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Will You Change Your Web Site For the iPhone?

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the multi-touch-is-not-a-mouse dept.

Portables (Apple) 336

An anonymous reader calls to our attention a blog post about the way the iPhone's multi-touch UI will strain the interface conventions of Web 2.0. This looming clash comes clearer as Apple releases more details of the iPhone's UI. Much has been made about the iPhone including Safari to provide a full web browsing experience. But this reader is wondering how compatible certain sites will be with the iPhone's input. From the post: "[Web 2.0-style interaction] makes somewhat heavy use of 'onmouse' events and cursor changes... along with CSS a:hover styles. The iPhone challenges those particular Web 2.0 conventions, though, because it is a device that not only adds support for another pointer, but at the same time eliminates them as interface objects... [T]he user doesn't get to express their attention with the iPhone... They only get to express their immediate action." This reader asks, "What other pitfalls lurk in the multi-touch web? Do any Slashdot readers plan to adjust their sites to ensure they work with the iPhone, and can you think of any similar issues that will crop up with such a different browsing experience?"

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Conjecture about the iPhone? (4, Insightful)

crimguy (563504) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616467)

Sure sounded that way. Lets just release the damn thing and see what it does.

You're a Fucking DWEEB dawson (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19616581)

You're a Fucking DWEEB dawson. What is this iphone shit and who gives a crap? Are you an idiot? Do you have a wristwatch-TV? I would not be fucking surprised. Do you buy a $60/month plan so you can watch stupid little shows on your stupid teeny-tiny TV?

Re:Conjecture about the iPhone? (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616645)

It's not really specific to the iPhone. Hover and mouse-over events don't work with any kind of touch-screen, even if they are not multi-touch. If your UI depends on them, then you are an idiot and should never be allowed near a web site. Fortunately, most of the web sites I visit know this. The last site I remember that used most-over events for important data was, which used to put data about public servers in a tool-tip. This was horrendously bad, since it meant that important information was unavailable to a large number of browsers (including Opera, which always put the address in the tool-tip), irrespective of whether they used a touch screen or not.

In summary: Some web sites are badly designed, and if we try really hard we can tangentially relate this to the iPhone.

Re:Conjecture about the iPhone? (0)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616681)

Maybe touch screens should update their interface to support hovering, Ctrl+Touch = hover, or something like that. Is there a way for websites to detect if the browser doesn't support hover? It's nice to be able to have menus that appear when you hover over them. I wouldn't want to have to start clicking on everything just to appease a few iphone users.

Re:Conjecture about the iPhone? (5, Insightful)

Kyojin (672334) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616827)

Why should something change when you hover over it if your whopping great big finger is in the way?

Re:Conjecture about the iPhone? (1)

NightLamp (556303) | more than 7 years ago | (#19617081)

In Soviet Russia the interface conventions of Web 2.0 will strain the iPhone's multi-touch UI.

Seriously, who cares, you, as webmaster, want to make an impact on the most prolific online wireless devices.

Customize for DS Browser, no images, text only, layout is up to user - then, _maybe_ you'll be ready for other mobile browsers especially those with per-byte metering.
Think iPhone plan is going to be unlimited data? Think different.

The rest are way down the list.
2009 for iPhone, if ever. At least hedge your bets.

this facetious rant brought to you by the makers of Ti(l)de "Wash once Run anywhere".

Re:Conjecture about the iPhone? (1)

RTofPA (984422) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616877)

This is actually an amusing and ironic comment, considering that I am looking at /.'s hover events right now. Sure, their not for "important" information, but it is, neveretheless, a potential problem for the iPhone. Also ironic, as OS X uses (at least some) hover events for important information (such as the window minimize, the programs bar, maybe some others that I don't know about because I use nothing Apple, etc.) so you'd think that they'd have thought of this. Maybe they have. Maybe the iPhone will be able to tell the difference between a light touch (for scrolling/hovering), and an actual press to "click" with the finger. Until it actually comes out, all this is rather useless speculation.

Re:Conjecture about the iPhone? (4, Insightful)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 7 years ago | (#19617127)

I wouldn't say that some websites are necessarily badly designed, it's just that there was a specific target demographic that web developers have aimed for when they were designing their websites. It just happens this largely includes websites that were mostly designed to be surfed with a keyboard and mouse, rather than some alternate input device, like a touchscreen

As we see more fancy pants ajax techniques that are driven based on keyboard input, such as that neato google suggest thing that they put out a few years back - while that would be incredibly convenient to a user with a keyboard, it wouldn't necessarily have any impact on user performance when they are using a mobile phone, especially one without some kind if keyboard input. Things like that would be.. obsolete? (hah, for whatever reason obsolete doesn't sound too correct)

IMO a complaint like the author's sure sounds like he's grasping at straws. Sure he could develop a one-size-fits-all site that will be (ideally)wonderful for using with kb/m along with a touchscreen, but all interface designers are keenly aware of the fact that optimizing for one type if interface will ultimately be sacrificing the other. A simple alternative would be to give a url that will redirect the user to an iphone(or similar device) optimized site when the user heads towards there, and another for the standard computer user. Why wouldn't companies that are trying to appeal to both demographics want to do this in the first place? Doesn't make too much sense to me - plus it would prolly be cheaper in the long run instead of trying to retrofit their site to be 'iphone friendly.'

