---------- ---------- PC Pro Realworld Computing: Paul Lynch - PDAs

Designing Web Pages to be Read with Windows CE

I have spent some time with Pocket Internet Explorer browsing the web, and, apart from pages using the unsupported features mentioned above, most web pages are perfectly readable. However, if you want to design your own custom pages specifically to look their best with PIE, there are some simple guidelines to follow, whioch will also work for those using a Nokia 9000 as a web browser.

Probably the most important is to do with page size. The viewable area in Pocket Internet Explorer is only 430 pixels wide (out of 480 pixels in the full screen width), and the task bar and button bar takes up a significant proportion of the screen's 240 pixel height. PIE will compress the display to ensure that graphics will fit into this 430 pixel width without scrolling, and will wrap text to this width. If your pages rely on large image maps, they may not work too well with Windows CE browsers.

Windows CE supports only 2 bit greyscale: this means that only four shades are distinguishable, and all other colours will be dithered down to one of these four shades. These are: white, light grey, dark grey and black. In practice, this doesn't cause much trouble for browsers as the dithering process works quite well; but web page designers will want to give themselves the slight edge to be gained from creating images that are well matched to the capabilities of Windows CE.

Words and design by:
Paul Lynch
Last updated: July 30, 1997

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