0869: "Server Attention Span"

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KShrike
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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby KShrike » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:39 pm UTC

I'm guessing servers are programmed very poorly on smart phone usage.

I wouldn't know, because I don't have (will never get) a smart phone.
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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby phlip » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:39 pm UTC

sportsracer48 wrote:Um, the link to m.xkcd.com? Yeah, it just goes back to the homepage. Sorry.

Perhaps, but at least it doesn't try to detect you're on a mobile and redirect you to the homepage of m.xkcd.com... that would just be annoying, pointless, and pointlessly annoying.

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KShrike
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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby KShrike » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:43 pm UTC

phlip wrote:
sportsracer48 wrote:Um, the link to m.xkcd.com? Yeah, it just goes back to the homepage. Sorry.

Perhaps, but at least it doesn't try to detect you're on a mobile and redirect you to the homepage of m.xkcd.com... that would just be annoying, pointless, and pointlessly annoying.


Not as annoying as an e-mail with a signature that says "This e-mail was sent from my smart phone!"
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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby pimanrules » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:59 pm UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:Randall must have been on lifehacker recently. It gets even worse when you're not in the US, when you get the worthless redirects even from desktop browsers.


What, surely you don't prefer the default layout to the Canadian or UK classic one? Unless you mean the Australian site or one of those other silly ones.

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby nlitchfield » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:31 pm UTC

This sort of thing happens all the time because designers and developers, firstly underestimate how hard it is to predict human behaviour in an interface. Intelligence is a hard thing to code, automatic redirects and autocomplete aren't nearly enough, and secondly because it development tends to assume that we are all at exactly the same technology level and so no-one will ever get faster comms or smarter clients, or multiple screens or consume the application in text(or audio or..).

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby sorceror » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:34 pm UTC

Piquan wrote:So here's a product that ships with a smartphone, displaying a feed full of links that won't actually display on a smartphone. Why, why, WHY?!?


Same with the Android "News and Weather" app. Seems to happen more with 'Entertainment' news, for some reason.

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby ritvax » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:37 pm UTC

mschmidt62 wrote:Server sounds sorta like Randy the Bandicoot.


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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby ritvax » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:42 pm UTC

Ever since I started using my iPad, I have been severely annoyed every time I try to visit (usually a media site, like a newspaper or magazinesite) and I have to jump over a page I was redirected to and didn't ask for. No, I don't want the "mobile" site. No, I dont want to download you app and get charged for content.

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby BioTube » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:55 pm UTC

maxh wrote:What's really fun is when the server decides you need the mobile site ON A NORMAL BLOODY COMPUTER.
Well, the good part about them thinking Konqueror is a mobile browser is that CNN doesn't pound me with garbage. The one site that did this to me I cared about got fixed after I fired off an email to the webmaster(I was just as surprised as you). But honestly, the whole "mobile edition" idea was obsolete before it caught on(and if you're still using an old smartphone that need special caring for, then you deserve to suffer).
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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby madjo » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:07 pm UTC

Google Image search does just this. It's highly annoying.
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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby Koriina » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:38 pm UTC

. . . Did this remind anyone else of the Tachikomas from Ghost in the Shell?
"It won't fit there."

. . .

"Not legally."

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby Sprocket » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:47 pm UTC

This reminded me of the dog-robots in Snow Crash.
mschmidt62 wrote:Server sounds sorta like Randy the Bandicoot.

Yes, and TOTALLY Randy the Bandicoot!
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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby Aelfyre » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:57 pm UTC

EcoReck20 wrote:KotakuKotakuKotakuKotakuKotakuKotakuKotakuKotakuKotakuKotaku


G4TV does the same shazit.
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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby CodexDraco » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:02 pm UTC

phillipsjk wrote:Incidently, the complaints about YouTube not working on a mobile device may be just Google enforcing an agreement with Adobe:
Flash 10.2 EULA wrote:snip


That makes no sense. The runtime EULA only applies to you, the user, not to the content provider. They are covered with their Flash Media Server license or whatever they are using and IIRC it had no restrictions on what kind of computer you can stream to.

More likely, this is an enforcement of the right holders (RIAA, etc) these guys seem to have technofobia.

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:14 pm UTC

As a professional web designer, I have only this to say:

Bitches don't know about my CSS media specifier. Seriously, you don't need a redirect or whatever nonsense; just use a separate style sheet. CSS can handle almost everything that needs done (mouseover menus seem to need JavaScript to tell it that touching the link opens the menu instead of following the link, but it's JavaScript that only mobile browsers can recognize anyway). I was kind of surprised that Randall, übergeek that he is, went with the "separate subdomain entirely" option, but then I remembered that this is the man who won't even reskin his WordPress blog.
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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby capn_slimes » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:30 pm UTC

Is it me, or has the xkcd sucks blog gotten a little creepy? I mean, there's literally no criticism in there, it's just a weird fanfic...

