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Introducing Berk's Mobilevine
Topic Started: 12 Jun 2015, 19:00 (2397 Views)
hictooth
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Archivist of Berk

On the one year anniversary of How to Train Your Dragon 2 being released in cinemas in the USA, I decided I would also release something to all the dragon fans here!

As far as I can see, the two most requested things in the Suggestions & Improvements section of this forum are a mobile app/mobile friendly version of the forums, and also real time notifications.

Well, I'm pleased to announce Berk's Mobilevine, the all new mobile friendly version of the Berk's Grapevine Forums!

From what I have gathered, there are many people who use mobile devices to browse the forums, and after trying this for a few days, I found it to be a bit cumbersome. So I decided to create Berk's Mobilevine!

So, what does Berk's Mobilevine allow you to do? Essentially, everything that you currently do on the normal forums, but optimised for mobile devices, including:
  • Viewing and posting threads and topics
  • Viewing PMs (sending coming soon...)
  • Viewing your and others' profiles
  • Searching through threads
It also includes some new features:
  • Significantly reduced overall data usage (handy for phones with restrictive and expensive data plans)
  • Real time notifications when someone posts a new topic or reply (you must be in the app for this to work)
I've included some details of how it actually works for the people who know/care about web development:
Nerdy Details
Real time notifications are not perfect because they only work when you have the mobile website open and are logged in. This is because a website can not send push notifications to the device while the website is not open because of security reasons.
For everyone wanting real time notifications on the normal site, a Chrome plugin is on the way!

I've spend quite a lot of time and effort on this, and would really appreciate it if you could tell me what you think of it, any bugs you encounter and features that you want implemented.

The features that I will be working on next are:
  • Full BBCode editor instead of having to type in the code manually
  • Ability to send PMs instead of just viewing received ones.
If you actually read some of this, thanks, and if you read ALL of it, then... wow.

Hope you all enjoy the HTTYD2 birthday celebrations, and maybe I'll see some of you on the dragon chat (if I get my GPRS connection working, as I'll be without WiFi/4G/4G for the rest of today!)

hictooth
Astrid - "Hictooth"?
Hiccup - Yeah, it's not my snappiest comeback.
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draco
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mystery dragon, pic drawn by night fury fire. Thank you
:)

Very cool
I'll try it out.
I'm on this site most of the time on my phone. :D 8)
Dragons, need I say more.

Hiccup, chief of berc, dragon master.
Toothless, alpha dragon.
You and me bud we can do this, as one.
It's just a zipple misunderstanding
I like a pit, but I love a boar pit.
i am hurt,I am very much hurt.
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Toothless123
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I saw this and I just had to make it into my profile picture.

Awesome! :D I love the sound of the real time notifications thing! :)

I use the forum on my iPad most of the time, but I occasionally use it on my phone, and it's clunky and slow and generally just :ermm: >:(
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NightoftheFury
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Shhh...Toothless is watching

Absolutely Brilliant! ^_^ . Fantastic work, hictooth! I've been using the regular site on my mobile device for a year now and although I don't mind the bandwidth usage (I have unlimited data) the user images and signature Gifs would vastly slowdown the site especially on high latency 3G connections.

Mobilevine is quite responsive so that is a huge plus. I've just started playing around with it so I'll let you know of any bugs and quirks I come across. Quick question though, what is the default expiration time on the cookies that the server (I guess, architecturally speaking, it's basically a mobile access gateway correct?) use?

I ask because I did find a few quirks. I'm using Chrome 43.0.2357.124 on Windows 8.1 pro x64. The notifications don't seem to sit well with chrome. When someone else does post, mobilevine notifies you with 3 sequential dialogs which chrome gets pissed about. Also the server sometimes randomly throws this error:



Authentication also seems to expire when a notification is received. These are just some of the things I observed. But in any event great work and I look forward to seeing the other features. :D
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hictooth
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Archivist of Berk

Well, just realised why the login error window comes up every time you try and view this thread!