Re:Conjecture about the iPhone? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616721)

It isn't conjecture about the iPhone. It is discussing what things are going to be like in a more touch oriented world (which iPhone will be a part of.) This doesn't have anything to do with standards or non compliance of standards. It has to do with a paradigm shift. It has to do witht he standards don't fully support the scenario. Someone said it isn't his problem if his website doesn't work with the iphone. Yet you designed your website for a particular set of interfaces (namely a mouse and a keyboard) While the iphone (and other touch devices) can mimic a keyboard, it is much more complicated to mimic a mouse. One of the coolest features a mouse has, and most people don't know, is hover. Hovering gives you tooltips, it highlights areas that are clickable, among other things. When you no longer have hover, and you only have click/not click, what do you do? No more tooltips. No more highlighting the area to let the user know they can click there. Another interesting thing, is it becomes hard to "cancel" an action by dragging off before it releases. In the long run websites and browsers and standard will slowly change. Probably not for the iPhone, but perhaps the next version of Windows that has better touch support. Or the version after that.

Won't be a big deal (4, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616479)

Sites that don't support the fancy things will simply probably zoom in (and out) some preset amount on a double click, and a user will still be able to zoom an arbitrary amount with multi-touch (e.g., pinch and unpinch).


For those who don't know, iPhone uses some tricks to detect "zones" or "areas" on web pages that will automatically zoom to fit when double clicked, like a photo with caption, or a story column on a newspaper web page.

This person is overcomplicating things, and overreacting ("pitfalls"? "adjust [...] sites to ensure they work with iPhone"?) No sites need to be changed to work well with the browser (or, at least as well as, and, from all of the demos and appearances, probably quite a bit better than, any other mobile browser). The user wants to zoom in, they zoom in. So what if it's not perfect. Sure, some sites can offer a better "experience" specifically for iPhone if they choose, but they don't need to.

That's why this thing having a real, full browser, able to be viewed in portrait or landscape, is great. It will be nice to have a full browser on a phone that doesn't suck, even if I can't double-click and perfectly zoom to fit on a photo and instead have to zoom on an area of interest manually. Some might say "but it's not consistent!" Well, what do you think it does when you double click? If a special "zone" isn't present, it will probably just zoom as close to where you clicked as it can. If it's not perfect, you can even drag the display around with your finger, or pinch/unpinch to zoom more/less as appropriate.

Disclaimer: yeah, we don't "know" any of this yet, but just look at the demos and how the phone works. And anyone can try it out next Friday. It will probably be a much better browsing experience than on nearly any, if not all, other mobile browsers.

Re:Won't be a big deal (4, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616585)

Actually the poster is correct -- there are issues, and it has nothing to do with Safari, it has to do with the UI assumptions made by Javascript programmers.

For example, if you have a FORM that submits when the mouse "leaves" the drop down box, please explain how that event will be triggered since there /is no cursor/. Sure, Safari can fake it for the sake of making automatic form submission work, but its still an issue.

This has nothing to do with rendering, it has to do with interaction.

Re:Won't be a big deal (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616649)

Where have you seen these magic forms that submit themselves when a drop down box loses focus? I'll assume they exist since it would be unfair to jump to the conclusion that you are so stupid as to make up such a poor UI design. I would like to find out who is that stupid though.

Re:Won't be a big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19616839)

select:onchange is popular (and would work with iPhone/touchscreen)... but submitting a form when the mouse leaves? That's so contrived and retarded, the grandparent couldn't have thought that up without first doing it a few times.

Re:Won't be a big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19616977)


Bile often masks ignorance.

And my captcha is "pathetic".

Re:Won't be a big deal (2)

rjolley (1118681) | more than 7 years ago | (#19617083)

Agreed. Who does that? I've made forms that submit when drop down menu items are changed, but those will work fine on the iPhone. Who submits their forms when an arbitrary item loses mouse focus?

Re:Won't be a big deal (5, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19617111)

Who submits their forms when an arbitrary item loses mouse focus?

Porn sites.
Everything on thoose sites seems to submit a form, they're worse than the DMV.

I write to standards (5, Insightful)

rossz (67331) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616489)

My stuff is writen to XHTML 1.0 Strict standards. If it doesn't work on the iPhone, it's not my problem.

That's the whole damn point of standards. Write to them you don't have to worry if something will work. Use quirks and tricks, and you're going to be dealing with a tone of headaches every time something new comes out.

BTW, "Hey, Microsoft! Fuck you and your shitty standards-ignoring browser!"

Re:I write to standards (2)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616505)

Everything that works in Safari works on iPhone.

What this person is talking about is the zooming tricks iPhone uses to detect zones or areas on web pages.