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby rhhardin » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:27 pm UTC

Try "How long have you been a server, Honey?"

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby karimarie » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:38 pm UTC

This is totally Gizmodo since the update. I hate it so much--clicking on any feed links on my (Android) phone or iPad just takes me back to a mobile web listing of articles. SO FREAKING IRRITATING. Especially when I'm using Flipbook on the iPad--totally effs up the flow of that app!!

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby Technical Ben » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:43 pm UTC

KShrike wrote:I'm guessing servers are programmed very poorly on smart phone usage.

I wouldn't know, because I don't have (will never get) a smart phone.

Do you have a phone? You do realise they are practically all smart phones now? I guess yours could be an exception, but post your model just in case! :D
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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby neoliminal » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:53 pm UTC

AvianMinded wrote:I went to high school with people like this. Funny thing is most of them are also servers.


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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby SEE » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:58 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:Do you have a phone? You do realise they are practically all smart phones now? I guess yours could be an exception, but post your model just in case! :D

Okay, smartypants. Mine's a Motorola V170, Tracfone version.

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby Grungydan » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:46 pm UTC

This is annoying, but far, far more ridiculous is any large website just flat out not having a mobile version available.

Also up on the list: tech companies whose emails aren't touch screen device navigable (i.e. you have to touch the screen to move around in the email, but touching the email contents launches a new page, etc.). Even Apple does this. Morons.

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby bmonk » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:19 pm UTC

Those are the servers that run on the ADD operating system...They have a fix, but you have to take it every day...
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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby kkt » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:28 pm UTC

Do you have a phone? You do realise they are practically all smart phones now? I guess yours could be an exception, but post your model just in case!


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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby ubikuberalles » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:34 pm UTC

MitraSmit wrote:And for God's sake, let me zoom on your mobile page!


Agreed. I don't have tiny 11 year-old fingers (I got man-hands dammit!) and so I need to zoom in to tap a link without accidentally tapping a different link.

BTW, not all servers have poor memory. At one restaurant our server took our order (there were four of us at the table) without writing anything on paper: it was all by memory. He got the order right too! Suffice it to say he got abig tip from us.

Oh, wait, wrong kind of server. Never mind.
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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby Optimystic » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:54 pm UTC

I know I don't post often but I had to this time. Why are you guys using the mobile browser anyway? I have both Dolphin and Firefox on my Droid X and I can fool just about any server into thinking I'm a PC, even Youtube.

...Unless you don't have Android, in which case I'm sorry.

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby TygerFish » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:02 pm UTC

...unless the server uses Facebook tracking (Lifehacker, I'm looking at you), in which case it doesn't resemble Randy so much as Agent Smith. "I know you. I know your friends. I know what you like. I know what you smell like. It's cute how your eyes do that flutter thing while you sleep."

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby phillipsjk » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:11 pm UTC

CodexDraco wrote:
phillipsjk wrote:Incidently, the complaints about YouTube not working on a mobile device may be just Google enforcing an agreement with Adobe:
Flash 10.2 EULA wrote:snip


That makes no sense. The runtime EULA only applies to you, the user, not to the content provider. They are covered with their Flash Media Server license or whatever they are using and IIRC it had no restrictions on what kind of computer you can stream to.

Just checked the (Flash Media Server) license, and you appear to be correct. It is possible Google agreed to additional restrictions for some special privileges, but that would be speculation.

More likely, this is an enforcement of the right holders (RIAA, etc) these guys seem to have technofobia.

But...but... Google takes down any infringing content in order to satisfy the DMCA! (Yes I know there are some "official" YouTube channels with trailers and the like.)
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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby Piquan » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:05 pm UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:As a professional web designer, I have only this to say:

Bitches don't know about my CSS media specifier. Seriously, you don't need a redirect or whatever nonsense; just use a separate style sheet. CSS can handle almost everything that needs done (mouseover menus seem to need JavaScript to tell it that touching the link opens the menu instead of following the link, but it's JavaScript that only mobile browsers can recognize anyway). I was kind of surprised that Randall, übergeek that he is, went with the "separate subdomain entirely" option, but then I remembered that this is the man who won't even reskin his WordPress blog.


Except for browsers like IEMobile 7 that don't honor the media settings. Or Safari Mobile and Opera, which process it but select "screen" instead of "handheld".

For anybody interested, there's a good overview of issues surrounding CSS selectors at http://www.alistapart.com/articles/return-of-the-mobile-stylesheet but its proposals have their own weaknesses. Besides that, you sometimes want the content to be different enough that using a different page makes sense; see http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/ for information on mobile best practices.

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby trentblase » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:53 pm UTC

Isn't Randy the Bandicoot just Dug from Up in a Bandicoot suit?

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby danix » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:48 pm UTC

Heh. What most people fail to realize is that all websites act the same way. :shock: You're always opening connections to ask for documents; closing them as they are loaded. Session state is preserved by cookies; it is a hackjob put into a protocol that was never meant to support stateful conversations.

