Posting from mobile, including Aeva


  • As powerful as possible, as complex as necessary.
  • Posts: 14,278
Posting from mobile, including Aeva
« on July 25th, 2013, 09:30 AM »
OK, so as you guys know, I'm on this crazy trip across the US and we've been logging our stuff on our little website which is based on SMF + Aeva and a custom theme.

There are some interesting things we've found from doing this that I want to share, and since the Wedge version of Aeva is still basically Aeva from a user standpoint, I think a lot of that stuff stands. Note that this is SMF without a mobile theme and not using WAP because there are other things tied into the site's posting page that aren't in WAP and I didn't have time (or energy) to code them up multiple times. (Namely, the site has a topic tagging system and also a facility to geotag individual posts with a location. This requires various splices into the posting setup.)

1) Posting, generally, sucks from a mobile phone. It actually really sucks on an iPhone 4S, I'm actually surprised more people don't complain about how bad the experience is. Even with the phone in landscape, getting the subject and then the text in is painful. We don't really need formatting much in mobile, even the bold etc. is probably too exotic for the most part but perhaps a collapsed menu of some kind to bring up the tags would be OK. Ideally though I'd consider doing what Tapatalk does: the post interface for a new topic is little more than two text boxes. (Of course I need other stuff but that's another matter entirely and the specific requirements we have for Crossing Overland will actually necessitate a custom app to support background data being gathered and batch uploaded to the site later on.)

2) Does Wedge's version of Aeva support spitting out the non Flash version of embed code where we have it? I'm thinking YouTube in particular. (I can't exactly do a hotpatch on the road to splice the code in, but there's at least one video on CO that uses the standard embed code.)

3) Media uploading can typically be much, much simpler than what we currently have. Sure, most of those options will be useful for some people but for the most part, especially when uploading from mobile, it's just not necessary. Perhaps a collapsible menu for the stuff like album covers and the extended information.

4) We really need a mass upload option of some kind (even just AJAX uploading a la Dragooon's plugin for regular posting) that works without Flash so that uploading from mobile is not a hideous chore. It's gotten to the point where we've broken out the one laptop we did actually bring to handle mass uploading, but that's a 2006 MacBook and doesn't exactly handle it *well*. (In unrelated news, the camera connector kit for iPad works really well)... actually, AJAX uploading for media would truly rule just to have it anyway, mobile or not.

5) The selector bit for media items where you can copy the bbcode is not really copyable on a mobile device and for reasons I can't entirely figure out, the item doesn't usually come up with anything useful in there other than the id number.

For example, we uploaded a picture, and the item in question just had:
Code: [Select]
[smg id=216]

as the text. Which would normally be fine but we wanted:
Code: [Select]
[smg id=216 type=preview align=center caption="First sight of the Pacific"]

or similar and this is a real pain to add on mobile if you want kind of nice formatting on blog posts. We find ourselves copy/pasting all the time to make this work... I don't know about on desktop yet but on mobile at least it would probably be neat to have the media button not just go straight to an upload button but instead to a media browser from which you can upload if you want, and then have the media browser cover the gallery contents. This would mean we could just upload everything, then filch it from the gallery easily, or upload one at a time without any real fuss either (since the popup could handle the upload AJAXively which would be slick even on an iPad). Fairly sure I've mentioned this before but IPB actually does it this way, and thinking about it, it would also make mass upload much nicer for posting images to the site and then pulling that into the post and that would greatly smooth off our workflow - and I'm fairly sure it would for others too.

Aeva works truly magnificently as a storage ground for media items but I gotta say, the workflow of getting items into posts isn't ideal and it gets worse with the more items you add and until recently I'd pretty much used it as a storage ground, rather than making it part of a cohesive blog structure.

6) Can we actually do something with the textbox sizing and positioning? What we've found with an iPhone (it's largely a non issue with iPad) is that there is some crazy resizing crap going on that means you tap to select the textbox and then it zooms in to the point where the textbox is larger than the screen. Now, I'm sure this is at least partly no longer an issue because it's using SMF 2 code rather than our code and I can't really test it on Wedge right now to be sure, but the way it does zooming on the fixed-width container is really frustrating since it means to type in a post you have to swipe left and right to actually see everything, and even composing the line-blank-line-blank-line posts I've been doing for the blog for the live video updates (yes that's me doing it on Louis' iPhone while he's driving) is frustrating. Again I'm thinking like Tapatalk here, where the box is sized for the screen and it all fits without any scrolling horizontally or any such nonsense. I would kind of presume @Dragooon's mobile theme for SMF works nicely in this regard but again right now I can't really test it. I should note this is the first time I've *really* tried to use an SMF setup for posting and even though I know we have a slightly weird theme, I can't be the only person who finds the experience of posting even 3 lines of text with 2 blank lines tiresome.

I really don't know how much of this stuff can be fixed by way of a mobile skin. Seems to me there is far more at stake than simple CSS resizing (e.g. pulling a different editor component for mobile that doesn't just push all the buttons as normal but has a totally different presentation and code to support it) and some of it will need much greater change if it is to be facilitated, especially the uploading workflow stuff. (Btw, I'd like to see the AJAX uploading of attachments as a core feature just in general. Would be easier to support it in Aeva too if the support files are already present.)
When we unite against a common enemy that attacks our ethos, it nurtures group solidarity. Trolls are sensational, yes, but we keep everyone honest. | Game Memorial


  • Dadman with a boy
  • Posts: 15,969
Re: Posting from mobile, including Aeva
« Reply #1, on July 25th, 2013, 11:15 PM »
1. I never uploaded a picture taken from my phone, directly to a forum, so I guess I've never felt the need to rewrite this, etc etc...

2. Yes. Also, I implemented a few others, like Dailymotion, weeks ago. The goal was, precisely, to have it work on my Chrome Mobile.