But since the user can zoom and unzoom arbitrary amounts, and also drag the page around arbitrarily with their finger, and also have the option of viewing the page in either landscape or portrait, this is just a case of one person overreacting, and doing a poor job of explaining what they're talking about.

Re:I write to standards (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616655)

I'm not reading TFA, but the summary makes a valid point about uses of things like :hover in CSS. I made myself a little iPhone launcher homepage thing in anticipation of getting one (though not the first day) and it uses tr:hover and img:hover in CSS to achieve an iTunes-esque stock checker and opacity-reactive buttons for several bookmarks (if you're so inclined, check it at [] ).

I'm not really concerned about the multi-touch - I don't think it'll be used in websites for anything other than zooming. But if I just drag my finger around in the same way that I'd move my mouse around the screen, are all my pointless pretty effects going to look right? In the end, it doesn't matter in the slightest - they're entirely superfluous visual effects for the sole purpose of making it feel like a Mac app (since it's about as close as we'll get), and have absolutely no impact on the usability of the site. I might not get the 'highlighted song' look when I'm hovering over (resting my finger on) a line in the stock quote table, but oh freakin' well.

The site works in Safari. If the :hover class works based on where your finger is (or if it has a proximity detecting screen...!), so much the better. If not, I can still click (poke) the links and get to the same place. Though by the sounds of it, my Pandora link won't do much good, between the apparent lack of Flash support and internet radio likely to be murdered by Congress in a few days time.

Re:I write to standards (2, Informative)

sribe (304414) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616917)

If the :hover class works based on where your finger is (or if it has a proximity detecting screen...!), so much the better.

It will not. This was pointed out by Steve Jobs in the WWDC keynote address.

Re:I write to standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19616703)

Dave, is this another one of those "facts" you claim you post? Do you mean the iPhone COULD support everything that Safari does or you already know that it DOES support everything Safari does. Either way, I've used Safari on Windows for some testing and I was not impressed with what it itself can support regardless of the iPhones version of Safari.

All of that aside, I fail to see how your comment addresses the on over example of the mouse.
No need to explain though Dave, I'm sure you will have the facts.

Re:I write to standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19616767)

Apple has repeatedly confirmed that the browser in iPhone is Safari, and not just by name, and at WWDC it was further confirmed that the browser in iPhone - at least in the context of rendering pages - is the Safari 3 codebase (e.g., the same as Safari in Leopard).

That's a fact.

Of course, you'll say something like "but iPhone doesn't support Java or Flash...I thought you said it supported everything Safari did??"


Aside from the things we know it doesn't have, we know that the base, core web rendering functionality is indeed Safari, and that, in that context, it supports everything that Safari (on Mac OS X, for example) does.

Sure, since there is not actually a cursor, I don't know how Safari on the iPhone will react for some of the mouse things. How do other mobile browsers react for such things? Do they all handle it properly or better?

Re:I write to standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19616783)

I use Opera on my computers (Linux/Windows) and on my phone and Blackberry, all are similar but still very different.

Re:I write to standards (2)

abes (82351) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616819)

I'm not sure your personal beef with Dave, but if you took a couple seconds to read anything about the iPhone, you would know by now (as it has been repeated 1000 times) that the iPhone runs Safari. Not just supports Safari, but is the same actual application. Apple has also claimed that the iPhone runs the full OS X.

I haven't tried Safari under windows, but it runs fine on my Macbook. Probably just as well as Konqueror does under Linux (as it is based on the Konqueror rendering engine). I'm not up on all my standards, but it seems to render most things just fine. The things is doesn't do as well, I suspect may not actual meet the standards (i.e. made only for IE).

The problem with hover overs in theory is that you either have clicked on the screen, or it has no idea where your finger is. Thus, 'hovering' is a difficult concept to translate. How does the browser know to light up text because of hovering behavior?

I seem to remember some discussion on the fact that the iPhone does not infact use pressure in order to gauge touch (which is why they can put glass in front), but rather conductance. If you look at their demos on the web page, it has an animation of the grid getting deformed when the finger comes close, which is possible in theory to detect using the conductance method. In fact there are claims that as your finger comes close to the keys, they get bigger, making the keyboard easier to type on. If any of this is true, then in theory hovering could be handled by the same mechanism.

Re:I write to standards (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#19617073)

Everything that works in Safari works on iPhone.

Well, kinda, I mean, by definition that's true, as iPhone uses Safari, so it's effectively saying "anything that works on iPhone works on iPhone"

But if people are more specific, and say things like "Yes, but my page renders ok on the Mac version of Safari, will it work on iPhone?", I would imagine the answer may differ.

Most obvious thing I can see failing? UIs that rely upon mouseovers to trigger drop down menus. Seems to be very common, obviously these things will work fine on the Windows and Mac versions of Safari. But with no "mouseover" concept on iPhone, I would imagine these UIs will fail miserably there unless the web designer has been smart enough to ensure that simple clicking also triggers menu displays.

Interestingly, there's an example of such a UI at, hovering over the "Learn", "Shop", and "Support" links brings up the appropriate submenus. That said, AT&T has been sane enough to ensure buttons themselves are clickable, jumping to intermediate pages with the submenus brought up by default.

