Eolas workaround will cripple Non-desktop users

Last week I got my first PocketPC for some development work and ran into some issues that I havenÂ’t seen mentioned. The PocketPC is a pretty powerful little machine, but what I didnÂ’t realize at the beginning was that Pocket Internet Explorer and most browsers for other pdaÂ’s, and slimmed down devices do not support any JavaScript.

This may not seem like a big issue, but if you visit any of your projects that were working before applying a workaround, you will probably find that the project does not anymore. It really depends on what kind of work-around you implemented. The most widely suggested work around seems to be a JavaScript re-write of the object/embed tag. Which works great, but as you probably guessed it completely fails under Pocket Internet Explorer and will fail under other slimmed down browsers/devices. So what is the best work around?

I would recommend a combination of server-side and JavaScript. On the server-side you would check to make sure that the user is a desktop user using the value return by user agent propert, and if so present them with the JavaScript workaround (You can even isolate IE users if you wanted). If they are not a desktop user, then present them with a static version.

Hope someone finds this information useful. This should be good workaround until Microsoft ends up changing Pocket Internet Explorer :)

Maybe I’ll provide full code in a future entry.

Update: Thank to Chris Brandt for pointing out that Pocket IE does support some JavaScript. From my testing the Eolas workaround I had implemented was failing. I will have to track down the exact reason specific to Pocket IE. I would still reccomend the same workaround though as there are bound to be more browsers out there with no JavaScript support.

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10 thoughts on “Eolas workaround will cripple Non-desktop users

  1. Pocket IE does support _some_ javascript (or JScript)… I’ve been able to create a number of useful calculators and even some basic DHTML work with innerHTML.

  2. Hmm.. Thanks for that info, I’m not sure where I read that JavaScript was not supported. It seems though that the level of JavaScript support is not the same as the sites I tested all failed. I’ll have to test and see what was causing the failure. Have you tested the Eolas workarounds? If so any that you have found work?

  3. I need help and think some of you might be able to provide me with an answer I have not been able to get from HP, Microsoft, or Road Runner. Each sends me off to the other.

    I recently bought a pocket PC and cannot get it to work with road runner webmail. In the month of off and on searching, I am convinced it is a javascript issue. I have already bought a few 3rd party software applications, but have yet to solve the problem.

    I suspect there are more out there like myself who want to be able to use the webmail to read and respond to our road runner accounts on an pocket PC running Microsoft Mobile 2003. But we don’t have the knowledge or expertise to recognize the problem and solve it. Can anyone help..?

    Mike K

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