drupal

Persist your session across your desktop and mobile site

This is a small tip for devs who decide to use separate domains for the desktop site and for the mobile site, and who want users to easily switch between both sites without loosing the session.

e.g.:

The trick is to let Drupal set your cookie for the base domain: drupal.org...

Doing this can simply done by changing the $cookie_domain variable in your settings.php file.

Create your own device detection algorithm in Drupal using Wurfl and Mobile Tools

While going through the Mobile Tools issue queue today, I noticed some questions on the device detection mechanism in Mobile Tools and how some desktop browsers are wrongly detected as mobile devices.

To be honest I don't use the Mobile Tools built in device detection mechanism myself.... The simple reason is that Mobile Tools has a set of rules that try to discover the nature of the accessing device by looking at the user agent string. Have a quick look at the code (line 496: function _mobile_tools_is_mobile_device()) to see how the device detection works.

You will understand that the effort in keeping up with new devices and browsers is not an easy task, and these rules become inaccurate or outdated. It is sufficient and recommended for testing and quick prototyping during mobile development... But I would not recommend using it for production sites!

Sugestio: recommendations as a service for Drupal

Making your website more personal has long been a wish for many developers. If you can predict what your visitors will like, you could give this content a more prominent position and potentially increase participation (clicks, sales, uploads, comments, ...) on your website.

Powering mobile apps by Drupal

The interest in creating mobile apps or mobile websites with Drupal is increasing enormously. With the launch of the new Windows Phone today, the new Symbian^3 and the BlackBerry 6 family of devices, the already enormous popular Android and iPhone duo got some new brothers and sisters. It is clear that there will be an enormous need for mobile developers and platforms that can drive these developments.

To illustrate the interest of the Drupal community in Mobile, just have a ook at a recent blogpost by Dries where he polled the community about possible wishes and needs in order to make Drupal a better platform to drive mobile apps.

While a number of solutions are being created as we speak I just wanted to point to two specific efforts that, instead of creating Drupal code to better communicate with mobile apps, write libraries for mobile platforms to better communicate with Drupal:

  • Drupal iOS SDK is an iPhone library for Objective-C developers
  • Titanium API Group tries to collect snippets of code for the Titanium Framework that can power both Android and iPhone platforms. Hopefully some more formal Titanium libraries will emerge from this effort...

Mobile Web testing... What's in my toolkit

When you are developing mobile websites, it is very important to have a rich Toolset that helps you in evaluating your mobile creations. This is not only for yourself, but also to reassure the client that you have the development under completely under control.

Screensizes and browser capabilities can change the look and feel of your site drastically... So better prepare!

Life after OSMOBI. The future of Mobile Drupal

Drupal users who have followed my blog will probably already know about OSMOBI, the online service to make your Drupal, Joomla! and Wordpress site Mobile. OSMOBI has been the brainchild of Siruna, a Belgian startup focussing on creating solutions to make mobile websites. Examples of mobile websites that are still running on Siruna technology are http://m.stubru.be and http://m.uitinvlaanderen.be. Examples of OSMOBI sites are not existing anymore since the service stopped at the end of June.

The Siruna technology, including OSMOBI focussed on mobilizing your existing Drupal sites and by the end of april 2010 more then 1200 Joomla! and Drupal sites used the free OSMOBI service to create their mobile website.

To get a feel on how OSMOBI worked, have a look at the screencasts that are still online:
http://www.youtube.com/user/SirunaOsmobi

Although the huge adoption of OSMOBI and the increasing need for Mobile websites, the service did not survive due to insufficient funding... This left more then 1000 developers stranded without any mobile sollution. So the natural question I have got was "what's next?".

Integrating SoundCloud with Drupal (do stuff with audio within Drupal)


One of my most recent freelance projects has been the integration of SoundCloud with Drupal, and yesterday I created the first stable release of this module. The SoundCloud connect module helps module developers to easily connect with SoundCloud using OAUTH, and get access to secure SoundCloud data and services. This includes private audio files, account data, uploading songs to the users accounts, etc ...

SoundCloud in a nutshell

SoundCloud is a service that simplifies the process of receiving audio files, sending audio files and distributing your audio.

Music lovers can use this service to receive tracks from others without having to worry about file sizes, file formats, download times, etc ... And at the same time you can easily upload your songs and publish them where you want using the SoundCloud widgets. As an example:

Decks Fxs and Martini - Acid Jazz / Trip Hop / Hip Hop Mix - Joey Muniz BUMP by TheBedroomRockers

Foursquare module for Drupal

This week I launched a Foursquare module for Drupal.

The launch of this module fits in a local experiment that lists several NYC based bars. This effort resulted in http://www.buybacknyc.com.

Further, this twitter quote directed to me raises some serious issues that must be addressed thoroughly in the Drupal community ;)

UiTinVlaanderen, cultural events now mobile with Siruna

uitinvlaanderen
UiTinVlaanderen (dutch for 'Going out in flanders') is the biggest cultural events site in Belgium and it is powered by Drupal.

Amplexor, an IT services company specialized in content management systems, has now created a mobile version of the site optimized for all mobile devices.

The mobile site allows you to quickly navigate through all the events in your neighborhood and the mobile website augments the experience by taking your GPS coordinates into account.

The website provides an easy way to browse through all the events across Flanders, view event and location information.

Together with the recently launched mobile Drupal site of http://www.stubru.be, this is again an example of how Siruna powers Drupal in order to leverage a mobile audience.

The site can be accessed with your mobile device by surfing to http://www.uitinvlaanderen.be

If you want to experiment with creating a mobile Drupal site, surely check out OSMOBI

Siruna Rocks

stubru
....with the release of m.stubru.be the mobile site of the nr.1 public broadcast radio station "Studio Brussel".

Studio Brussel, the nr. 1 radio station of the Belgian public broadcaster VRT has released last week it's mobile website using Siruna technology.