Re:I write to standards (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19617131)

option of viewing the page in either landscape or portrait,

That is going to be the big question on forums, "How do I respond to the visitor changing between landscape or portrait view while they're on the site ?".

Re:I write to standards (0, Troll)

EtherAlchemist (789180) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616699)

Write to them you don't have to worry if something will work.


Re:I write to standards (4, Interesting)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616749)

This isn't about HTML standards, it's about changes to the way people will interact with websites.

By the way it's a bit nieve to say that as long as you stick to the standards you're fine. The standards all leave room for ambiguity, such as different browsers interpreting elements as defaulting to inline or block, and there are many standards that aren't fully implemented. It's pretty hard to make a Web 2.0 site that looks good, it easy and intuitive to use, complies to appropriate standards, and works on all browsers (even all the big browsers).

As someone said "The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from."

Re:I write to standards (5, Insightful)

General Wesc (59919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616823)

If I use the web without a mouse, I can't initiate a mouseover event (assuming I'm not controlling a mouse cursor with the keyboard or something.) What standard am I violating?

There are two golden rules in web design: code to the standards and degrade gracefully. Both are important.

Re:I write to standards (1)

Keith_Beef (166050) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616961)

That's the whole damn point of standards. Write to them you don't have to worry if something will work.


The great thing about standards, is that there are so many to choose from.


I write to what works (1)

acidrain (35064) | more than 7 years ago | (#19617017)

My stuff is written to XHTML 1.0 Strict standards. If it doesn't work on the iPhone, it's not my problem.

And I serve all my pages in a binary version of Morse code. If it doesn't work on the iPhone, it's not my problem.

What really confuses me is that there are ancient interfaces in the browser that are universally implemented, but never standardized. Meanwhile there are conflicting modern interface "standards" where the vast majority of people are running the evil "standard" that is to be shunned.

I know, blame Microsoft, but the use of the word "standard" when it comes to the web seems like a bit of a joke. Standards are supposed to be written to reflect common practise, preferably successful common practise. Instead it seems like the W3C grinds out idealistic documents and then waits 5 years for a few more idealists with limited market share to implement their unproven ideas.

Yeah yeah, flame away... I'm just bitter because I'm working in JavaScript and *every single thing I do* involves checking compatibility tables. And the WC3 standards show up there as an annoying recent addition of relatively unimplemented cruft. Some days I'm left thinking "for the love of god, just standardize something that IE is doing so I can actually use it some day."

Re:I write to standards (2, Insightful)

Heembo (916647) | more than 7 years ago | (#19617039)

XHTML 1.0 "Strict Standard" has nothing to do with the clusterfuck that Javascript has become. Ever try to code a complex ajax task to support a wide array of current browsers? This mess has nothing to do with XHTML.

Re:I write to standards (2, Funny)

Zhe Mappel (607548) | more than 7 years ago | (#19617091)

You won't do backflips for a luxury cell phone that will be owned by 1% of users?!?

What are ya, son, a Communist? ;-)

Nah... (-1, Flamebait)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616497)

I don't want people who waste their lives on an iPhone being anywhere near me, and that includes my website!

iPhone bigot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19616725)

As if generalizations are not bad enough, you have
some pathetic need to generalize everyone who buys
some particular product and then hate them all?
Mommy didn't give you enough hugs as a child?

Re:Nah... (2, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616837)

Good point. Anyone know what the user agent string is for iPhone/Safari? That way we can detect these morons and do unpleasant things to their "user experience." :)

Websites, if they want to get traffic, will do so. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19616499)

Websites will accommodate the iPhone if want to continue receiving traffic. If a site doesn't, it will be left in the dust by sites who do.

Re:Websites, if they want to get traffic, will do (1)

VendettaMF (629699) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616729)

Anonymous squawked that : Websites will accommodate the iPhone if want to continue receiving traffic. If a site doesn't, it will be left in the dust by sites who do.

To which I simply say "Bullshite". The iPhone is just another problem in search of a solution it needs in order to be a solution in need of a problem.

Mobile web-surfing is, and will for the foreseeable future remain, crap. A pointless waste of time, dedicated solely to those who value being gadget laden over being effective. The iPhone will not solve this. Nothing short of retinal-projected or mediumless holographic projection will solve this. "Paper-screen" technology might come close someday.

Face it. The iPhone will be too big for a phone and too small for everything else. It's simply another chance to worship at the altar of "not-quite-good-,-but-oh-so-sparkly geek toys", a deity also claimed by the schismed sects of "more-money-than-sense" and "breakable-yuppie-toys-are-not-the-equivalent-of-g old-chains-and-medallions-/-bling-,-honest-,-no-re ally-,-stop-laughing".

