Mobile is a very hot area these days. There are lots of improvements in mobile browsing technology. The minimap approach is to allow a user to preview the web page and then zoom in a region of interest. These browsers are graphical in their nature. Bomjpacket uses a text transformation approach. It changes layout of a web page and makes use of a pre-installed mobile browser to display these text-only pages. This approach has a number of benefits. First, it works on any hardware, including phones from early 2000s. In addition, graphical approach uses horizontal scrolling. That is, if there is a long line then instead of wrapping it to the next line the graphical browser will display only part of it and require user to scroll. While scrolling is not bad on its own, it needs special input devices such as stylus or a scrolling wheel. Most cellphones have neither. Text-based approach does not require horizontal scrolling, only vertical.
There are a lot of features I would like to implement. When deciding on importance of a feature, I am trying to follow commercial software. Why follow rather than innovate? Well, I am thinking that what is good for thousands of users is what I also need. That is, I might not even know what I need. When I look at advanced technology I am starting to understand that this is indeed cool and that I also need it.
Here is a list of features I would like to implement in 2008:
- Virtual tabs. Microsoft Windows Mobile will have tabbed browsing soon. Desktop browsers have it already. Using Bomjpacket makes it clear that when you open a news page and select an article, you often return to the front page and then select another article. This movement up and down is cumbersome on a mobile phone because it takes a number of clicks. Instead, the user could open all articles of interest first in virtual tabs and then read each of them.
- Better content transformation. Imaging a multi-page news article. Its HTML source code will have three <div>s: the title, the content, and the bottom with a link to the next page. Of course, a user would select the content section. To go to the next page a mobile user will have to return to the main page and from there select third part that has that link to the next page. Bomjpacket needs to allow user to shortcut from the content section to the section with the link without having to go upward. That is, Bomjpacket will present the third <div> as if it was in the second <div>. Inter-linking of <div>s is what we need to do.
- Write a paper. After implementing those features I will try to publish a paper.