[sword-devel] On the topic of an iPhone front-end

DM Smith dmsmith555 at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 18 14:31:21 MST 2008

Greg Hellings wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 18, 2008 at 12:55 PM, DM Smith <dmsmith555 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Greg Hellings wrote:
>>  > On Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 12:33 PM, DM Smith <dmsmith555 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>  >
>>>>  Currently, there is one iPhone interface that does not have this
>>  >>  problem: web 2.0 browser interface. If the BibleTool or something like
>>  >>  it were adapted for small devices with "grade A" browser support, that
>>  >>  would be fantastic.
>>  >>
>>  >
>>  > As I understand it, the iPhone version of Safari is completely unique
>>  > in its dual-faced implementation of a browser.  It tries to imitate a
>>  > full desktop-style browser and then just display the size of the
>>  > iPhone screen at one time.  However, you can also design a web app to
>>  > work specifically with the mobile version of Safari and look almost
>>  > exactly like a native app.  To do so is slightly beyond my ken with
>>  > javascript and/or CSS tasks, but there are a few good Javascript
>>  > toolkits I've used which would make it quite possible.  However, it
>>  > would certainly require a redesign of the whole BibleTool interface.
>>  >
>>  Here is a quick example of a Web 2.0 interface.
>>  http://www.crosswire.org:8080/jsword/iBD.html
>>  It is a very rough example of how JSword can be used on the web. I'd be curious to know how it looks and behaves on an iPhone. (besides ugly, I know it is.)
> On desktop Safari it complains of "Value undefined (result of
> expression xslDoc.load) is not an object" whenever I select a book or
> click one of the buttons in the interface.

Thanks for the report. This was a problem of limited testing. It works 
fine on Windows and Linux. Didn't dawn on me that it wouldn't work on 
MacOSX. The problem is that the XML/XSL library that I was using relied 
on a browser's support for XSLT and there is none in Safari (I'm using 3.x).

So I'm looking at various JavaScript implementations. I found a light 
one (javeline) but it is not fully implemented and I haven't gotten it 
to work.

I may end up having to do the transform on the server.

> For helping with the
> front-end, a Google Web Toolkit app could be very useful.  It's
> designed to write both the client side (browser) code and the back end
> (servlets) in Java.  The client-side code is eventually transformed
> into HTML and Javascript to run on the browser, while the server side
> is compiled into (almost) standard servlets and posted up on a servlet
> container.  I've had good luck recently with it - and since the server
> side is designed to be written in Java and run on the server, you can
> easily interface it with Bible Desktop's back end through the RPC
> functions.
I've been using Yahoo User's Interface (YUI) at work and am pleased with 
it. I was looking into other ones and had not come across GWT yet. I'll 
look into this too.

> Something like that would probably be ideal if we are to put up a web
> front-end for mobile Safari users.  However, it would be nice if Apple
> would allow use and development of open source applications.
>>  Can I assume that if I make Safari have the same display area as the iPhone or iPod touch, that I'll have a good idea how it looks?
> There are some minor points of trickery if you want to optimize the
> webpage for display on the portable version of Safari.  I sort of
> glazed over that portion of the tutorials (and it's probably under the
> same NDA that the rest of the Apple Developer site is), but if you
> sign up for your own Apple ID, you can view them.  The videos are also
> available as video podcasts on iTunes.  If you look in the ADC channel
> and look for iPhone Tech Talks (not the iPhone Getting Started Videos
> - those are for the native app SDK), they have 4 or 5 videos there
> about customizing and optimizing for iPhone Safari.

Thanks for the reference. I have an developer's id and I'm signed up for 
the iPhone SDK. I'll take a look at these.

In Him,

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