View Mobile Versions of This or Any Other Blog

August 18th, 2006 | by Mike |

Quick version:
After frustration over viewing blogs on my cell phone, I made not only a mobile verion of Hell Yeah Bitch! .com, but an interface that any mobile user can use to view any site with an RSS feed and not be bothered by excess styling and such. Check it out right here: hellyeahbitch.com/mobile

Long Version:
I recently got a Windows Mobile Smart phone (the T-Mobile MDA) and I love it. However, I soon found out that trying to read a website on it sucked. I really like the RSS reader PRSS, but I’m not much of a “feed collector” I’m old school in the way that I just like to visit sites and read whats there. I was beginning to think that everyone just used RSS readers on their mobile devices until I read Robert Scoble issuing my very same complaint on his site earlier this week. Robert followed up that complaint with jubilation today as he demoed Dave Winer‘s mobile version of TechCrunch: techcrunch.scripting.com Give it a click and check it out. Its just the content part of TechCrunch with little to no styling. For Robert and I, it was the answer to our dreams:

This rocks. Rocks. Rocks. Now I can read TechCrunch while walking around tonight’s TechCrunch party.

I hope Dave wraps up this server-side aggregator and gets every blogger to implement it so I can read every blog on my phone.

Thanks Dave for scratching my itch.

I commented on this article too with equal excitement. But after thinking about it for a second, I decided to wait on Dave, but instead make my own. So after an hour of coding and a few hours of playing with it, I give you the Hell Yeah Bitch! Mobile Site Viewer (hellyeabitch.com/mobile) Its simple. Its easy. It does just what I want it to do and nothing more.

Yes, I know about Bloglines Mobile. But I prefer this. With our version you don’t need to sign up, or create a site list of your feeds, all you do is just plug in a URL and read what they have in there feed. It doesn’t keep track of what you have read and what you haven’t. It never will. This isn’t an RSS reader, this is just a way to view a site in a nice format for your mobile device. I have an RSS reader app on my T-Mobile MDA, and I still will. I will use the Hell Yeah Bitch! Mobile Site Viewer to read any and all blogs (or anything with a feed) that just need to peak at and read.

Notes:
I said “blog” because the app is dependent on the target site having a RSS feed. Specifically RSS. At this time it doesn’t support a site that just has an ATOM feed. UPDATE 8/22/06: It now supports ATOM feeds.

If you use the option to remove HTML from the listings, I still translate new line characters into
‘s so the paragraphs stay correct.

Yes, unlike Dave Winers, I styled the page with a little bit of CSS. If you want to turn that off you can with the “No Styling” option. I’m sorry I can’t send something out the door with out at least a little subtle styling…it’ll catch cold!

I should say that its built off of MagpieRSS which is great.

Future features? If more people than me end up using this, I would love to put a list of the most viewed sites on the front page. Kind of like community bookmarks. Other than that, I see no more features added. This was meant to be simple. It will stay that way.

Like I said before, I made this in a little over an hour earlier today so there will be a few bugs that I haven’t caught in my use in the last few hours. Please contact me with any bug reports, feature requests, or undying affection you have for me.

Ok I have to stop writing this and playing with the code, my girlfriend is yelling at me from the living room, I should go. (Yeah, the mobile web is cool, but this is a living, breathing girl!) Please leave any notes here or contact me directly.

  1. 10 Responses to “View Mobile Versions of This or Any Other Blog”

  2. By Amyloo on Aug 24, 2006 | Reply

    This is neat. It doesn’t seem able to discover a feed if the site URL is anything more than just a domain name?

  3. By Mike on Aug 24, 2006 | Reply

    Thanks!

    It will work with sites all the way down to “.html” if thats what you put in there, the key is the auto-discovery of the RSS feed. (For example, try plugging in this page’s URL, it will find my site’s feed with no problem) It scrapes and searches the HTML for a “link” tag that has a type field specified for either XML or ATOM RSS and then pulls that link. If you were referring to your site, in particular, the mobile viewer can’t find your feed because there isn’t a link tag pointing to your feed in the header of your document. (Same reason why firefox doesn’t see your feed either I would assume) Throw a link tag up there with the standard settings and it will work fine for you.

  4. By Mike on Aug 24, 2006 | Reply

    P.S.
    I should state that the root domain of the site is preferable because I use that to change relative links for the feed or pictures into absolute links that will work in the viewer. However, its not necessary as long as the link to the feed is absolute, and they usually are.

  5. By Amyloo on Aug 24, 2006 | Reply

    This is neat. It doesn’t seem able to discover a feed if the site URL is anything more than just a domain name?

  6. By Mike on Aug 24, 2006 | Reply

    Thanks!

    It will work with sites all the way down to “.html” if thats what you put in there, the key is the auto-discovery of the RSS feed. (For example, try plugging in this page’s URL, it will find my site’s feed with no problem) It scrapes and searches the HTML for a “link” tag that has a type field specified for either XML or ATOM RSS and then pulls that link. If you were referring to your site, in particular, the mobile viewer can’t find your feed because there isn’t a link tag pointing to your feed in the header of your document. (Same reason why firefox doesn’t see your feed either I would assume) Throw a link tag up there with the standard settings and it will work fine for you.

  7. By Mike on Aug 24, 2006 | Reply

    P.S.
    I should state that the root domain of the site is preferable because I use that to change relative links for the feed or pictures into absolute links that will work in the viewer. However, its not necessary as long as the link to the feed is absolute, and they usually are.

  8. By Amyloo on Aug 25, 2006 | Reply

    Thanks, Mike. I’ll see if I can figure out how to do that.

  9. By Mike on Aug 25, 2006 | Reply

    If you need any help, drop me a line via email and I’ll help you out.

  10. By Amyloo on Aug 25, 2006 | Reply

    Thanks, Mike. I’ll see if I can figure out how to do that.

  11. By Mike on Aug 25, 2006 | Reply

    If you need any help, drop me a line via email and I’ll help you out.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.