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Action Item: Investigate portals for PDA support

From: Marshall Jansen <marshall@hwg.org>
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2000 14:38:10 -0500
Message-Id: <200007131943.PAA27459@blount.mail.mindspring.net>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
>Action MJ: investigate MK's question. How do the large portals provide info 
>for the different devices. How many diff. types of content do you need to 
>provide. What methods are used to provide the alternative content.

I've been doing what research as I can, and so far I'm rather frustrated.

Email to Yahoo, Altavista, CNN, Wired, ComputerWorld, Google, and AOL has
either gone unanswered, or returned with a form letter.

Calls to Yahoo and Altavista have gotten to voicemail in PR, and no
farther. Voicemails have yet to be returned, nor have I managed to actually
talk voice with someone. Actually getting a direct email or line to
technical folks in charge of generating web content on these major portals
is proving very difficult for me... does anyone on the list have any hints
on how to get past this particular wall?

On a plain research level,

Yahoo is the strongest in the bunch for supporting PDA content... it is
very easy to get to their PDA content, and it is very friendly... small
chunks of text at a time, no graphics. However, I can only guess at the
creation. It could be created via script from standard content, or they
could have a team coding it in conjucntion with the standard site.

Sprint supports 'Wireless Web', but my attempts to utilize it via my phone
have failed, with 'server not responding' errors. You can not get to any
information on how Wireless Web actually works from the Sprint site, either.

CNN and Altavista both seem to not have any way to get information on
PDA-accessible pages. Research on this would be quite a bit easier on the
'who supports it now' area if I had a PDA of my own, but I've not been able
to cost justify one to my wife before now... maybe this will be the key I
need :)

I hope to actually talk to a real live person at Yahoo in particular, and
the other major portals in general, but no such luck as of yet.

And finally, NetMorf seems to be the only major program designed to
automatically create PDA-style content, but it doesn't have much
information available at this time as to how it actually handles that
conversion, and how much intervention is required.

Marshall Jansen  //  marshall@hwg.org
Senior Web Developer
VP of Marketing and Outreach
HTML Writers Guild, Inc.  //  <http://www.hwg.org/>www.hwg.org 
Received on Thursday, 13 July 2000 15:43:27 UTC

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