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Old 07-11-2005, 10:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Were writing pages for the blackberry 7730 and running browser 4.0 and BES 4.0 in a corporate environment. This is a new experience for us and we have learnt the following..... However we could do with any help from similar people who have any experience. Any links to useful tips would be gratefully received...
Page caching
At least while developing, and frequently re-checking live pages, make them .asp pages rather than .htm or .html. This seems to force the proxy servers between resources.gateway (our intranet site)and the Blackberry to actually re-fresh every time you select refresh on the Blackberry. This is a more reliable method than the alternatives tried, which either didn't work, or resulted in permanently looping refreshes - not good for the limited GPRS bandwidth! Even so, if the CSS stylesheet alone is changed and not the page, even if re-fresh is selected, and it reloads the page via GPRS, it doesn't update the styles.
When finished developing, if no asp content required; it is recommended to revert them .htm or .html files.
This page should refresh every 120 seconds. After the second or third refresh, a Blackberry dialog appears which asks if you wish the page to refresh automatically.
Formatting issues
The Blackberry screen is small!
It is just 240 pixels by 240 pixels. However, it is unwise to specify anything in pixels but if you do, go for 238!
XHTML support is quite limited
It is W3C recognised sub-set; XHTML-MP, see page 85 of ??.
CSS support is very limited
See the WAP CSS reference on page 92 and matrix on page 97 of ??.
Tables don't really work well
Even two column tables where one column is narrow and fixed width, can cause problems. Sooner or later, some content in the 'other' column will force the cells to be one above the other rather than side by side as you intended. Does this even if 'table-layout: fixed' in style sheet. This effect seemed to afflict rows where the content was more than a screen height, but not always.
Tables are not entirely redundant
If you want to put a border around a page element, they are essential, even if it does mean having a single column table. This is because Blackberry CSS support will not recognise bordered divs or paragraphs. However, the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) always seems to put some spacing between table cells no matter what you do to remove it.
Definition lists
Definition lists like this one (by default) are indented about 5-6 characters on IE but on a Blackberry, the standard indent is one character (deliberately so, as it wastes less screen space). No doubt IE could be tweaked in the style sheet to accommodate.
Use of colours
Coloured fonts only really show as such if the colour selected is 'full on', e.g. #00ff00
Blackberry shows all hyperlinks as blue, it would therefore be wise not to use that colour for page content.
Green, having a high luminance content does not give a good contrast to the white background. If you must use coloured text, red works fairly well.
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Old 07-12-2005, 07:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softsoap20
Tables don't really work well
Even two column tables where one column is narrow and fixed width, can cause problems. Sooner or later, some content in the 'other' column will force the cells to be one above the other rather than side by side as you intended. Does this even if 'table-layout: fixed' in style sheet. This effect seemed to afflict rows where the content was more than a screen height, but not always.
Ah, just posted a message about this exact problem. Can't figure it out at all, it seems to happen even if the contents of both cells are only a few characters. Did you find a way around this at all?

Eoin
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Old 07-15-2005, 03:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ive had some success in CSS with absolute positioning with the width at 95%, however if a user alters the browser font settings it all falls apart. We were trying to create a monthly calendar view with tables; however moving between hyperlinks with the thumbwheel it doesnt follow a pattern; rather the hyperlinks in a table tended to follow a vertical link to link, instead of a horizontal link to link. So no we didnt fix this one.
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Old 07-15-2005, 01:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The Browser on the BB is pretty primitive. There are a few third party browsers, IIRC, but you can't count on them being used at all.
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