[RFC] Include mobile style

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Publish your own request for comments/change or patches for the next version of phpBB. Discuss the contributions and proposals of others. Upcoming releases are 3.2/Rhea and 3.3.
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Ger
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[RFC] Include mobile style

Post by Ger » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:54 am

Mobile browsing is getting more and more common. Not only for iPhones/iPads, but also for other smartphones based on Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian, etc. I've installed Callumacrae's phpBB Mobile on 4 boards now, all by request of the users of those boards that want to use their smartphone to post. The boards have a very different public: woodworkers, scholars, Italian holidays and cyclists.
I have to say though: all the boards are pointed at Dutch users. I'm not sure about the international marketshare of mobile devices.
However: I think the use of mobile devices will only grow in the next couple of years. Since phpBB 3.2.x will not be here this year and probably not the next year either, at the time it arrives it should have full support for mobile devices. A basic mobile style with a switch to the standard style should be included by default. This is basically how Callumacrae's phpBB Mobile works.

The RFC in short is: include phpBB Mobile by deafult.

[edit]link updated[/edit]
Last edited by Ger on Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Above message may contain errors in grammar, spelling or wrongly chosen words. This is because I'm not a native speaker. My apologies in advance.

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Re: [RFC] Include mobile style

Post by callumacrae » Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:41 am

Atm my mod sucks, but I'm writing a new style for it :-)

I've proposed this before, and the development team aren't interested. If it were accepted, I would be very happy to send the patch myself. I definately think that it should be included (although possibly disabled by default).

~Callum

EDIT: The links in both my sig and your post are dead. Try http://phpbb-mobile.com/ :D
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Re: [RFC] Include mobile style

Post by Ger » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:07 am

callumacrae wrote:Atm my mod sucks, but I'm writing a new style for it :-)
Well, I think it works pretty good. :)
callumacrae wrote:EDIT: The links in both my sig and your post are dead. Try http://phpbb-mobile.com/ :D
Updated the TS, thanks. (I simply copied the link in your sig while posting)


-- EDIT --
Coincidence: an hour and a half ago, the Dutch news site Nu.nl published an article about mobile internet in The Netherlands. A report from the Central Bureau of Statistics states that 36% of the Dutch people use mobile internet, while in 2007 this was only 20%. Also, the mobile data traffic has massively increased from 359.000 GB in 2008 to 3,2 million GB in 2010.

The main cause of this growth is the massive increase of smartphones.

I don't think the Netherlands are unique in this growth, so phpBB should be ready for this.
Above message may contain errors in grammar, spelling or wrongly chosen words. This is because I'm not a native speaker. My apologies in advance.

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Re: [RFC] Include mobile style

Post by /a3 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:17 am

There are other ways that are preferable to seperating desktop and mobile versions of webpages. Notably, @media. CSS3 also offers min-width and max-width within media queries.

However, I imagine this would be a considerable task to build for a style like proSilver...
$ git commit -m "YOLO"

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Re: [RFC] Include mobile style

Post by callumacrae » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:41 am

/a3 wrote:There are other ways that are preferable to seperating desktop and mobile versions of webpages. Notably, @media. CSS3 also offers min-width and max-width within media queries.

However, I imagine this would be a considerable task to build for a style like proSilver...
It's not just about appearance.

I get between 20kb/s and 30kb/s down from my phone (not even 2G here). The index for a full forum (30 threads) on .com at the moment with the default settings is 563kb. The same on my website with the mobile style enabled is 29kb. If mobile support is included, instead of making the CSS bigger, there should be a separate style, no question about it.
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Re: [RFC] Include mobile style

Post by callumacrae » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:13 am

Graphs!

Without mobile style (prosilver se):
Image

With mobile style:
Image

Those were both exactly the same page from the same connection (my home connection - it sucks).

