Web Me Wireless: Web Clipping and PQAs | 3 | WebReference

Web Me Wireless: Web Clipping and PQAs | 3

Getting our Hands Dirty

An Introduction to Web Clipping and PQAs

Ok, so you want to provide Web Clippings for the users of your Web site. Actually, writing a PQA is easy. It's simply a document written in HTML, and then compiled by Palm's Query Application Server. The completed .pqa file is then provided to your site's users, so they can upload it to their Palm VII, either via HotSync or by beaming it over from another Palm Communicator.

The HTML used to write either the PQA or the Web Clipping is technically a subset of HTML 3.2, with a few small additions and modifications.
Here are some of the most notable differences:

A. Unsupported Features:
There are some fairly frequently used HTML features that are not supported in PQAs or clippings:
  • Named typefaces
  • Style sheets
  • Image maps
  • Frames
  • Nested tables
  • Scripts and applets
  • Cookies
You are however permitted to use simple tables, gray-scale color, limited font markup, lists, and images.

B. New Tags:
4 new META tags are recommended for use in HTML written for PQA applications or Web Clippings:
  1. <meta name="palmcomputingplatform" content="true">

    The palmcomputingplatform tag asserts that the code has been written with Palm VII compliance in mind. If you neglect to include this tag when writing a PQA, none of the images you've referenced in your HTML will be included in the compiled version. If you leave it out of a Web Clipping, then the proxy server will truncate the file at 1KB, and remove any included graphics.

  2. <meta name="historylisttext" content=" yourstring &date &time" >

    The historylisttext tag is used in Web Clippings to specify what is stored in the Palm's History list cache. Use this tag to help the user from having to make repeat queries of the same information.

  3. <meta name="palmlauncherrevision" content="X.X">

    The palmlauncherrevision tag helps the developer and user determine when an upgrade is necessary. It is strongly recommended you include this in the index file of your PQA code.

  4. <meta name="localicon" content="icon.gif">

    The localicon tag is used to during the compilation of PQAs. It instructs the compiler to include the specificed icon graphic in the compiled file.

C. %deviceid, not cookies:

Though cookies are not available on the Palm, there is a workaround that still allows developers to track users and personalize services. The %deviceid string provides a unique ID number for each device on the network that has been authenticated by the Proxy Server. This PQA code fragment demonstrates a typical way of obtaining this string information:

	<input type="hidden" value="%deviceid" name="id">

D. Ignoring saves time:

The other notable addition is the <smallscreenignore> tag. You can use the same HTML code for both your normal Web site as well as any Web Clipping purposes by blocking off any extraneous images or code with this tag.

Comments are welcome

Created: Aug. 26, 1999
Revised: Aug. 27, 1999

URL: http://webreference.com/dev/webclip/handsdirty.html