The crappy mobile-redirecting sites break the web because of this behaviour being mixed with stateless conversation. Ow! :evil:

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby boradis » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:03 pm UTC

[Ee]xpression[s]? wrote:I don't know anybody who hasn't come across this. I have no idea why someone would spend so much time and money making a mobile site, without making content cross-viewable. Is it that hard?

Not really, but the way news sites tend to be run (I've worked for four) functionality is at the center of a power struggle between whimsical upper management, harried editorial and tortoise-like developers. Upper management can't think for themselves, won't trust the people they hire, and are always demanding the latest media-darling Internet fad immediately. Editorial just wants to get today's stories posted now, like NOW, like 10 SEC. AGO, PLEASE. Developers want to be deliberate and rational, stick to their long term plans and have predictable jobs, and just don't understand why that's not possible in the media. I've seen guys in that field spend years trying to get the other two parties to calm down -- both sad and hilarious.

Anyhow what happens with something like this is developers/editorial are allowed just enough time to build something that appeases upper management. Since the bosses have zero understanding of how people besides themselves use their own site a functional home page is all they need. Once they see that, they're demanding something else.

almafuerte
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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby almafuerte » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:55 pm UTC

That's why both my android phone and tablet have the userstring spoofed. Simple yet elegant solution.

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby Zak McKracken » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:21 am UTC

Technical Ben wrote:I use Opera now. They tend to be able to fool most servers into thinking you have a full HTML pc like browser.


Fun fact: I know some sites that will serve Opera the reduced-content mobile version regardless of the device it's running on. Which looks kind of funny on a 23" screen ...
try this one for example: www.dortmund-airport.de
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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby Nootaikok » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:42 am UTC

The obvious question that follows this comic is: Is there any way to spoof the User-Agent header on an iPhone, to tell web sites I'm using IE6 instead of a mobile Safari?

But seriously, please stop making mobile versions of web sites. The iPhone (and other similar phones) are perfectly able to display most non-mobile sites, as I observed through years of using an iPhone. But in the last few months, there's been an increasing trend of making mobile "optimized" versions of web sites that are *LESS* usable on the iPhone than the device-agnostic version. Using the iPhone to browse the web used to work great, but now it's starting to become a pain because of these misguided "optimizations".

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby im3w1l » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:30 am UTC

One thing I find very annoying when surfing with my ipad is that I can't zoom to more than 100%. I often find that I want to see more detail just to realize that I've hit the 100% barrier. Would using a high-res picture with manually set width and height fields allow more than 100% zoom, or is the limit in the browsers?

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby Coyne » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:47 am UTC

Yep! Has all the attention span of a gnat! Sometimes, "stateless" sucks.
In all fairness...

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby JohnWys » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:32 am UTC

Gizmodo, one of the Gawker-related offenders, posted an article at 7:10pm tonight acknowledging the issues at:
http://gizmodo.com/#!5779002/this-one-is-for-people-accessing-gawker-sites-from-smartphones-or-ipads
It has since been erased from the site.


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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby Seraph » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:24 am UTC

Zak McKracken wrote:
Technical Ben wrote:I use Opera now. They tend to be able to fool most servers into thinking you have a full HTML pc like browser.


Fun fact: I know some sites that will serve Opera the reduced-content mobile version regardless of the device it's running on. Which looks kind of funny on a 23" screen ...
try this one for example: http://www.dortmund-airport.de

Up until fairly recently the McDonalds website used to do this. Not only that, but it failed to detect mobile devices as such. So my phone would get the normal site, and my computers (using Opera) would get the "mobile" site.

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Re: 0869: "Server Attention Span"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:07 am UTC

phillipsjk wrote:This is why you can't use absolute-pixel positioning. It assumes too much about the user's screensize and resolution... if they have a screen at all.

When web developers realize this, their instinct is to compensate with a "special" version of the site for limited browsers. 10 years ago it was a "text-only" version of the site. Now it is mobile browsers. The "special" version of the site is never quite kept up-to-date unless it is automatically generated from the same data-sources.

[...]

TL;DR: In short, the companies making the popular "rich content" standards don't consider mobile devices to be computers. From what I have seen, most many web-developers don't consider non-graphical, Javascript-free user-agents to be "browsers" either.


I'm curious... not to blatantly self-promote, but when I designed my own person website (see any link in my sig) up to what it is now from the bare-bones text listing of files and images it once was, I specifically intended to make it as fluid as possible, with (almost) no consideration for screen size or even screen-existence. However, being a sighted person with no familiarity with screen readers and a conscientious objector to the direction that so-called "smart" phones have taken, I've never actually seen my site on anything other than regular computer monitors of various shapes and sizes. So I'm wondering, anyone out there with your smart phones, or blind people with your screen readers, or what not... how's it holding up on your user-agent of choice?
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