AJAX on mobile phones

Discussion in 'Java' started by Jeff, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. Jeff

    Jeff Guest


    I'm looking for info about using AJAX for building mobile app, so please
    post your link.... :)

    Also what is your experience using AJAX on mobiles, is it a good or bad
    experiece, and why is it so?

    Jeff, Jan 5, 2006
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  2. Jeff

    Chris Smith Guest

    If this is even possible, I'll be very shocked. I don't know for sure
    one way oe the other, but it would be extremely interesting if mobile
    phone web browsers implement the technologies needed for AJAX.

    The Easiest Way To Train Anyone... Anywhere.

    Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer/Technical Trainer
    MindIQ Corporation
    Chris Smith, Jan 5, 2006
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  3. Jeff

    Igor Planinc Guest

    And what might those "technologies needed for AJAX" be?
    Igor Planinc, Jan 5, 2006
  4. Jeff

    Chris Smith Guest

    JavaScript, and some kind of means of communicating between JavaScript
    and the server. For the latter, the non-standard XmlHttpRequest is
    normal, but in a pinch, a zero-size frame and decent DOM support will do
    (assuming you want to ignore the 'X' in the rather poorly named "AJAX"
    acronym, as most people do... otherwise, an XML parser will be needed
    and XmlHttpRequest is the only reasonable game in town).

    The Easiest Way To Train Anyone... Anywhere.

    Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer/Technical Trainer
    MindIQ Corporation
    Chris Smith, Jan 5, 2006
  5. Jeff

    Igor Planinc Guest

    Oh, is that all? Every decent browser (Opera for example) already has that. For
    quite some time now, in fact. And - surprise, surprise! - it runs on your
    average mobile device like magic. ;-)
    Igor Planinc, Jan 5, 2006
  6. Jeff

    Chris Smith Guest

    I was unaware that Opera had a browser for mobile phones. Nevertheless,


    See the next to last question. That makes me rather skeptical about the
    ability to use JavaScript for AJAX tasks. It's too vague to reach any
    specific conclusions.

    The Easiest Way To Train Anyone... Anywhere.

    Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer/Technical Trainer
    MindIQ Corporation
    Chris Smith, Jan 5, 2006
  7. Jeff

    Igor Planinc Guest

    Now you are. In fact, they're so sure their browser will rule the world of
    mobile devices, they gave away their (ordinary) web version for free.
    Try it out (incl. the Opera Mobile TM). That should be enough for those conclusions.
    Igor Planinc, Jan 5, 2006
  8. Jeff

    Chris Smith Guest

    That is perhaps good advice for someone who really needs to accomplish
    this. I'm not that person.

    The Easiest Way To Train Anyone... Anywhere.

    Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer/Technical Trainer
    MindIQ Corporation
    Chris Smith, Jan 5, 2006
  9. Jeff

    Daniel Dyer Guest

    Daniel Dyer, Jan 5, 2006
  10. Jeff

    Chris Smith Guest

    Really, 'cause my mobile phone comes with its own browser that's not
    Opera. As far as I'm aware, Opera is not *the* browser for anything,
    unless you work in Opera's marketing department.
    No, OperaMobile is what I hypothetically should have looked at if Jeff
    had said that he wanted to develop AJAX applications that only run on a
    few specific devices for which Opera Mobile is available. I have two
    different J2ME-capable phones, for example... one implementing MIDP 1.0,
    and another implementing MIDP 2.0... and yet neither could run that
    application. AJAX applications that require Opera Mobile may as well be
    written in J2ME client apps; unless they deal with HTML in the problem
    domain as well, it will be much easier and probably more widely
    Nothing there about XmlHttpRequest. I know it's available on Opera's
    desktop browser (though the implementation is rather quirky). Of
    course, since it's not a standard, it wouldn't make sense for it to be
    on that page. Still, I don't know how to find out whether it's
    available or not. I'm sure not gonna buy a US $300 to $400 phone to
    find out.

    (I also didn't realize how limited and bizarre Opera Mini really is.
    I'm now confident in asserting that AJAX definitely doesn't work there,
    since JavaScript doesn't even make it to the client.)

    The Easiest Way To Train Anyone... Anywhere.

    Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer/Technical Trainer
    MindIQ Corporation
    Chris Smith, Jan 5, 2006
  11. Jeff

    Daniel Dyer Guest

    Quite a few phone companies bundle Opera with their devices. Nokia used
    to before switching to its own rather poor (in comparison) browser. I
    think you'll find that Opera is the major player in the mobile market,
    certainly much more influential than it is on the desktop market and well
    ahead in terms of functionality.

    I don't work for their marketing department, but I do like their browsers
    (both desktop and mobile).

    Daniel Dyer, Jan 5, 2006
  12. Jeff

    Steve Sobol Guest

    Indeed. Most cell phones that I know of ship with Openwave or Blazer --
    browsers specifically designed for mobile devices. I've known for some time
    that Opera's mobile product exists. I just don't know how much actual market
    share they have.
    Steve Sobol, Jan 6, 2006
  13. Jeff

    Igor Planinc Guest

    I wish. Right now they're doing pretty well (M$ and Google are eyeing) so I
    guess their options are pretty high.

    Seriously now, Chris, _try_ it out. Start with a (_free_) PC version. That
    should give you a pretty good idea of what it's all about. And guess what, with
    a few minor differencies that's what you get on your mobile device, too. It
    sounds (almost) too good o be true, I know. If you're familiar with MSIE and
    Mozilla and get bombarded with news on how they're top-notch browsers, it's hard
    to believe there can be something else.

