1.3.1. AvantGo

By Rainer Hillebrand

The AvantGo client software comprises a web browser and a light weight web server for PalmOS and Windows CE. A software called Mobile Link needs also to be installed on a desktop computer. It is the software that connects to AvantGo's servers to synchronize the content of an AvantGo channel web site and the client on the handheld. An AvantGo server downloads only those pages from web sites which the user has subscribed to. Most official AvantGo channel web sites provide optimized content for this kind of handheld devices. The AvantGo server downloads all requested pages from the servers and performs some pre-processing in terms of image shrinking, deletion of unsupported components like Java Applets and compressing of the rest of the HTML page. All the pages from a channel are uploaded at once, so that the user can view the entire channel without having to re-connect to the Internet or to the desktop computer. A mini web server runs on the device and displays pages whenever the user clicks on a link, and the AvantGo browser reads and formats the pages just like any other HTML browser. [4]

AvantGo supports HTML 3.2 except for frames, image maps, and a few elements that are either infrequently used or don't translate well onto mobile devices. A complete list of supported HTML tags and attributes can be found at [5]. The supported tags differ between the PalmOS and the Windows CE client version.

The AvantGo client supports the following additional features:

Cookies

The cookies are actually stored on the AvantGo server.

Graphics

Supports colour on handheld devices that have colour. On grayscale or monochrome devices, AvantGo converts colour images to gray scale. No resize with the image tag attributes height and width.

Page titles

The title on PalmOS is truncated to the first 15 characters.

On Windows CE, the title isn't displayed at all.

Tables

Only, if the page contains the META tag:

<META name="HandheldFriendly" content="True">

Copyright © 2001-2003 by Rainer Hillebrand and Thomas Wierlemann