I might pick one up myself in a year or three when they hit the junkpiles, purely out of morbid curiosity.

do *any* websites work on cell phones? (2, Insightful)

mrcdeckard (810717) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616503)

viewing websites on my current cell phone is a very lynx-esque experience -- arrowing between various links on the page, the pressing enter.

i have downloaded "mobile" versions of gmail and google maps for my cell phone.

i just don't see that this is a big deal. besides, to me, the most attractive thing about the iphone is that it will perfectly sync with my mac -- address book, calendar, itunes, iphoto, etc.

mr c

Touch Screens (2, Insightful)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616511)

This is an entire non-event that is barely slashdot worthy at best. This issue is the exact same one faced by every other touch screen in existence. It is not a pitfall in any way at all. Simply a circumstance of the technology. I've seen some excellent touch screen interfaces that do provide a good level of feedback anyway - flashy colours when you punch a button, dragging fingers across the screen to move windows...

Do we really need to make stories from nothing?

Re:Touch Screens (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616693)

Yes, if we want slashdot to make money from advertisers and slashvertisers.

Hang on... (1)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616513)

I'm having enough headaches working on my webcomic [] 's site, now you're telling me I gotta account for mobile viewing, too? I've shrunken that thing small enough for the rest of the internet, it's not fitting in the iPhone's screen!

I may as well be designing for the DS... though speaking of the DS, wouldn't it have similar UI issues too?

Newsflash... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19617047)

iPhone to offer revolutionary zooming and scrolling technology. News at 11.

Yeah, right (5, Funny)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616527)

Most people here won't go out of their way to make a site work with Internet Explorer, and IE has 70% of the market... and you want to know of they'll accommodate the quirks of a cel phone?

Re:Yeah, right (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19617129)

Another way of putting this:

Dear Editors and Submitters,
FUCK the iPhone. Fuck it right in its over-hyped motherfucking ear.

Thank you.

Filter out iPhone/Safari clients (0, Troll)

PFAK (524350) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616529)

On my production sites, I simply give the user a nice error message when they attempt to visit the site using broken web browsers such as Safari, and in some cases Internet Explorer.

Re:Filter out iPhone/Safari clients (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616545)

How is Safari "broken"?

I (and many other people) use Safari as my primary browser, and almost never encounter any site that has any issues with Safari.

Re:Filter out iPhone/Safari clients (-1, Troll)

xSacha (1000771) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616677)

In my case, I WILL change my website for Safari. I will make sure my website breaks on Safari. And I won't give any nice warning 'Your browser is broken' like grandparent -- I'll let them figure this out.

Don't worry dave (parent), I'll make sure your browser breaks on my pages :D.

That's what you get for using an iPhone or Safari as primary browser!

Re:Filter out iPhone/Safari clients (1)

MattPat (852615) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616695)

Someone's got some anger management (and standards support) issues!

Re:Filter out iPhone/Safari clients (1, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616723)

You need to get laid. Or out, even; live a little, anyway.


Re:Filter out iPhone/Safari clients (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19616871)

You should commit suicide.

Re:Filter out iPhone/Safari clients (2, Interesting)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616833)

You realize that I can set Safari to tell your site that it's whatever browser I want it to be, right? One of my pet peeves is when I do this, it fools the site, and then the site works perfectly in Safari. I usually find the webmaster's email and send them an annoyed email. Maybe I should send several - you inconvenience me, I'll inconvenience you.

(Actually, I don't even use Safari that often, but when I find a site that tells me I can't use FF I'll fire up Safari and go through this process.)

Keep it simple (2, Interesting)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616549)

I design my sites for compatibility. Sure I might tweak a small feature here and there in special cases, but compatability remains key. If the site is not compatible, then I lose some viewership somewhere. Google in many ways is what we all strive for, since they manage to add cool features, but still manage to provide backwards compatibility.

Not for iPhone specifcally (4, Insightful)

imemyself (757318) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616555)

Not specifically for the iPhone. Maybe a simple low graphics version for PDA's and phones in general, but I'm not going to do anything special for the iPhone. If the mobile version of pages is simple/lite and standards compliant, then it should work with pretty much all mobile devices. If it doesn't, then it's probably the device maker's fault for using a shitty browser/rendering engine.

Realistically, the normal non-mobile versions of websites are not going to work well on mobile devices, period, because of the small size of their screens and limit forms of input. And the iPhones certainly not going to change that, especially given its lack of true 3G which will make the full versions of most sites horribly slow as well.

Mobile browsing is nothing new - Most major sites that people would frequently access from a mobile device (ie webmail, news/homepages, search engines, etc) already have mobile versions of their sites that work reasonably well. With its pretty high price tag, lack of 3G, and very few third party apps (compared with BB, Windows Mobile, and Palm), I highly doubt that it will spark a "revolution" in web browsing. It may look very slick, but technologically speaking it probably won't be earth-shattering.

Never has been input-device-specific (2, Insightful)

Killer Eye (3711) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616565)

The web, and for that matter an application, is not designed to be input-device-specific. If a site actually cares that I'm using a mouse, then it already has some pretty fundamental problems that the iPhone did not introduce, that you would in fact see on any phone. (Not long ago, I could browse any site I wanted to from a terminal with Lynx. In fact, I still use this as a basic compatibility metric.)