    I just hope they don't succumb to MS' (or Google's for that matter) sweet-talk.
    Igor Planinc, Jan 6, 2006
  14. Jeff

    Chris Smith Guest

    What are you talking about? I'm talking about whether mobile browsers
    support things like XmlHttpRequest, so that they can implement AJAX. I
    know that Opera in a desktop environment implements the API, and does it
    in a way that involves quite a few quirks. I know this because I test
    with Opera rather frequently.

    There are several problems, though.

    First, it's still quite a risk to assume the same non-standard class
    exists on Opera Mobile implementations of JavaScript. I've had Opera's
    desktop product installed for about five years now. You are greatly
    overstating your case. To assume that a feature will be in Opera Mobile
    just because it's in a desktop product that's many times more memory
    intensive is just silly. By necessity, Opera cut out the majority of
    lines of code when creating their mobile browser. There's no reason to
    assume that some non-standard API that no one uses on mobile phones
    would have made the cut.

    Of course, since you seem so hot on Opera, I'm sure you have it on your
    mobile phone, right? So let us know whether Google Suggest works
    properly, how about it? Google Suggest is about the simplest possible
    AJAX application, so it should create worthwhile results. I notice that
    gmail, the more famous Google-AJAX product, has a non-AJAX version
    specifically for mobile phones, by the way.

    Second, Opera Mobile is COMPLETELY INCAPABLE of running on the great
    majority of mobile phones. JBenchmark, for example, has comp0iled
    benchmark results for over 400 Java-capable phones, and I'd assume there
    are at least twice as many web-enabled phones out there. According to
    their web site, Opera Mobile runs on about a couple dozen phones. Those
    couple dozen do not happen to include a single one of the seven phones
    that I've ever owned, and I make pretty normal mobile phone choices...
    so I have a hard time believing they picked the most popular. Instead,
    they seem to have picked the phones that they had business reasons for

    Finally, Opera Mobile is a commercial application, and getting it pre-
    installed is even more unlikely than its being compatible. I don't know
    too many mobile phone users who care enough to BUY a different web
    browser than the one they get for free.

    Opera may be doing well financially, but the number of Opera Mobile
    users out there is small indeed compared to the total users of all other
    browsers, which are lesser known and probably considerably less
    advanced. Very rarely does a software developer have the luxury of
    telling all their users to go buy a new $300 phone, then potentially
    download a commercial browser if the phone didn't come bundled with it,
    just to use this one application.

    You're acting like I've never heard of the Opera browser before. It's
    starting to get a bit insulting. If you don't start paying attention to
    the conversation, rather than assuming I'm just talking trash about your
    pet browser, then don't bother answering.

    The Easiest Way To Train Anyone... Anywhere.

    Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer/Technical Trainer
    MindIQ Corporation
    Chris Smith, Jan 6, 2006
  15. Jeff

    Igor Planinc Guest

    Wrong. My mobile phone is exactly what a mobile _phone_ should be. A _phone_.
    Not a stripped down PC combined with a coffee machine.
    Google also has its search page "specifically for mobile phones". Only the word
    should be: _pages_. Namely, there have been quite a few standards (sic!) for
    mobile devices so far. Remember WAP ($MQ: which one?)? All the versions of WML?
    Newer devices support XHTML, thank god. With different DOCTYPES, I might add. So
    in fact, one should tailor one's web app to hundreds (literaly!) of different
    devices and their (so called) capabilities. This is, needless to say, a mammoth
    task. Not everybody is up to it, or, more preciselly, has the resources for it.
    Not even Google. There are a lot of mobile phones like mine still in use today.
    But I don't think Google will make a Gmail interface compliant with WML 1.0. And
    I don't blame them. I wouldn't either. What I mean to say is: I know one can't
    install the most capable version of Opera onto every possible device. Onto newer
    (newest?) ones one can, though. Someday, hopefully, there will only be one
    version, for PCs and <khm/> devices alike. When, instead of trying to
    incorporate coffee machines into them, someone will fill them with propper
    processors and an additional G of RAM.
    Welcome to the real world.
    Oh? What's normal in your book? Seriously.
    Reasonably well. If they were gready, they could do much better. M$ is more than
    eager to pay, I'm sure. That would, of course, mean the end of Opera as we know it.
    Right. But that's preciselly what we should tell them. And more (see below).

    Anyway, Opera have that covered, too. They're making deals with hardware
    I don't have a pet browser. In my line of work I can't afford one. Having to
    test my web app(s) for different platforms (including devices ;-) ) / browsers,
    I should have approx 743299 of them. :-|
    Sorry if I sounded like that. I'm fed up with having to tailor every little ...
    page for those 743299 combinations just because nowadays everybody thinks that
    their particular "invention" of a wheel is better than the next one. But I don't
    think that JavaScript support, XML parser and a XmlHttpRequest are such an
    impossibility like you seem to think. There are a lot more mem- and performance-
    hogs beside those three.

    Moreover, I totally agree with

    More preciselly: we should ditch the underlying protocol(s) and replace them
    with something more manageable, and not trying to revive the existing one(s)
    with an AJAX makeover.
    Igor Planinc, Jan 6, 2006
  16. Jeff

    Roedy Green Guest

    What a sick thing that would be. MS would buy it just to destroy it.
    That should not be permitted.
    Roedy Green, Jan 6, 2006
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