Did you know that you can access Everything2 using your WAP phone? All you need is a dial-up number and a WAP gateway, for which there are many free services out there, and the Google WML proxy. The access is limited, of course, you can't use text boxes to login or to create a node but at least you can check your XP or some recent C!'d writeups. Google clips the pages into WAP-browsable chunks and translates links on the pages so you can navigate them easily with your phone.

Here are some example URLs you can use:
(the latter two split into two lines for your viewing pleasure)

Main page: http://wmlproxy.google.com/wmltrans/h=en/s=0/u=www.everything2.com/c=0

Page of Cool: http://wmlproxy.google.com/wmltrans/h=en/s=0/u=www.everything2.com@2F

Home Node: http://wmlproxy.google.com/wmltrans/h=en/s=0/u=www.everything2.com@2F
(replace the node_id with that of your home node's)

Disclaimer: If you know a better way to accomplish this, please inform me. What's described here is a usable method but the URLs are a pain to type on your phone. They are longish because the Google proxy needs the options and encodings to be present in the query. BTW, the h=en option defines the language used for the interface (menu options and such), you can try to change it to your local country code (fi works for Finnish, don't know about others). The option c=0 means that the proxy tries to get the first chunk of the split-up page. To get the second, third or any other chunk, just replace this with for example c=2. Those unfortunate individuals who don't possess a WAP-capable mobile phone can experience the delights of E2 WAPping using a WAP browser like the PyWeb's Deck-it® which is available for Windows and Linux (see http://www.pyweb.com/).

...and I'll go you one further, I present to you...

The Everything2 WAP Proxy Gateway Portal Thingee
aka "a million monkeys at a million mobile phones"

The Goods: Just point your phone or simulator toward http://ajt0.ws/e2/ (that's "Ay-Jay-Tee-Zero dot Double-Yew Ess slash Eee-Too slash") and be prepared to rock out when head out. It's WML only, so it may break compatibility with some very old HDML only devices, but it's a small price to pay. Can you believe they're not paying me for this?

What it is: Same deal as everything else; it's an offsite service that sucks XML from the site and runs it through some rollers and cookie cutters and it drops out the bottom of the machine as (hopefully) beautiful WML code. Think Fuzzie's e2client in a travel-size.

It lets you do what people spend 90% of their time doing here: SURFING SEX NODES? No! Browsing nodes and users, following links and searching nodes, just like you do on a "big" machine, except this is on a horridly small box with a super-tiny screen! It's like taking a Hummer and putting a Volkswagen Beetle engine in it!

Anyway, that's what it does -- you can read E2Nodes, user nodes, follow links (soft and hard -- firm on the way) and access the search functionality. The format and style of E2 makes it quite conducive to the simplified interface that WAP necessitates so while it's slow (as WAP is wont to be) it's not necessarily innefficient.

What it isn't: It's not (yet) a fully formed noding interface; it's a read-only terminal right now with all the abilities that Guest User would have. It's designed for accessing data, not the noding experience -- that will hopefully change in the future, but not quite yet.

It also isn't fast -- this is because a) WAP traffic is generally transfered through a 9600kbps voice link or a 19200kbps CDPD link (I hate you GPRS people! I hate you I hate you I hate you!), b) it's going through at least 3 computers instead of just one and c) the server hosting it right now is only a Pentium 200 without mod_perl. Expect pageloads to take at least 2-3 seconds.

What's gonna happen later: Voting/C!ing, some nodelets (New Writeups, Personal nodelet), cheddarbox and private messages, Superdocs, users' writeup lists and bookmarks.

What won't happen: adding and editing writeups (at least, not for a very very long time. Mostly because it's a huge logistical problem due to the limited text buffer a phone has and because while no one sane would use a phone keypad to write a node, I know someone would try, and it wouldn't turn out how they wanted and then they'd cry at me), administrative tools (e.g. Editor and God stuff; this is because I have no way of testing it).

It won't be SMS. I know that everyone outside north america is ADDICTED to SMS, but there is a problem -- sending SMS messages costs money; money that I do not have. In order to make SMS functionality I'd need to institute a fee schedule and I don't want to have to do that. But if you're willing, talk to me about it. Clarification: by this, I am meaning private messges and the like -- browsing E2 at 160 characters at a time would be painful at best :)

What bugs me: Even though the system is limited, there are still a few bugs around that you will encounter when you use it:

  • Malformed XML -- This happens from time to time, either from improperly escaped content or just noise; when this happens you'll be give a generic "freak out" page, but the offending XML document will be flagged for dealing with later.
  • Compile Errors -- This is a problem in the phone companies WAP gateway itself when it can't compile the WML document correctly for transport to the phone; this is usually because my code hasn't escaped a harmful character. Since these errors occur outside my domain I have no way of knowing about them unless you report them.
  • Digest too large for device -- Most WAP phones have a page size limit of about 1200 characters, usually a little less. I've worked around this by breaking everything into byte-sized chunks for easy phone digestion but sometimes something too big will come through anyway (usually on user nodes). Again, because this error is generated outside my jurisdiction I can't know when it occurs unless a user reports it for me.
  • Service Read Error -- This is when your WAP Proxy can't contact my system. This is probably a problem with the Phone company, unless my server has eaten itself... again.
  • 500 Server Error -- this is a CGI error that I haven't properly dealt with, probably due to an internal data structure issue or (more likely) that the process times out fetching the XML from E2.com. Timeouts are frequently avoided since node contents are cached for a time after read, but it can still happen when fetching new content.
  • Word Galaxy -- I still haven't made a WAP port of the Word Galaxy, but I'm working on it.

The Source, Luke: The source isn't available yet because I'm not certain if anyone would want it. If there is a desire I'll make a few releases of its perl source every now and again. It ain't pretty, and I don't want ya'll laughing at me.

I am a Hacker, not a User Interface Developer or Quality Assurance Engineer: If you have suggestions about how things could be improved or bug reports, please don't hesitate to /msg me about it because suggestions are always welcome. Questions too. Feature requests are welcome as well, so long as you back them up with offers of milk and/or cookies.

Addendum<.I>: Pywebs Deckit software does indeed load the proxy, but it munges up the controls. The navigation isn't nearly as painful on a real WAP phone.

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