iPhone for emergency management

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tomw

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Jul 11, 2007, 7:00:24 PM7/11/07
to iPhoneWebDev
This is to ask if someone with an iPhone could test if the Sahana
Disaster Management System works on it. The current demo version of
the free open source software is at: <http://demo.sahana.lk/>.

The software was originally developed in a hurry for relief operations
after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Version 2 was made more
compatible with PDAs and smart phones: <http://www.tomw.net.au/2005/wd/
sahana3.shtml>.

The application has a XHTM, CSS, Javascript interface and so should
work on an iPhone, but I don't have one to try it on, here in
Australia. If someone could try the demo version and provide some
screen shots of what it looks like, that would be useful.

Sahana has been deployed for several disasters in Asia. During
Hurricane Katrina there were reports of problems with the Microsoft
Windows based software used for coordination efforts. The Sahana
system might provide a better alternative as it runs on low power PCs
with Linux <http://www.sahana.lk/>.

I have provided some general tips on how to adapt applications for
smartphones, including the iPhone <http://www.tomw.net.au/technology/
it/iphone.shtml>. The idea here is to avoid having to build web pages
just for the phones and instead make pages for desktop screens
compatible.

In several years of teaching web design to Australian university
students I have seen many proposals for hand held web businesses come
and go. So far few outside Japan and some other Asian countries, has
managed to make money from mobile data.

Stuart Carnie

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Jul 11, 2007, 7:39:43 PM7/11/07
to iPhoneWebDev
I don't have the ability to take screen shots right now, but I was
able to navigate the site reasonably well.

The box around the login 'panel' was not rendered correctly, but it
caused no usability issue.

Cheers,

Stu

Kalle Alm

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Jul 12, 2007, 6:24:59 AM7/12/07
to iphone...@googlegroups.com
Tom,

The power of OSS eh. Anyway, I'm a little confused, but if I understand
right, the demo.sahana.lk link is the version 2 page. (I initially got
the impression it was v1 and the tomw.net link was the version 2 but
that turned out to not be the case.)

My thoughts:
* the sidebar is essentially worthless on an iPhone. It is less than an
inch wide, and when I was trying to zoom in on it, I ended up clicking
on a (random) link. My thumb is about 50 times bigger than those links. :)

* the thing at the top (blue bar) works except for the top-right things
(incident / language) which are ultratiny.

* the "main text" (Sahana is an integrated set of ...) works fairly
well, especially in landscape mode.

* when I used "Next" to go from Incident to Language, I actually ended
up at the login form instead. And come to think of it, I'm not entirely
sure how you define tab indexes in html. Anyone?

This feedback is based on the assumption that you don't want people to
have to pinch-zoom just to access the menu items, of course.

-Kalle.

tomw

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Jul 16, 2007, 8:10:49 PM7/16/07
to iPhoneWebDev
On Jul 12, 8:24 pm, Kalle Alm <kalle....@gmail.com> wrote:
> Tom, ... the demo.sahana.lk link is the version 2 page. ...

Yes, the demo is version 2. Thanks for giving it a try. For other
readers wndering wht this is about see: <http://www.tomw.net.au/2005/
wd/sahana3.shtml#css>.

> My thoughts:
> * the sidebar is essentially worthless on an iPhone. ...

That should be fixable if the iPhone accepts the CSS media type of
"handheld". We can then automatically replace the sidebar with a menu
the full width of the screen, when an iPhone, or other smart phone is
used. To see if this works, try my old Sahana prototype on the iPhone:
<http://www.tomw.net.au/2005/wd/sahana/>.

On a desktop PC the menu should appear as a bullet list on the right
of the screen. On a handheld device it should appear as a numbered
list at the top, taking up the full width of the screen.

To see how this is done with CSS: <http://www.tomw.net.au/2005/wd/
sahana3.shtml#css>.

> * the thing at the top (blue bar) works except for the top-right things
> (incident / language) which are ultratiny.

Will have it made larger.

> * when I used "Next" to go from Incident to Language, I actually ended

> up at the login form instead ...

This is called the "logical tab order" in web accessibility
terminology <http://www.w3.org/WAI/wcag-curric/sam73-0.htm>.

This can be changed using the HTML tabindex attribute <http://
www.w3.org/TR/html4/interact/forms.html#h-17.11.1>. But generally the
natural order of left to right, top to bottom (for English readers)
should be used.

> This feedback is based on the assumption that you don't want people to
> have to pinch-zoom just to access the menu items, of course.

Might be difficult to implement pinch zoom and have it still
compatible with other hand held devices.

ps: Thank you for your assistance.

Christopher Allen

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Jul 16, 2007, 11:06:34 PM7/16/07
to iphone...@googlegroups.com
On 7/16/07, tomw <tom.wor...@tomw.net.au> wrote:
That should be fixable if the iPhone accepts the CSS media type of
"handheld". We can then automatically replace the sidebar with a menu
the full width of the screen, when an iPhone, or other smart phone is
used. To see if this works, try my old Sahana prototype on the iPhone:
<http://www.tomw.net.au/2005/wd/sahana/>.

On a desktop PC the menu should appear as a bullet list on the right
of the screen. On a handheld device it should appear as a numbered
list at the top, taking up the full width of the screen.

To see how this is done with CSS: <http://www.tomw.net.au/2005/wd /
sahana3.shtml#css>.

The iPhone does support CSS 3.0 mediatypes, but it does not consider itself a "handheld" device as they believe it has a "desktop" class browser.

They recommend using width of <481 as the way to determine if you interface should be smaller.

 
-- Christopher Allen
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