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Re: [RFC] Include mobile style

Post by AmigoJack » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:40 pm

callumacrae wrote:(my home connection - it sucks)
Then byte as unit would be more wise than sec. ;-)

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Re: [RFC] Include mobile style

Post by Oleg » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:21 am

callumacrae wrote: I've proposed this before, and the development team aren't interested. If it were accepted, I would be very happy to send the patch myself. I definately think that it should be included (although possibly disabled by default).
I just did a search for "mobile" on area51 to see where you got this impression. I have been unable to find any posts by a development team member rejecting the idea of a mobile style for phpbb. Thus I think you may have a somewhat incorrect understanding of the situation.

Development team does not have a large amount of time to spend. We all have jobs and non-phpbb things we have to do. We have the accepted RFCs in 3.1, which already are more than enough to keep us busy until 3.1 gets released, and hopefully that happens sooner than later. Any proposals that are not on the list of accepted 3.1 RFCs don't get as much attention simply because we don't have enough time. Hopefully this explains why there have not been an outpouring of support for the mobile style from developers.

I think it's safe to say that developers won't be starting a mobile style for phpbb until 3.2 at the earliest, and possibly not until 3.3, 3.4 or 4.0. The only way a mobile style will appear earlier than that is if someone contributes it, or most of it.

As a maintainer, I'm quite certain that when someone proposes a change or an addition the proposer would benefit from it. My job is to make sure that the change or addition will not break everything for everyone else. Thus maintainers concentrate on possible drawbacks of changes. Sometimes this might create an impression of negativity, but really we are just trying to build the best product we can.

As a potential contributor, therefore, you (referring to anyone considering working on any contribution, mobile style included) want to make sure you don't spend too much time working on something that will turn out to be entirely unacceptable to the dev team. This is why we have the RFC process. You can post an RFC as broad or as detailed as you want. If there are no objections from development team to your RFC, that means there are no obvious obstacles to eventually getting it accepted into phpbb. I would suggest starting with a broad RFC and refining it with time to be more specific, and maybe starting working on some code. You can explicitly ask "Are there any objections to this?" every now and then (and it is sometimes important to distinguish between objections from developers, who have the commit bit, and non-developers who do not -- the non-developers are not the ones merging or not merging code into phpbb).

There is some difference between a core feature and a modification (or an addon/plugin/extension). If you want this mobile style to be a core feature you need to think about what that would require. Maybe prototype some code. Is it just another style? Do you need changes in the code to support the style? Do these changes negatively affect other, non-mobile styles? Can these changes be made independently of the style, such that they may be incorporated into 3.1 or even 3.0 without the style being part of phpbb in these versions?

Two of the larger features in 3.1, cron and template engine, took a significant amount of time. Cron (https://github.com/phpbb/phpbb3/pull/62) - 9 months from the start to when it was merged. Template engine (https://github.com/phpbb/phpbb3/pull/171) is going on 5 months. Both involved collaboration of multiple developers, and would have stalled if a single person was working on them. Both had a "responsible party" (which was not always the same person throughout the entire life of a feature) - the person who would push the proposal forward, solicit feedback, work on it as time permitted, etc. I don't know what would be involved in the mobile style, but my guess would be it would end up being one of the larger features. If so whoever decides to work on it needs to be realistic about how long it's likely to take, but also actually move it forward within our process. The sooner you start the sooner it will be done.

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Re: [RFC] Include mobile style

Post by Dragosvr92 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:30 am

Its a good idea to have it there... But i dont think its worth the fuss to write it considering that most mobile phones use modern browsers.
Scr*w the old Phones :lol: (Even tho i have one :roll: )
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Re: [RFC] Include mobile style

Post by callumacrae » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:58 pm

Oleg wrote:I just did a search for "mobile" on area51 to see where you got this impression. I have been unable to find any posts by a development team member rejecting the idea of a mobile style for phpbb. Thus I think you may have a somewhat incorrect understanding of the situation.
IRC
Oleg wrote:Development team does not have a large amount of time to spend. [...] I think it's safe to say that developers won't be starting a mobile style for phpbb until 3.2 at the earliest, and possibly not until 3.3, 3.4 or 4.0. The only way a mobile style will appear earlier than that is if someone contributes it, or most of it.
I'm more than happy for my mod to be included (although the current version is rubbish, theres a good, non-hacky, version I'm developing now), and I could support it too.
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