WordPress Has Landed
Well — I’m off Blogger and on to WordPress. The whole process was surprisingly simple. I’ve been wringing my hands about doing this for months now thanks to the WordPress migration tools, the whole thing was virtually painless. I feel like I’ve gone from a Volkswagen to a Ferrari. WordPress is so configurable. It’s got a whole ecosystem of plug-ins and themes (including the aforementioned wp-mobile plug-in which detects mobile browsers and feeds them mobile-friendly pages). It’s open. Most importantly, if I want to change it in some way, I can edit every single file.
Now — I say the wp-mobile plug-in is cool, and it is, but there is a big problem with it, and that has to do with, what else, device detection. The plug-in knows you’re browsing from a mobile device because it matches the user-agent string against a list of strings that are hard-coded into the PHP program. If you read my previous post on Device Description Nirvana or are familiar with the work of the MWI Device Descriptions working group, then you’ll know that this issue of device descriptions is a thorny one. In the world of device description nirvana, this plug-in would use an API to query a global database of user agent strings to definitively determine if the incoming request is from a mobile device or not. More importantly, it would be able to use the capabilities of these devices to make intelligent decisions about how best to adapt the page for that particular device. Until that time, however, I wonder if some enterprising soul will at least integrate this plug-in with the WURFL open-source project.
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Dear Mr AppelQuist, What has happened to the rather tasteful picture of out of focus flowers you used to have at the top of your blog? This smacks of a Lowest Common Denominator approach to me, Joe Risonable (Clapham)
Hi Giles — Thanks for your comment. That picture (which is actually something I snapped myself in Maroon Lake, near Aspen) has sadly been a casualty of the re-launch. I hope to bring it (or something like it) back in a future iteration of the design. I’m especially motivated to do so now based on your feedback. :)