Optimizing the iPhone browsing experience with DekiMobile

First off, I want to share an excellent blog about intranets and CM I enjoy reading: Column Two. A recent post about “Intranets are the same the world over” drives home the salient point:

Of course, intranets are far from uniform. As I’ve observed in the past, intranets reflect the organisations they serve, and organisations themselves vary widely. Intranets therefore vary organisation-to-organisation, rather than country-to-country.

From an engineering standpoint, this is where MindTouch Deki excels. With its well-documented REST-based API, Deki is adaptable so you can build applications and tools in the language of your choice. Use cases which aren’t covered by the current user interface you can easily achieve by writing your own tools. For example, we know that Deki could provide a much better mobile browsing experience.

Our summer internship project (which ran from July – October) was to create a new front-end for Deki which would be used in an iPhone-optimized design. (You can view the interface for our developer wiki through http://m.mindtouch.com) Rather than tackle all the functionality of MindTouch Deki (editing, administering), we decided the goal of the iPhone interface would be simple: consume and share content from Deki. We decided to use some of the core functionality from the PHP application (for example, re-using PHP’s plug and data model objects) to expedite the development. (And because of this, this iPhone interface is simply a new skin for Deki, rather than an actual iPhone application; you load it through Safari).

Obviously with this new application, we were interested in creating a new user interface, since the needs of a mobile interface are different than the full browser application. So we went back to the drawing board and figured out the best way to consume content from MindTouch Deki through the iPhone. Instead of seeing the common navigation pane, you navigate through the mobile interface through search and tag associations.

We’ve decided to push this project out to the open source community, so you’re free to download it and install it on your own server to use! All information can be found on the DekiMobile page on our developer wiki.

Much credit goes to Fallon, Guerric, and Jessica for pulling this together!

Trackbacks for this post

  1. Designing DekiMobile | MindTouch, Inc Blog
  2. 10 Deki Capabilities You (Likely) Don’t Know About | MindTouch, Inc Blog

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