September 10, 2003
Moblogging From Your Palm (Part 1 of 2)
Wouldn't it be useful to post new or edit existing Movable Type blog entries from a Palm OS-based PDA, smartphone, etc., while traveling?
If you have a Palm with Internet access (via modem, Wi-Fi, cell phone connection, etc.), there are several ways you can post blog entries from it.
1) The PDA Web Browser Approach
LawTech Guru Rating: ** (out of 5)
I've successfully entered new and edited existing posts to my Movable Type blog database from my Visor using the AvantGo browser (v. 4.2) and the Handspring Blazer 2.0. I say entered, but not published, for a reason.
So I can add new entries but they never can get rendered to the visible blog page if all I use are these browsers (can't rebuild).
Lesson Learned: Your Palm browser needs to be compatible with the data entry method of your blog. Many pared-down Palm browsers don't support scripting and more advanced HTML coding methods. Why? Because most of them are proxy-based. In essence, the PDA browser doesn't fetch web site content directly from the source. Instead, the browser first contacts a separate proxy server (usually run by the browser developer or PDA manufacturer). Then, that server goes out and fetches the web site content, strips out the advanced features, and sends it down to your PDA browser. This keeps the pages small in size so they load faster and use less of your PDA's limited memory.
No news so far on whether either browser will run on older Palms running OS 4 and lower. Seeing as Palm OS 5 devices run on a completely different processor than all of their predecessors, I'm not holding my breath.
As I said, for now this is "so-so" at best. However, the very good news is that I've found a much more elegant and free solution for Palm moblogging. It really works, and I'll share it tomorrow. See you then.