A Conversation for h2g2 Feedback - Project Feedback

wap

Post 1

NoJags Neil

I first came across h2g2 on wap, and then got puzzled when it disappeared. I've now found the full-blown web version and registered, so could somebody bring me up to date and explain why the wap version was discontinued? To me it seems the obvious way to go. If there is not to be a wap section, should there at least be a cut-down web version, to enable it to be viewed over a 9600kbs link? My motives for asking this are that I am a Psion series 7 owner, and mobile office geek.

NeilH


wap

Post 2

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

The wap version of h2g2 stopped being available after h2g2 became a division of BBC Online. BBC Online is not available for wap, and now h2g2 is not either. There is a possibility that wap service will be restored at a later date, and possibly at that time all of BBC Online will be available in wap format.


wap

Post 3

h2g2Support

Couldn't have put it better myself.

Basically, due to some legal dealings that are way beyond my ken, the BBC cannot provide a WAP service - full stop. There is a hope that this will be resolved in the future, but until then, we have simply had to pull the plug on our WAP service.

Instead of sitting there ignoring mobile users, though, we're going to develop an AvantGo version of the Guide for PDAs, and are looking at other platforms as a part of the development of the site. And as soon as WAP is available to us as an option, we'll be looking seriously at re-launching On the Move.

Hope this helps.

Mark


wap

Post 4

Christos

Apart from the fact that Avango is only available for Palm OS or Pocket PC, not Psion handhelds.


wap

Post 5

NoJags Neil

There's actually a lot of talk about AvantGo over on the Psion newsgroups, and the latest news is that after lots of nagging from European Psion users, they seem pretty serious about developing an Epoc/Symbian version. This would be great for Psion, as AvantGo seems to be very popular in the States, and Psion PDAs would then be more useful and therefore more saleable over there. I'm usually very patriotic about "European" technology, but AvantGo seems very popular and if it works OK (I've never seen it in the flesh) I wouldn't necessarily have a problem with it becoming the dominant technology.


wap

Post 6

NoJags Neil

Thanks, Mark, for that detail. To avoid confusion I don't think it would be a bad idea to put this explanation somewhere on, or close to, the H2G2 homepage.


wap

Post 7

NoJags Neil

Another thing, though, Mark... While we're waiting for AvantGo or Wap, could we have a cut-down version of h2g2, without all the graphics and Java, to use on a mobile link? The Opera browser on my Series 7 is perfectly capable, but the limiting factor is the slow mobile link if I've got nowhere to plug it into the wall.

The more I think about it, though, the more I think you should get your lawyers to look again at the Wap ban. WML is really only slightly different from HTML: they can sit alongside each other on the same servers, and each can be accessed either from a mobile link or a fixed link, so I really don't see how the law can differentiate between the two. Are you sure there's not some confusion between providing a wap *service* and wap *content*? You must surely be allowed to provide wap *content*, and the wap *service* is provided by the end-user's ISP.


No WAP on BBC online...

Post 8

Researcher Marook

Fragilis the Melodical (Guru) 13+6+1+22=42 wrote:
"BBC Online is not available for wap, and now h2g2 is not either."

This has to be the most silly reason I have ever heard of. Since WAp is a HTML service, and any HTML server on the planet Earth can serve WAP content, I can't imagine why BBC Online had to 'disable' the WAP version of h2g2!

It's only a matter of butting the wml templates back and add the WML MIME types to the server config.

Come on BBC - you can do better!


No WAP on BBC online...

Post 9

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

It isn't a matter of whether BBC *can* put the wap version up. My understanding is that some sort of UK government regulation is acting as a deterrent. I'm don't know the details, but the legal department is concerned that making BBC content available as a wap service could cause legal problems for the BBC.