Applications should respond to requests for action. How that action is performed, on some level, should be of no interest to the application code. This is one of many reasons why abstracts in code are important.

maybe if your site sucks... (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616571)

onmouse and :hover can be nice eye candy, but if a website doesn't work without them (and doesn't degrade nicely), maybe it's broken.

Yep and not only that I would add a mini-banner (1)

hansoloaf (668609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616593)

that goes on the top, left side, and bottom of the page declaring the site eto be "iPhone Friendly".
I would add a feature where the user touches the banner on the screen, it acts like a iPhone with swiped scenes left and right and so on.

In Soviet Cupertino (0, Redundant)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616595)

In Soviet Cupertino iPhone changes YOU!

I will in fact be changing my website (0, Troll)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616611)

To make sure that iPhone users can't view it. Before you douchebags attack me for being a troll or whatever, my websites have 0 viewers to begin with so it serves no purpose other than to make me feel better.

In related news, iPhone is going to bomb so it won't be of much concern anyway. Also, "Web 2.0" is still one of the stupidest words/phrases ever created on the Internet.

I've been testing with Safari... (1)

rufusdufus (450462) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616621)

I'm building a complicated multi-user ajax game that I plan to get working on iPhone. At first, testing it was fairly difficult because I didn't have a Mac. For a while I was trying a webkit hack that ran on windows, then I got the Mac emulator to run the actual Safari. I was so glad when a Windows Safari was released!

I have found that Safari is quite compatible, most stuff works great if it was designed to strict standards. I have had some issues with listbox controls, so I wrote my own which look nicer anyway.

I do have a concern about how mouse events are going to be handled on the iPhone. I watch the demos and wonder how weather the gesture recognizer will get out of the way and not do wacky things at the wrong time. Time will tell. I suspect there will be problems, but I also expect to be able to work around them.

iDon'tCare (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19616625)

What's with the Mac'o'crap'o'matic everything these days? Mac is such a free software/open source pandering rip off. I am sick of their occult idiots who worship a hypocritical #(*$& that likes to get on stage with Gates. I'm about to puke. Gotta go. Who gives a SHIT!

Future input devices (1)

narced (1078877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616629)

It is a good point that the future will bring new input devices that will require completely rethinking the way we expect users to input data. The new multi-touch inputs are just one good example. How do you process multiple "onchange" events at the same time? What sorts of deadlocks and race conditions will we see when onchange1 is interrupted by onchange2? I'm sure many "web apps" (is that a most hated word?) already have these problems, but they are never evident because a user can not click on two controls fast enough to cause the error to actually be evident. I guess the point is, no matter how good of a programmer you are, there always future actions that you can not anticipate that will come up and bite you in the ass. This has nothing to do with whether or not you follow the standards.

Re:Future input devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19616981)

javascript is single threaded. onchange2 won't fire until after onchange1 is done.

content (4, Insightful)

pytheron (443963) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616637)

every time I read stuff like this, I think about what makes me visit webpages. Content. You can have it in bold clashing flashing colors if it pleases you, but if I _want_ to read it, I'll put up with it, or at least bypass your presentation. If my device won't co-operate, I still want your information, so I'll use another device.
This image of webmasters throwing their hands up in the air and running around "We've lost another random passer-by.. noooo!" makes me chuckle. It all comes back to content. If your site has something worthwhile, people will make the effort.

Re:content (3, Insightful)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616771)

If, however, you "require" IE and try to use tricks (rather than checking the browser string) in order to ensure I'm using it, I'm going to say, "fuck your content". Content is important, but good content will not inspire people to leap over literally every barrier in their way.

Smartphones aren't exactly new (2, Insightful)

freeweed (309734) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616669)

You know, people have been browsing the web on Blackberries and Treos for quite a while now, right? While many sites decided to go the "mobile." route, a good chunk of the web works just fine on a smartphone. Has for a long time.

Mostly it's things like tables and oddball CSS that bugger up smartphones. I can't say that I've ever experienced an "OMG NO MOUSEOVER" moment with my Crackberry.

Shit, Google even has several of its apps specifically released for smartphones, because they realize the AJAX stuff only half works right. Google Maps + Blackberry == invaluable when travelling in another city.

Re:Smartphones aren't exactly new (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616815)

Though a carefully designed web site for mobile devices tend to hike up usuability quite a bit... just reorganising how much info is displayed at a time, reformating tabular data, adding lower resolution pictures for devices that load em, and other usuability things help a lot. Also, making a web site -just- for mobile devices, if your code is loosely coupled to the UI, is often a matter of hours, top, plus testing on a few standard devices. Much, MUCH easier than developing for the "real" web, so its not much effort at all, and thus its cost effective (if mobile users are in your target demographic)

Re:Smartphones aren't exactly new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19616945)

I'd like to second this. The question in the title isn't very accurate. It should be:

"Do you think the iPhone will push mobile web-usage up so much that if you haven't already given your site a stylesheet for small screens that you will in the future"

or, barring that:

"Are you so stoked about the iPhone specifically that you'll redesign your site when before you just didn't care because it wasn't cool enough 'cause Apple wasn't involved."

