
uched the drop down list and then up on the screen it brings that list of
options. The person just holds to it with the f
inger, clicks the one and it puts the one in
the value. So this is specific for the phone itself. It doesn’t interfere with that. It just fits
into it. We were
was actually the easiest way to do it and it was the one
which was working with
another phone which has another way to
approach a drop down list the phone would do it its own way. It would react properly to
The only other thing that I have seen talked about is maybe moving your
menu to the bottom
of the screen partially so that when you are scanning the phone you
see the most important things first and partly for navigation if you are using your thumbs
to hit buttons and you have a soft menu at the bottom you can get to those easily
instead of at t
he top like on most web pages.
We didn’t do that.
Just an idea.
Especially not for the public but for people here who work and travel, or try to
access the website from other countries and they don’t have a computer networ
k or it is
problematic. But what they do to the form is not everything. It is the things which are
essential for them.
It cannot be late otherwise when they arrive in a place where they
can do; they will do all of their _____.
They want to record a travel
expense and things
like that. So the forms are not that busy. Some are bigger, they can scroll
. If we
go that way when they go there they know it is a specific task they have to have. So the
website they get gets right away the form, enter the data
the button. It is
specific because in many areas where we work there is a problem with access.
Thank you. Well we are trying Alban. Here is one more comment in the
chat. Thank you Katie and Alban. Jessica chats; they recently devel
oped a new web
courts and attorneys etc. as they were asked for an easier way to
obtain collision reports. One of the big requirements was
it needed to be
from mobile devices as most of the users were grabbing these repor
ts in the court. Our
app development team worked in conjunction with one of our web developers on the
user interface while the app doesn’t change in look from desktop to mobile the
functionality works on both and at the end of the day that is all that matt
ers right now. It
works with our customers.
They are happy they can get what they need for mobile
devices. We will look at a more mobile centered interface in the future.
The link to our
new web app, and she is providing that, is
I will send that one specifically to you Alban and of course folks it will be in the
transcript. Jessica, thank you for all of the links you have been providing. If someone
needs it before that, just let us know. Just contact
and we wi
TOPIC: How to accommodate multiple devices besides the desktop browsers
on will get the transcript. In fact everyone
to be on will get the transcript. Thank you. I think again this is very popul
ar. How do you
best accommodate multiple types of accessing devices
Does anyone want to add
more here on the different devices you use besides
desktop browsers? OK, we can invite a
of additional topics. One we had
related to Drupal. Jonathan I think shared they use Drupal. Can others provide tips on
the development of native apps using a unified development platform like Titanium with
Drupal as a backend service driving the data in the app? Could anyone help
member with this? They are both related to Drupal. This next one is;
implementation of Apache Solar faceted search on a Drupal site. Has anyone done this
or could network? Is Jonathan still on?
es, I am willing to certainly
with this. We have the other way
around. We have got a lot of legacy apps that we are trying to integrate into Drupal and
I think the short answer is you either refactor to move things around or better you just
use web services and Drupal has a bunch
well they have the service
works with a bunch of things. That is probably the best way to go from Drupal to
something. I guess that is the short answer.
Thank you Jonathan. Final comments or final topics before we end today?
Great job everyone.
End of discussion.
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