Mobile subdomain


This page started out of a mailing list idea I thought up: Mobile subdomain.

  • Arne Klempert, in response, posted about Wapedia here [1].

The idea is thus: Create a mobile subdomain for displaying our content in a readonly manner through Wap-enabled phones and PDA's

"a" mobile subdomain does not reflect the international character of wikipedia.



you can visit also my wapsite at


Please see the article by Tim Berners-Lee: New top level domains considered harmful. Although he is writing about a different proposal (introducing .mobi alongside .com, .org, and so forth), many of the issues he raises are relevant here. He argues that it is wrong to segregate "mobile" content, partly because it is difficult to decide what the phrase "mobile device" actually means, and partly because a given URI "ought" to be accessible from any device in the most appropriate way in any case. As an alternative, he suggests that sites auto-detect the capabilities of the device on which they are being viewed, and adapt accordingly. Whether this is indeed possible in the present day is another question. Perhaps, then, an explicit subdomain should be provided as a fallback, to complement an attempt to adapt content accessed by the standard URIs. -- 19:54, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Solution: Create a main page with .wml extension and wap browsers will read this instead of html page. -- 05:01, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

This is fundamentally different because it doesn't create a separate page with the new content. It simply enables a display in the proper format for a smaller device. If you've ever tried to access Wikipedia from a mobile device, you will note that the interface is almost completely unmanageable. Creating another URI which simply displays the *same content* in an alternative format is not equivalent to another top level domain, likely to have different content.--Thalia42 05:01, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Alternative ideaEdit

I don't think a domain or a subdomain is the way to go. Instead, all we need is a skin that works with the kinds of browsers mobile devices use. Then we should auto-detect the browser and use that skin. — Timwi 02:07, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I've personally had a good experience using the 'MySkin' skin while browing on my Treo 600. --NeuronExMachina 00:35, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Who is leading the initiative to take care of this creation? I imagine getting something like this going would create a huge amount of press for Wikipedia. As simple as putting a new skin on it would be, since we want it to be as small and fast as possible, writing a new application (specifically designed for cell phones) that used the wikipedia search algorithm in the back end to deliver only text and no images would be very easy, and probably a lot easier to use then an alternate skin on the current front page. --ahottenstein 00:35, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I am new to this Wiki thingie. I am more from the mobile/WML/XHTML camp. From my experience gained while repurposing HTML pages to WML (see, I feel that a 'skin' solution will not work perfectly. There are lots of issues to consider: breaking of long pages into sub-pages, reformating tables, resizing images etc.

An attempt to create a more satisfying browsing experience on mobile devices with limited capabilities and minimal screen real-estate is underway at - currently supporting the 20 most popular languages. Filters out images and other superfluous data, and breaks up long pages into bite-sized chunks that are easier to handle.

  • I don't know who runs, but it does not update regularly. Changes that were made to Wikipedia over a week ago aren't reflected in their database. It seems to me that using the current version of Wikipedia as the source would be more useful.--Thalia42 05:05, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

There are more important needsEdit

It would be nice offcource if wikipedia whould work good on those mobile toys. But Wikipedia does not even works handy whit a text-browser. Visit Wikipedia whit wikipedia:en:Lynx (browser) and see what it gives (and your are most likely not blind (not that I am blind)). It works, but that is all. Not very practical. Afther that look at the website of the BBC whit a text-browser. Making Wikipedia work good for text and voice-browsers is more important. And a website that works good text-only will also be good for mobile things. Walter 21:38, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Anyone using a text mode browser would be better off using wikipedia:en:Links (browser), more specifically wikipedia:en:ELinks. Most graphical pages render correctly in text mode and are very usable. Jason Michael Smithson 12:05, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
What I mean is that i find it is very important that the Wikimedia websites work good for users whit a handicap. What software blind users use I do not know. There should be done a survey about this and something done whit the results. It can be asked in newsgroups for that group of users to come and test it. Walter 13:00, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Links is a text mode browser that presents complex graphical sites much better than Lynx in my experience. It hands tables and forms well. I've supported a number of blind folks in my years and screen readers are hit and miss but the most important thing is keeping the layout as simple as possible to make it work with the majority of them, I think skins can cover this fine, the same skin as for WAP even. More work could certainly be done and will no doubt be picked up in time. 07:25, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC) aka Jason Michael Smithson
I have the ability to browse on my PDA. Most sites display fine on my browser in one mode or another, but for some reason, Wikipedia shows up with the left hand navigation bar taking up the majority of the space and one of two things depending on which mode i'm in. If I'm in optimized mode(which is supposed to make everything fit on the screen without having to scroll left and right-very nice to have with a 320-pixel screen width) there is one letter on a line all the way down. This mode maks the page virtually unreadable. wide-page, which displays the page without editing, will only display one word on a line, while this makes the article readable, it isnt exactly acceptable. If i were to use Wikipedia on my PDA, that issue would need to be fixed. I think that this is especially important since Google's SMS service is now referencing some Wikipedia articles to give definitions. --Ab2kgj 07:36, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Where can I ask for a French mobile subdomain : ? Thanks. Antaya 16:38, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Is anyone working on fixing the mobile browser problem? It is so frustrating to using Wikipedia while mobile due to the extremely messed up layout. 04:27, 11 September 2008 (UTC)