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Shortcomings of Mobile Web Forms RRS feed

  • Question

  • User-1412709331 posted

    I am relatively new to .NET development and only have a couple of small .NET Windows apps and .NET Web apps under my belt using VS 2005. I am currently developing as .NET Web app that has one Mobile page in it to be used on a Blackberry device. I am finding the Mobile Form to be seriously lacking in features and functionality when compared to a regular ASP page. Please bear in mind I am a rookie so some of the shortcomings I list below are a result of my own ignorance, I hope that is true and you experts tell me I'm full of baloney. Here is the list of shortcomings:

    1. can't use Tables

    2. Textbox can't be READONLY

    3. Labels can't have Borders set

    4. Commands (which replace Buttons) cannot be sized

    5. selecting an item in a Selection List control doesn't fire off a server event

    6. what you see on the Design page is not close to what you see on the mobile device

    7. HTML page text will reformat itself (like HTML used to do in VS2003) into a single line of text whenever it wants to

    This are shortcomings I have found in the last couple of days. Please respond if I am wrong.

    So what I am going to do is try to develop my mobile form on a regular asp page (keeping it 300px wide) and see if the Blackberry can deal with that code.

    Thanks for any comments.

    Cordially

    Thursday, January 25, 2007 11:44 AM

Answers

  • User-1412709331 posted

    awj

    Thanks for your reply. You are right about the wide range of devices and their limited capabilities being part of the issues with VS2005 Mobile Web Pages. Appreciate the reminder. Sometimes I forget there is a world out there besides mine.

    To end my saga I must report that my efforts to develop an ASP.NET page (not using the Mobile web page) was not much better than using the Mobile Web Page. Both have their problems and limitations. It's a choice between the lesser of two evils.

    Guess I'll end up using both. If a blackberry device is hitting my app, I'll direct them to a Mobile Web Page, if not they will be directed to a regular ASP.NET page.

    Maybe MS will provide a richer set of tools for Mobile Development in VS2007???

    BongoBob... 

     

     

     

    • Marked as answer by Anonymous Thursday, October 7, 2021 12:00 AM
    Monday, January 29, 2007 3:21 PM

All replies

  • User1307252949 posted

    Hi BongoBob,

    I think most of those shortcomings are due to the webform being rendered as WML.

    1. I'm not sure about this one as tables exist in WML and HTML .

    2. WML doesn't have a read-only attribute.

    3. WML doesn't have a <label> tag - If you place a  <mobile:Label> tag onto your webform this is rendered simply as text so there's no way of specifying a border around a control that doesn't end up on the page at all.

    4. Command Buttons simply can't be sized in WML.

    5. Firing a server event from a control would require some client scripting. Micro-browsers do have WMLScript, though this is implemented so variously that it's probably the least useful scripting language you'll come across. There are some devices which have a subset of JavaScript functions. However, Mobile webforms - as far as I'm aware - don't send any client scripting down to the device in the manner that they do with the er... big-boy webforms.

    6. That's because you're looking at it in "Design" view. Every device renders the page differently: some controls might even be dropped altogether so it's not easy for VS to display the page that you'll see on the device. Instead it shows all the controls that you have on your form to work with and it gives them a fairly close approximation to the final layout.

    7. I've never come across this so I can't advise why this is happening.

    What you have to keep in mind for devices that are only rendering WML is that this markup language was intended for devices with very low CPU and screen capabilities and the focus is on functionality rather than appearance or even layout.

    Friday, January 26, 2007 4:12 PM
  • User-1412709331 posted

    awj

    Thanks for your reply. You are right about the wide range of devices and their limited capabilities being part of the issues with VS2005 Mobile Web Pages. Appreciate the reminder. Sometimes I forget there is a world out there besides mine.

    To end my saga I must report that my efforts to develop an ASP.NET page (not using the Mobile web page) was not much better than using the Mobile Web Page. Both have their problems and limitations. It's a choice between the lesser of two evils.

    Guess I'll end up using both. If a blackberry device is hitting my app, I'll direct them to a Mobile Web Page, if not they will be directed to a regular ASP.NET page.

    Maybe MS will provide a richer set of tools for Mobile Development in VS2007???

    BongoBob... 

     

     

     

    • Marked as answer by Anonymous Thursday, October 7, 2021 12:00 AM
    Monday, January 29, 2007 3:21 PM