An iPad 2 displaying what users see when trying to access information from the city's website on an Apple device.

An iPad 2 displaying what users see when trying to access information from the city's website on an Apple device.

Letter to the Editor: City iPhone issue is bourgeois and overblown

In response to: Council wonders what to do about iPhone incompatible website. I’m not sure where to start.

In response to: Council wonders what to do about iPhone incompatible website

I’m not sure where to start. On one hand we have Alan Hale making ridiculous statements like Apple is setting the standard for the mobile internet (really? Have you seen the sorry state that is HTML5 development and the walled garden that is iTunes?) and other rants which may as well have been an Apple advertisement. Second, we have Counselor Rice concerned that on the street using her extremely expensive iPhone that she can’t look up something on the city website because of a choice in technology *she* made. How much of that technology choice was made on evaluating if it was the best technology, or was it more “this phone looks good with this outfit”?

What I take personal offense to is the insinuation that in some fashion the technology department at the City should be dropping what they are doing to deal with this. I would guess that they probably have more important things to be going after on a day to day basis, especially when being questioned on the basis that “I know a guy who knows a guy who can fix the website for a couple of hundred bucks, a handshake and a smile”.

Then there are the statistics. Maybe Counselor Rice should contact the City Information Technology department for some actual numbers. 60% of all smartphones are Apple? Come on! What a completely ridiculous statistics. You might as well say 60% of all people use toasters to make toast, it says nothing at all about the dietary intake of the average voter. I run several very high volume websites (15,000 visits in January 2012 for example) and here are the real statistics:

Microsoft Windows running Internet Explorer: 11,889 visits (78.39% of all traffic) Apple OS X running any version of any browser: 1,368 visits (9.02% of all traffic) Microsoft Windows running Firefox: 1,113 visits (7.34% of all traffic) Microsoft Windows running Google Chrome: 694 visits (4.58% of all traffic)

All the mobile traffic combined: 308 visits (0.02% of all traffic)

If we look specifically at that mobile traffic, here is what we see: Apple iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch: 225 visits (0.015% of all traffic)

All Android devices: 55 visits (less than 0.01% of all traffic)All of these had flash support! Here is the important one: Number of devices that had flash support – 12791 (over 84%)

Why is this important to me? Because the website I am talking about has absolutely no flash requirements. It is entirely designed with open source standards. What upsets me is we have a counselor (possibly more than one) putting effort into speaking in a public forum about spending moneyto support 0.015% of all visitors pointing the finger at a technology (and a municipal service department) that is somehow to blame.

Sure, on a technical level the city should discuss on their next refresh cycle to move to something more standards compliant. But to make the argument that an extremely small portion of your traffic needs this because they have Apple products, come on. And just for clarification, HTML5 is not something Apple invented, and it is a standard that has not even been finalized. Not to mention that the gross majority of people out there do not have HTM5 standards compliant web browsers, yet. Not to mention that HTML5 is not going to fix the problems that Flash has around user interface, a finger on a screen is still a finger on a screen.

Maybe you could focus your attention on road works, specifically on Overlook, or the other dozens of streets that are falling apart in Prince Rupert. Or how about spending some time and effort cleaning up 3rd avenue. Or addressing the homeless that can’t afford internet, let alone a shiny expensive bourgeoisie toy like an iPhone.

 

Tim Dressel