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Progressive Devolution

One baby step towards 'write-once, use-everywhere'.
This is a pure CSS web site. It scales proportionately for handheld devices. That's right! One web site. One stylesheet drives BOTH models – full-size and pda-size! No need for two web sites for the same content. Don't believe me? Here's a little test: to simulate the scalability of this site, grab the corner of your browser window and resize your browser as small as you can. See? Or...if you have a mobile/handheld device that uses a browser which supports CSS2, you can view this site directly on your pda. You don't need an an extra link. Promise.

The downside of dabbling in emerging technology is that the environment is sometimes a lonely place. — Where adventurous souls are on their own to sort through what often ends up being mostly misinformation or outdated and unsupported to rely on for guidance. For the most part, so early in the game, project success be based on the discovery and elimination of what DOESN'T work than what does.

As a result, this mobile project has actually devolved as it has progressed. Appropriately, it's title, Progressive Devolution. I'm at a loss of words for some clever pithy reference to an oxymoron here, but one must keep a sense of humor when success often arrives on the tail of failure?

The original objective was to adapt and scale a streaming media slideshow I had created in an earlier project developed for the RealOne Player, also a first for me, to a Pocket PC handheld device using the RealOne mobile player. Since I had used Real technology before, it seemed sensible to extend that experience to handhelds by using the new RealOne Mobile player. Unfortunately, buggy player software, poor support and documentation for the mobile player and failure by Real to respond to my queries resulted in two failed attempts to display the streamed media, either in the player or embedded in the browser.

Back To Square One
With no success in the streaming effort, I returned to the familiar and decided expanding my knowledge of CSS to include the handheld device format was just as important, maybe even more so. This web site, which has been scaled to the Pocket PC handheld pda, using a single stylesheet to drive both versions, is a result of that effort.

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