(And yes, to make the ravaging Apple fanboys hestitate, I must state that I am typing this from my 20-inch iMac that I use for the vast majority of all my computing needs.)

Apples Site (1)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616675)

Is now useless. It's far too gui friendly - and they have sacrificed a great deal of functionality to accomplish it.

Look at the trailers page. Pointlessly large and confusing to anyone used to a normal webpage.

Re:Apples Site (1)

great throwdini (118430) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616903)

Look at the trailers page. Pointlessly large and confusing to anyone used to a normal webpage.

I, too, miss its prior incarnation, but this is likely the result of my familiarity with what came before more than anything else. Switching to "Text View" from "Poster View" recaptures some of what was lost, but overall information density seems to have dropped a bit.

Absolutely! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19616685)

I'm dying to try out new security exploits against Safari. I think it'll really be cool to pwn an i-phone!

Why? (1)

amigabill (146897) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616691)

I thought Apple's ads say you don't need a special mobile web page, cut-down site version, etc. that it just worked with the normal internet. Thus, why bother? OK, nothing is ever as perfect as advertized, but considering the ads I'd let Apple fix things that don't work. Really, how long will it take for iphone users to be knocking on my door in large enough numbers to be worth their own version of a web site?

There is an iPhone emulator..... (1)

PuddleBoy (544111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616705)

There is a free iPhone web-browser emulator out there already; []

It only works on the Mac.

I wonder how they got the information to build this....

Re:There is an iPhone emulator..... (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616739)

It's not an iPhone emulator. It's Webkit (ie: a Cocoa HTML view) in an iPhone-sized window. That's it.


hell no (0)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616709)

Did I ever give half a crap about what it even looked like in Mac's Safari before? No lol. Looking at my web stats, I don't even care what it looks like in Safari now that my PC can actually have Safari installed on it lol. If one phone that nobody wants because of the price isn't web friendly, that's their fault. It so Apple to tell the entire internet to change instead of just fixing their own design flaw. Here's an amazing insight into it: nobody will be able see the web page anyway because after about 2 minutes of use with a device that you not only touch, but wipe your fingers across, the screen will be all smudged up and disgusting. Apple should fire every single employee at the entire company and then go out of business and let Linux people make a phone with a goddam stylus.

multi touch = another pointer ???? (1)

wickedsteve (729684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616751)

Correct me if I am wrong but I am thinking that "multi-touch" does not necessarily mean "another pointer".

Segway (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19616755)

I'm sure I remember a quote from Dean Kamen claiming cities will be rebuild to accomodate the Segway. Yeah, they're almost done I think.

No. (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616759)

Next question!

Safari on windows does not work (1)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616761)

I'm a developer and and as long as Safari for windows has been out my company has been validating my pages on it, we validate all the windows platform browsers as well as *nix browsers and PIE.. Pages that view perfectly on every other browser I've tried, on Safari do not work. Most pages have funny layout problems as expected, and I can fix that stuff. However, Some pages just don't show up at all, like it decided not to render anything, especially large intranet pages that contain tables with 100+ rows. Also, it has some weird issues with the and how it renders pages that, on the server side, render the select options in different indexes (e.g.:you choose option 3 so it renders option 3 at the top rather than use the 'selected' property). The problems, with the windows version at least are so big I can't even begin to figure out how to 'work' around them. What the hell do you do when the page just does not render at all? If someone wants to give me a safe place that won't get /.'ed I'll gladly upload examples of this. Simple HTML 4.01 trans. using nothing but a few simple tables causes it to display a blank page (mind you with the proper background-color).

So no, I can't write HTML for the iPhone unless they fix some major issues with Safari. Though I may buy one and to hell with viewing certain pages.

Will my sites work on the iPhone? (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616805)

It will if the iPhone supports XHTML strict. If not, then no, my sites will not work on the iPhone. Ever.

Hype, hype, hype (5, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616813)

Can someone please tell me how Apple pulls this off? I mean the frigging phone isn't even on the market yet, and we have Slashdot stories talking about redesigning the web to work on this thing. Give me a break. It appears "multitouch" is the next buzzword. The issues the article discuses, like mouse over events and hovering, isn't even specific to a multitouch panel in the first place. These are issues that have surfaced decades ago, and are typically addressed by a tap-hold style action.

Sorry, but this is just getting to me. It's like there is a certain percentage of the population (and press), that is willing to give Apple a wink and a nod, and pretend that every last freaking thing the iPhone encompasses was just invented by Apple. Wee! It can browse the web (never mind that its display has 1/2 the pixels of a VGA Pocket PC). Wow! It can play MP3s (boy the music sounds extra special somehow on an iPhone). Neat! It has a soft input panel (lets ignore that there is no tactile feedback, thus typing requires visual stimuli to make sure you're pressing the right areas). Yeehaw! What battery life (even though you can't swap batteries, preventing the user from purchasing as many extra batteries as necessary to meet their usage needs).

For every true innovation there's three caveats. Maybe once this thing actually hits the market we can get at least a small dose of reality.