3. For creating albums, or uploading items..? If the latter, yeah, of course we could have a 'simplistic' layout for mobile, but, see 1...

4. Original plans were to do that... Current plans are to just stay away from AeMe for as long as I can, because I fear it so much. I work so hard on it for two years, and when we created Wedge, I wanted to do a Noisen+AeMe package for easy use (thinking of myself as a 'target consumer'), but I didn't take into account (1) your own changes to the codebase, (2) the new features I came up with regularly. As I probably already said, to me, it feels like I'm Sam Beckett in the last episode of Quantum Leap, realizing I have full control over my leaps, and thus deciding to only take the 'worthy' ones, i.e. the hard ones. And, the hard ones take time... cf. Wess, skeletons, notifications, even infinite scrolling and soft-merging took at least 10 times more effort than originally thought, so... :-/

5. Sorry, no lo sé.

6. I'd need screenshots, or something, but usually there's no issue on my S3, although I don't use it a lot, for posting I mean... The only change I made recently, is that Wedge will disable zooming when focusing a textarea or input box, on mobile devices.
Re: Posting from mobile, including Aeva
« Reply #2, on July 25th, 2013, 11:19 PM »
Re: 6, I forgot to say that anything added by Ajax will fail to disable zooming, e.g. thoughts for instance, I should turn this call into a .live(), but I don't really know where to call it, and doing a $(document).on(event, 'input,textarea') would probably be VERY, very bad in terms of performance, so... I dunno... Maybe it's not THAT important, anyway..?


  • As powerful as possible, as complex as necessary.
  • Posts: 14,278
Re: Posting from mobile, including Aeva
« Reply #3, on July 26th, 2013, 05:10 AM »
1. I'd never done it before, but it is surprisingly hard to do. I'd note that doing it on a regular basis is a niche thing, but it does sort of screw up doing a travel blog ;) Ideally I'd just like it all to be as slick as possible for users and accommodating such things if feasible.

2. Cool. I thought it probably was done but wanted to be sure.

3. Adding items. Albums is complicated in general and I wouldn't really want to do that on a mobile in any situation simply because there's a lot to it, just like I wouldn't really want to create a board on the fly for the same reason. But when posting items, I find myself not bothering with half the stuff, it's only really the title and description we change, when we bother to do that at all. I'm thinking kind of like the normal posting interface, really... half the options in there are hidden by default.

4. I remember our original plans and to be honest I think it's something that we'll just have to bite the bullet with and deal with it, sooner rather than later. There's a ton of changes I've been thinking about doing while I've been out here on the road, some for media, some for other stuff and a lot of it will factor into this stuff - and I think once I get back home (12 Aug), I will have accrued enough done on other stuff to be able to spend ages on Wedge, and more importantly the motivation to nail a lot of this stuff good and proper. I actually believe that it's doable and that while it won't be pretty to start with, it will work pretty well in the long run :)

5. A lot of the issue around the bbcode entry stuff ultimately stems from what I kind of come to consider as poor workflow. If we provide users the ability to browse media from the posting page, and more importantly the ability to bring in content from there (e.g. from a mass upload or similar), that stops being a problem for the most part and we can make that super easy for users to do.

6. That's the bulk of the problem. If there wasn't the zooming-on-focus, there wouldn't be a problem.

As far as disabling zooming on AJAX, I'm really not sure that's a huge deal. Most of the time we're not adding inputs or textareas via AJAX and the few times we are we can probably account for it just on those instances.


  • When is a theme, no longer what it was when installed?
  • Posts: 165
Re: Posting from mobile, including Aeva
« Reply #4, on July 26th, 2013, 11:11 PM »
I agree mobile needs some work, the links on the bottom of this thread do not work for me. The ones below the last post so I have to scroll to the top and use the top reply link.

Chrome 28.0.1500.94 1500094
Android 4.3.0; Nexus 4 Build/JWR66V


  • As powerful as possible, as complex as necessary.
  • Posts: 14,278
Re: Posting from mobile, including Aeva
« Reply #5, on July 28th, 2013, 02:58 AM »
The links at the bottom have issues because of other stuff going on at present.

* Arantor tries valiantly to rerail thread.

What exactly about mobile needs work? Anything other than the things I've outlined? Think we need a slightly different direction to what I've suggested?


  • Posts: 4
Re: Posting from mobile, including Aeva
« Reply #7, on September 7th, 2014, 12:13 AM »Last edited on September 7th, 2014, 12:35 AM
There's a problem with multi select on android (have no idea about iOS) as I could find out, even with a android phone that can support flash android won't allow more than one file to be select at a time.

Bellow you have an example screenshot of my tries with Piwigo at softaculous with a phone that supports flash, where i had to select file by file although using flash. You can try it yourself
Code: [Select]

You can also read about the subject on this link
Code: [Select]
where they have the issue with HTML 5

Or on this link
Code: [Select]
you can try an uploader using jQuery. With a computer you can do multi select, but if you try with a phone you will only be able to select one file each time.

You can do the same type of test on this link

Code: [Select]

I know that you are going to say that it's possible to multi select files on android an send them for instance to Google+, or Instagram, or faceboook. Yes it's possible, but normally what you do is 1st select the files on the phone and then share them with the application that you want to upload the files to.

So using this last principle I tried ReGalAndroid
Code: [Select]
which is able to work with Piwigo and was able to do a multi Select and upload of the files to a Piwigo album.
Re: Posting from mobile, including Aeva
« Reply #8, on September 7th, 2014, 12:19 AM »
Regarding Aeva in mobile mode in Wedge I found out this that I consider a problem

When creating a new album, the submit button will be out of the screen, to able to see you have to expand the right tab

Also the box to write something about the album is not correctly centered