drupal

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Collecting examples of mobile drupal sites

Mobile DrupalWith an ever increasing number of users for the Mobile Tools module ( > 4000), I am looking to assemble a list of mobile drupal sites (that use or not use the mobile tools module). I get more and more requests from people asking for examples of mobile Drupal sites.

If I get a good amount of responses, I will feature these sites on this blog in order to demonstrate the mobile capabilities of Drupal and give readers some inspiration when thinking about their mobile site, functionality and design.

If you are interested in getting your site listed, please leave the url as a comment!

To name already a few:

Mobile device detection with Varnish

As I already have blogged before, if you are using Varnish as a page caching mechanism, Drupal cannot be used to detect the device that is visiting your website.

Already some examples have been created to detect devices in Varnish and add a header string that allows the Drupal backend to know about the device type.

This is just a small snippet that I use to redirect mobile users to a mobile url and desktop users to the desktop url.

# vcl_recv routine
sub vcl_recv {
  call device_detection;

AT&T Mobile Phones promotion site on Drupal

Last week I launched with Northpoint Solutions and VSHIFT another mobile drupal site. ATT&T Mobile Phones. A promotional website to consult the latest mobile phones and search stores on your mobile.

The site runs on Drupal 6 using Mobile Tools and WURFL.

ATT screen 1

Mobile Device Detection with Varnish

Thanks to fangel who wrote this week an interesting blog on using Varnish to detect mobile devices, we are a step closer to creating performant architectures that serve both mobile and desktop websites.

Northpoint sessions at Drupalcon Chicago

There are only 3 days left to cast your votes for Drupalcon chicago, so in case you are lost in the vast amount of sessions and you did not have the time yet to vote, I would like to share with you the sessions proposed by my colleagues at Northpoint.

We recently have build some large traffic sites like Mens Health, Fitbie.msn.com, Eat This Not that, ... we are currently working on the Drupal version of More.com, and we are creating Mobile Drupal sites for AT&T and Johnson&Johnson. Personally I have dedicated a lot of time to the Mobile Tools module and I would like to share some of the concepts behind it.

Proposed Mobile sessions for Drupalcon Chicago

One of the rewarding activities as maintainer of Mobile Tools is seeing how the adoption of the module is steadily growing. Since my first commit om march 22nd 2009, we have now a reported installation base of 2,630 installs and this number is steadily rising. This number can count as a good indicator how big the interest in mobile is getting...

With ericduran who stepped up as co-maintainer for the Drupal 7 branch we are preparing Mobile Tools for the future!

This upward mobile trend is also visible in the number of proposed sessions for Drupalcon Chicago (Check out my proposal).

I tried to assemble an overview of these session and categorize them in different topics:

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...