As I mentioned in the Nerdy Details section, the Mobilevine server checks for the words "Access Denied" to determine if the login authentication is correct. This is fine, until the actual thread contains the words "Access Denied" (like my original post)! Therefore, it keeps thinking that the login hash is incorrect, when it is actually fine!

I'm working on fixing it right now.
NightoftheFury
 
When someone else does post, mobilevine notifies you with 3 sequential dialogs which chrome gets pissed about.
So you get three notification windows all at once? All for the same post? It didn't seem to do that for me. I'll send out some fake notifications so I can easily see what's going on.

hictooth
Astrid - "Hictooth"?
Hiccup - Yeah, it's not my snappiest comeback.
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NightoftheFury
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Shhh...Toothless is watching

Quote:
 
Well, just realised why the login error window comes up every time you try and view this thread!
As I mentioned in the Nerdy Details section, the Mobilevine server checks for the words "Access Denied" to determine if the login authentication is correct. This is fine, until the actual thread contains the words "Access Denied" (like my original post)! Therefore, it keeps thinking that the login hash is incorrect, when it is actually fine!

I'm working on fixing it right now.
Well that's quite amusing. :) All you have to do is type Access Denied and then boom you can lock up a thread.

As for the notifications, I'd press "OK" and then would have to do so on two more sequential dialog windows until they were dismissed.

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hictooth
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Archivist of Berk

(Hopefully) fixed the "server error and the cookie has become corrupted" error. If anyone else gets that message, please let me know which page you were trying to access, and i'll have a look.

I've had a look at the notification server, and everything looks OK to me, I tried sending myself some dummy notifications, so if you were using the Mobilevine and got a notification about Hope_and_Heir replying to the topic "Berk's Grapevine app", than that's why!

I also just got the notification from NightoftheFury posting above, and everything was normal. :/ I'll have another look, and if anyone else has this issue, please let me know!

hictooth
Astrid - "Hictooth"?
Hiccup - Yeah, it's not my snappiest comeback.
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draco
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mystery dragon, pic drawn by night fury fire. Thank you
:)

I just tried it
I was a able to log in, but when I try and go to a post it comes back as (oh great can't find the post) or something close to that.
And on every post.
Dragons, need I say more.

Hiccup, chief of berc, dragon master.
Toothless, alpha dragon.
You and me bud we can do this, as one.
It's just a zipple misunderstanding
I like a pit, but I love a boar pit.
i am hurt,I am very much hurt.
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hictooth
User avatar
Archivist of Berk

draco
 
when I try and go to a post it comes back as (oh great can't find the post) or something close to that.
That's very weird. It certainly doesn't do that to me.

So you can login. Well, that's a start ;)
Can you view a list of topics? By this I mean once you are at the home screen, can you tap on "Other Fan Work" and does a list of topics show?

Can you tell me what browser/device you are using?

hictooth
Astrid - "Hictooth"?
Hiccup - Yeah, it's not my snappiest comeback.
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draco
User avatar
mystery dragon, pic drawn by night fury fire. Thank you
:)

hictooth
13 Jun 2015, 08:11
draco
 
when I try and go to a post it comes back as (oh great can't find the post) or something close to that.
That's very weird. It certainly doesn't do that to me.

So you can login. Well, that's a start ;)
Can you view a list of topics? By this I mean once you are at the home screen, can you tap on "Other Fan Work" and does a list of topics show?

Can you tell me what browser/device you are using?

hictooth
I can log in yes that's a start,yup.
Any part I go to it says the same thing.
And I have an s4 android phone.
Dragons, need I say more.

Hiccup, chief of berc, dragon master.
Toothless, alpha dragon.
You and me bud we can do this, as one.
It's just a zipple misunderstanding
I like a pit, but I love a boar pit.
i am hurt,I am very much hurt.
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