Every now and then I stumble onto something that really excites me. Today was one of those days.
Folks who know me know that I am a mobile device nut. Well, today I received an invitation to participate in a beta program for a new Windows Mobile 6 compatible browser called SkyFire http://www.skyfire.com/ .
It is a neat new concept for mobile browsers as it renders the entire page just as you would see it on a desktop and then allows you to zoom in to read the text. I was hopping around the Internet checking various sites and then I gave the MadCap Software home page a try and it rendered beautifully. Even the short movie at the top of the page animated properly. This really is a great new mini-browser. Then I got an idea. What about the tech support Knowledge Base that was published in WebHelp format? I pointed skyfire at the url and it loaded beautifully!
Then I tapped over the WebHelp TOC (Table of Contents) and a little zoom marker appeared.
Clicking again on the zoom marker zoomed directly in on the WebHelp TOC allowing me to open/close books and select a topic.
I was then able to drag the screen to scroll around and read the topic.
Now, I realize that this may not be the most exciting thing, but remember, this knowledge base was designed and built for a large desktop browser. Imagine creating a custom MadCap Flare Skin file optimized for this smaller screen size. For the first time fully interactive document access of a system of potentially thousands of pages of content with integrated search, table of contents, index, etc. all in the palm of your hand!
The folks working on skyfire are doing some pretty cool work and I will be spending some time figuring out how to best leverage this new browser for documentation purposes. My apologies if some of the screen shots above ended up a little “crunchy”, I assure you they looked pretty darn good before the jpeg compression. Just in case, I recorded a short little video of the process in case it helps to show things in a more meaningful manner than my excited ramblings.