Wikipedia on handheld devices

Smylers Smylers at
Wed Jul 11 23:20:49 BST 2007

David Cantrell writes:

> On Thu, Jul 05, 2007 at 01:56:03AM +0100, Smylers wrote:
> > David Cantrell writes:
> > 
> > > This was prompted by Wikipedia being impossible to use on my Treo
> > > because the page layout assumes you have a large screen.
> > 
> > Hmmm, the HTML source of Wikipedia pages seems to include:
> >   <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="handheld"
> >   href="/skins-1.5/monobook/handheld.css?80" />
> > So if your Treo is correctly identifying itself as a handheld device
> > then it should get that version rather than the one for full-sized
> > screens.

I got that wrong (sorry).  It's the client, not the server, which picks
which CSS is used.  The device should know that because it's handheld
it's better downloading and using the style-sheet so labelled rather
than the standard one.

> If it does, then the stylesheet is broken, cos it's unusable.

Possibly; I haven't got a suitable gadget for trying it out on, and I'm
not sufficiently intrigued to bother downloading the CSS and manually
applying it with a 'normal' browser.

> > > I'm also finding it useful on a desktop because, without all the
> > > images and the complex page layout, pages load faster.
> > 
> > Looking at, say:
> >
> > It seems quite similar to the effect you get merely by going to the
> > Wikipedia page then in Firefox choosing [some menus]
> But I'm not running Firefox on my phone.  Nor does any normal person.

Sure.  I only mentioned that as a quick way for anybody who happens to
be using Firefox to see what the page looks like without CSS.

And you do say above you're "also finding it useful on a desktop", where
it's plausible you're running Firefox.

> > That link explicitly says to preview MySkin on that page (but not on
> > pages it links to).
> So not very useful really!

It's useful for providing a link on a mailing list previewing what the
output is like if you choose that 'skin' -- which is exactly what I was
using it for!

> And if this was widely known, I would have thought that google would
> at least have been able to point me at it.

Yeah, I can't remember where I knew this from.  I've hacked on a
MediaWiki installation at work, and now know rather more about it than
I'd like to.  But I agree this kind of thing is far from obvious.

> Also, remember that removing cruft with a stylesheet still downloads
> the cruft, it just doesn't display it.

That's an excellent point that I hadn't thought of.



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