Palm.Net

Post 10

Chad Childers

A completely alternate service, which only works in the US on Palm VII handhelds (which have a builtin antenna) is palm.net. I would be willing to write a PQA (a tiny compiled HTML page that sits on your Palm to enable you to access a website wirelessly) for h2g2, and even host the PQA query gateway to h2g2 on my web server, [URL removed by moderator] if for some reason h2g2 cannot host it... I don't think there are any legal issues with me providing a query service, are there?

Of course, it would be of more use to me if it could also serve as a posting service, or I could simply submit my guide entries through email... that is what DNA envisioned, right?

I have hosted [URL removed by moderator]and [URL removed by moderator]on my server already, and have been thinking of writing a PQA gateway for the Stilyagi Convention Listing... that's simply a small berkeley database, but wouldn't it be cool if this ended up with us coming up with a way for the two to communicate, or a distributed database format for the Guide, so that it wasn't merely a towering monolithic database at BBC, but something more distributed amoung the people.

-- Chad


Palm.Net

Post 11

Christos

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Why has the moderator removed the URLs of the sites that you are hosting?

Chris


Palm.Net

Post 12

Chad Childers

I haven't the slightest idea... more to the point, if any human moderator read my posting, why didn't they reply? I think it must've been simply some artificially stupid automatic routine... DNA did say he considered himself the father of artificial mendacity!

Is there a better forum to offer to do work for the project?

Sighs...

smiley - fish
-- Chad


Palm.Net

Post 13

Chad Childers

Oh, and if you really want to get to my web server, it's listed on my personal page, they haven't deleted that yet... and if you type a nonexistent page in the URL line, you'll get to my error handling page, which lists all of the sites I host.

-- Chad


Palm.Net

Post 14

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

Yes, a live moderator deleted the links. But no, it's nothing personal. All links are deleted from conversations, though they are allowed in Guide entries and on your Personal Space.

The reason is that BBC's guidelines require h2g2 to either check every link, or delete them. Since there are relatively few Moderators right now and they are still hard at work clearing all the content that was created before h2g2 became part of h2g2, there just isn't the time to check the hundreds of links per day put in conversations.

Ironically, links to BBC and h2g2 content is still allowed in conversations, on the basis that the content has already been checked by a Moderator. So for instance, I can give you the link to the:

Moderation Guidelines:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/h2g2/guide/Moderation-Guidelines


Palm.Net

Post 15

Chad Childers

Thanks. So, is someone likely to read my original question / offer to help with the project, or should I be posting this somewhere else?

smiley - fish
-- Chad


Palm.Net

Post 16

Peta

Hi Chad

The moderators don't respond to postings at all, that's up to us the In-house Editorial team. I'm Peta, the Community Editor, you can read a bit more about h2g2 on my personal space, just click on my name to get there.

I don't know the answer to your questions about palm.net off the top of my head, but I'm just going to find out some details from a member of our tech team. Back in a minute.

Peta


Palm.Net

Post 17

h2g2Support

Hi Chad.

To comment on the legalities of PQA, I'd need to know more about it, but unfortunately the palmnet site is rather free of explanation about how it all works (as far as I can see). I can tell you, though, that we would not allow any non-BBC servers to host any of our content, for the simple reason that we have strict quality-assurance guidelines that we must follow, and if things are out of house, that's not possible. For example, what would happen if people were accessing h2g2 through your servers, and your servers went down with a power cut. Would customers blame you or the BBC? Definitely the BBC...

Forgive my cold feet, but in my experience outsourcing parts of your product to third parties is a completely non-trivial legal matter, and I very much doubt we'd look at this as a solution. Happy to hear more thoughts, though...

Mark


Palm.Net

Post 18

h2g2Support

BTW, the reason for the lack of a WAP service isn't resourcing, technology or anything else, it's legal. Check out http://www.bbc.co.uk/h2g2/guide/F47999?thread=114016 for more details... And I've added some more explanation to the OntheMove page, whoever suggested that. Good idea! :-) Mark


Palm.Net

Post 19

Christos

What OntheMove page?


Palm.Net

Post 20

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

Follow this link:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/h2g2/guide/OnTheMove


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