Simulated on-line Web solution for off-line mobile PDA devices using Virtual HTML Cards
Original Publication Date: 2004-Jul-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Jul-16
There is a need to maintain the benefit of the internet’s online Web Programming Model (comprising open standards, web application servers, HTML and browsers) while supporting the prevalent disconnected use of a PDA in a disconnected mode.
Simulated on-line Web solution for off -line mobile PDA devices using Virtual HTML Cards
The Disconnected PDA Browser: A Simulated on-line Web solution for off-line mobile PDA devices using Virtual HTML Cards
There is a need to maintain the benefit of the internet's online Web Programming Model (comprising open standards, web application servers, HTML and browsers) while supporting the prevalent disconnected use of a PDA in a disconnected mode.
This paper outlines a Disconnected Web Programming Model that delivers application independence from the PDA. Aspects of moving to a Disconnected Web Programming Model are examined in turn:
- Establishing effective Presentation Services that approximate the best features of the traditional Client User Interface within the PDA browser.
- Migrating Programming logic to PDA and/or the Application Server.
- Managing the process of software distribution to remote devices.
- Propagating data and logic that can run in the browser in a disconnected mode of operation to the device when it is needed.
PDA browsers do not possess the screen real estate to accommodate the same sized dialog windows as desktop browsers, hence there is a need to reengineer the user interface (and possibly also the business processes - outside the scope of this paper) to support the small screen.
This is readily achieved using the device browser. Transcoding and style sheet technologies support the presentation being adapted to suit the device, (i.e. altering the content to fit the available screen size for each device supported). This is entirely consistent with the Web Programming Model.
The Web Programming Model returns one HTML Page to the device. In a disconnected mode of operation, the user downloads one Page, disconnects, interacts with the application and when complete, reconnects and submits a one Page response.
With a traditional Client where the user is presented with multiple dialog boxes and panels, what appears next is determined by the actions just taken. There is a need to approximate this experience in the disconnected Web Programming Model. To achieve this, the one large HTML page returned by the Application Server is logically partitioned into a number of sub-pages or Cards. Each Card is presented to the user in turn, and each Card is the equivalent of one Dialog Window or Panel.
To move between Cards, the user could use the NEXT and PREVIOUS buttons on the browser. In addition, each Card provided NEXT and PREVIOUS buttons which relied
on a programming technique of 'bread crumbs' to navigate between Cards.
This was found to be an effective way of presenting the disconnected PDA user with multiple screens within the browser. It was found that more effective navigation of the Card was achieved through the removal of the horizontal scroll bar from the browser.
Some programming logic necessary for operation of the application must be available on any PDA wh...