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Mobile SquishDot (via AvantGo)
Squishdot Posted by Jeffrey Price on Wednesday March 21, 05:54PM, 2001
from the finally-giving-something-back dept.
If you or someone you know has a palm-os device, then you've probably heard of AvantGo.

AvantGo is used to download webpages to a mobile device (palm-os, wap enabled devices, pocket pc, etc). It's real power comes in devices that don't have internet access on their own.

AvantGo users download software to their synching PC (the pc used to synch the handheld device) and add "channels" to their AvantGo account to download to their device, when the device is synched (HotSynch for Palm users).

Designing a channel is not all that difficult, it's just a subset of HTML 3.2 and some limitations on screen width and image colors that needs to be taken into account. Indeed, a normal website would not look good on a palm device. That's where this simple SquishDot add-in comes in... it creates a simple HTML 3.2 page (similar to the Netscape RDF/RSS that's included in SquishDot, that you can register at AvantGo, or just tell your friends about.

Now, I've not written anything for Zope before, so I really don't know how to "distribute" it, but I hope this will walk you through it if it interests you.

First, you need a property called avantgo_image. This should be the path (i.e. "Images/avantgo") to an image that is 4-bit greyscale and no larger than 150 in width or height (the palm screens usable width)... mine is something like 110x25.

Next you need to add the attached DTML method (and call it avantgo).

That's pretty much it. It's really simple... It creates a one page summary (with interlinking bookmarks to your articles). So, it doesn't really have any nesting pages or anything. It should just serve as a starting point for more complicated AvantGo channel.

If you wish to register your channel with AvantGo (make it publically available on their site), then you have to go through some hoops (sign on to be a content provider, add security to your site, etc). You will be able to place a link on your website that users can follow and add your new AvantGo channel to their account (if their setup with AvantGo already). I can send you simple code for a Rightbox_Method that I have on my site. I will probably not develop this much further, but will be free to answer questions that you may have.

You may not be interested in my family related site at all, but you can see what I've done with SquishDot at thepricefam.org. I've also worked on converting everything to XHTML 1.0 and CSS2, but that's been a much more tedious process and I'm not finished.

Good luck!!!

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