Dan East

Re:Hype, hype, hype (1)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 7 years ago | (#19617009)

Can someone please tell me how Apple pulls this off? I mean the frigging phone isn't even on the market yet, and we have Slashdot stories talking about redesigning the web to work on this thing. Give me a break.

You had a break, but you wasted it commenting (at length) on a story that you seem to be actively disinterested in.

Re:Hype, hype, hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19617071)

it is thorstein veblen 101 for the masses -- apple sell somewhat expensive and conspicuous stuff to the most clueless and most opinionated part of the population who think they shine by choosing it. that part of the population also seems to comprise most of the IT journalists and the so-called 'blogosphere', so if you get your news online, your exposure to apple is disproportionate.

gobs of advertising money take care of the rest of the media.

Re:Hype, hype, hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19617105)

Want some cheese to go with that whine?

I expect that ... (2, Insightful)

constantnormal (512494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616835)

... both AT&T and Apple (both significant advertisers) will provide some subtle inducements for site owners to provide a view of their pages that works well with the iPhone.

And if a site is well-designed, separating the "view" from the "data" using CSS or javascript or whatever, it should not require a massive overhaul of a site to provide an iPhone-friendly view. And it certainly shouldn't require any non-standard web page syntax to do so.

Anyone know what the user-agent string is for the iPhone?

Re: iPhone User agent string (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19617055) [] says

Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1A538a Safari/419.3

Of course (1)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616873)

You bet I'll change it...I'll make damn sure my site is completely incompatible with that thing :-)

I'm not much of a gadget consumer (0)

rinkjustice (24156) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616879)

(I don't even have a cellphone), but I do believe the iphone is going to be totally-fricken-huge. This is personal technology we'll all be using soon - it's just that r/evolutionary. Watch the guided tour [] at the Apple website; it looks rediculously cool and easy to use. [ Ack, I want to spit when I talk like this! ].

However, as a webmaster and marketer, I'm betting two things will be ubiquitous with the future: Google and the Apple iphone. Best we come to terms with it now.

Geico Commercial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19616881)

Uhh... WHAT!

No (2, Insightful)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616921)

I don't test my site except with the browsers I use anyway. If your browser is broken, not my problem. Also, my UI is simple. I dislike using JS, and try to minimize it.

As a sidenote, I believe the iPhone will be an overhyped failure (not in sales, but as a product). My coworker disagrees with me. Other than shorting Apple stock, with the expectation that I can buy it back two quarters after the iPhone's arrival (after a long enough period of time that inital sales, which I expect to be extreme, will die down), is there any way you can recommend for the two of us to use for us to put money on it?

NO (1) (1119049) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616931)


iPhone is not the only mobile device (2, Insightful)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616953)

The only things that are mentioned in this article about the question of whether or not we will change our websites to better suit the iPhone are things that are already present in current mobile devices!

Why do the majority of iPhone related articles on slashdot ignore the fact that it's nothing new?

Sure there is the zoom stuff, that's one difference, but that has nothing to do with me adapting my website for the iPhone and everything to do with the iPhone adapting itself to be able to view the full-version of websites instead of mobile-versions.

I'd change it (2, Informative)

pajeromanco (575906) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616957)

Only if my employer buys me one in order to test the site.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19617043)

If you have a problem with this, you're probably the kind of customer that'll use up the value of your purchase, and word of mouth, many times over in tech support.

Uhhh... (1)

noSignal (997337) | more than 7 years ago | (#19617051)


Well? (2, Insightful)

machine of god (569301) | more than 7 years ago | (#19617077)

Will you redesign your cities for IT???

I am already working on it (1)

SnapperHead (178050) | more than 7 years ago | (#19617087)

Only because I am getting an iPhone and I want an iPhone optimized version of it for personal use. If I had not been getting an iPhone, chances are I wouldn't do it. I am going to guess the same holds true for many site owners.

Ummm... (0, Troll)

sabernet (751826) | more than 7 years ago | (#19617101)

No. Wait...nah, still no. I ain't redesigning any site so some rich gadget fetishist can feel justified in his investment of an impractical web surfing device.

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19617107)

Unless Jobs is going to pay me, I'm not going to bother. Nobody's going to read my site from a phone.

Umm... (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#19617123)

It's called backwards compatibility. When you have something that is better (at least you say/think it is), you emulate the functionality of the existing, older standards.

Tablet PCs have done this... forever. The mouse cursor moves to and clicks wherever the user touched. The browser will probably do something like this, and as for handling multitouch... use it for zooming or whatever, but for normal cursor operations, ignore it! Problem solved.

With onmouseover/out stuff, they would be triggered immediately before the click event. Of course, this is just the obvious, simple solution to the problem, although it ideally would display a cursor to explain otherwise curious looking mouseover highlights caused by an invisible cursor... and using a cursor seems to go against the UI design if I read the summary correctly.

I'm sure there are other, more creative ones, and even in my solution there are several variants which allow for normal mouse usage (but which make it far more complex to be worth sharing). But this one at least isn't likely to cause compatibility problems, imo.

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