Thursday, March 8, 2007


Was writing a report about our recent work, and when it came to describing the so-called Context Browser that I've been tweaking for so long, I was naturally thinking again about porting some of it to a mobile widget. The CB can actually do a lot of stuff, but it's browser-based, and relies on the now-sacred AJAX to do periodic gets of the users current context state. There's simply not enough real estate on my wee 810i Sony-Ericsson to use it properly.

The nice thing about things like the Yahoo! widget engine thingy, for example, is that you can easily add external JavaScript libraries, etc., and then do things like grab a context snapshot in JSON format from our framework developed by my colleague Mike Conway. Then you just grab what you want and display it.

So what I'm really looking for is the ideal environment with which to do this stuff on a phone. The promising Opera Platform seems to have stagnated? There are some others I'm looking at, and I'm hoping that soon I'll find the right fit, so I won't mention them yet.

It's kind of a no-brainer: we can report location to our framework from the phone; we can grab very localized place visualization; we render it in a widget-type client. That could all be done in a midlet, sure, but widgets are so much easier :) Here's an almost up-to-date shot of the legacy CB:

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