George V. Reilly

Mobile Device Browser File

Mobile Device Browser File

In the late 90s when I worked on the classic Active Server Pages dev team, I tried to convince one of the Program Managers that we should make regular updates to browscap.ini, the file that described browser ca­pa­bil­i­ties. He wanted no part of it.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn via Hanselmin­utes that Microsoft has stepped up to its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and is now shipping the Mobile Device Browser File on CodePlex. Over 400 mobile devices are defined, with 67 distinct ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

The Hanselmin­utes podcast is an in­ter­est­ing discussion of the Mobile Web and designing a different experience for mobile browsers. There’s more to it than the small screen. You want to think about the scenarios in which the site is likely to be used. The user is probably traveling: give directions. Make phone numbers dialable by using the tel: scheme. Think about server round trips.

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