You should join our great online community now - you can win great prizes
Register now
You should subscribe to our free MyBroadband newsletter


View Poll Results: Your opinion(s) of Vodacom's Content Adaption system...

Voters
108. You may not vote on this poll
  • I have used the new Content Adaption system and have the following opinion(s):

    59 54.63%
  • In principle, the idea behind the CA system is good & should help pages display better on phones

    10 9.26%
  • OR: I don't like the idea behind the CA system - webmasters should sort their own websites out

    66 61.11%
  • On the whole, I have mostly had success with the CA system, it is working well for me

    4 3.70%
  • OR: I have mostly not had success with the CA system, it has not been working well for me

    49 45.37%
  • I have not needed to remove the proxy setting from my phone's settings

    7 6.48%
  • OR: I have had to remove the proxy setting from my phone's settings

    47 43.52%
  • I don't think an opt-in option is necessary - removing the proxy setting is sufficient

    1 0.93%
  • OR: I believe Vodacom must change the CA system to work on an opt-in basis only

    80 74.07%
  • OR: I have not yet used the new Content Adaption service

    17 15.74%
Multiple Choice Poll.
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 23 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 331

Thread: Content Adaption [re-rendering content] for displaying web pages on mobile phones etc

  1. #1
    Vodacom Representative
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    (mostly) Plattekloof, Cape Town
    Posts
    12,066

    Arrow Content Adaption [re-rendering content] for displaying web pages on mobile phones etc

    FAQ

    I'll try and post a summary of the Content Adaptation system launched on the 25th/26th of June and answers to common questions here.

    What is it?

    Simply put, a Content-Adaptation process (CA) of reformatting web pages on-the-fly to fit better on small screen devices (SSD) and thus give an easier browsing experience.

    A secondary, but significant, advantage is that substantial traffic is saved (up to 80% on some sites) and thus it provides a corresponding saving in your data bill.

    Why is it needed?

    The vast majority of websites on the internet were designed to display a large amount of content and requires a large, high resolution screen (such as a PC monitor) to display it correctly. Most of these websites will make a statement such as "Best viewed on 1024 x 768" at the bottom of the Home page.

    In turn, the vast majority of cell phone browsers are not able to properly display these pages and thus make them difficult to use from the mobile device.

    While some content providers and handset manufacturers have attempted to address this by either building custom "mobile-formatted" pages or more modern browsers into the newer, high-end phones that can browse these sites, the vast majority of sites and phones still do not support this.

    How does it work?

    The idea is to seamlessly take the HTML stream between the SSD and the web site and reformat the layout of the page to fit better on the SSD.

    Especially, it should make navigating the site easier by removing the need to pan all over the original page.

    It will also reduce the amount of traffic flowing down to the SSD as the CA takes place on the Vodacom network and only the resultant new, small screens are sent down to the SSD and are counted as part of your data use.

    To do this, the SSD must first connect to an intermediated box where the CA will take place. This box will then connect to the requested web site on the internet, retrieve the web pages, re-format them and then pass it down to the SSD.

    This concept of implementing intermediate, in-line devices in the data stream to perform specific functions is well known and employed by all ISP's. Examples include Firewalls, Virus Scanners, Caching Engines and Proxy Servers. These boxes all perform some important function, either to improve the customer experience, reduce network traffic or both. The CA engine is just another of these in-line engines albeit with quite a complex task; trying to think like a human!!

    So the data flow is SSD <-> CA <-> Web site.

    To ensure the above path for most devices, the SSD's come configured with a 'Proxy Server' setting. This setting will instruct the SSD to pass ALL data to the server specified and not directly onto the internet.

    So the APN you use to connect with will not have an effect on the data flow. Only the SSD 'proxy setting' control if you pass via CA or not, i.e. if you'll see re-rendered pages or not.

    In simplistic terms the CA engine was installed on the current Proxy server, making it automatically available to all SSD's with the proxy setting configured.

    Why does it not work for some sites?

    Some sites are not properly re-rendered by the new CA engine or some sites are already rendered for SSD and do not require content adaptation. Other sites employ protocols not well understood by the CA engine.

    You can appreciate the complexities in doing something like CA in real-time. A system must take a HTML page, figure out what it looks like to a human being, then reformat it for a smaller screen while it still looks good and actually now works better! So it's not surprising that it does not get it right for all sites. But the vast majority of normal HTML sites should re-render well as intended with the launch of this service.

    In addition some sites use protocols that the CA engine is not handling properly. Even with well established in-line systems (such as proxy servers) we sometimes see this.

    To handle these sites the CA engine has an 'Exclusion' or 'White List'. Servers that are entered in this list won't be re-rendered.

    Since the launch of the service Vodacom has been updating this list based on feedback from customers and other sources such as myBroadband and content providers.

    Does it alter the content in any way?

    NO. The only intent of the CA is to re-render the look of the site to make it easier to navigate on a SSD. In no way is information intentionally removed. Some speculation on this site and others tried to implicate Vodacom engaging in anti-competitive actions by removing or blocking content from potential competitors. This is outright and patently false.

    If web site owners see a problem with how their sites are re-rendered, they can request to have the site excluded from the process.

    How do I bypass it?

    If you do find a site that does not re-render properly, the first step should be to report it and Vodacom will add it to the Exclusion list. Best way is to PM myself on this forum at this time. I'll see if we can create a special e-mail for exclusion requests.

    This process is open to everyone (end-users, developers, etc.) and Vodacom actively solicits your feedback. The more feedback we get, the quicker we can sort out the problematic sites.

    If you really just want to switch it off, the only current method is to delete the proxy settings on your SSD. This will completely bypass the CA engine and you will see the original site exactly as you would have before the introduction of CA. Typical setting is 196.6.128.12. Find it in your phone sttings and delete it or find a setting that says something like "Use proxy?" and switch it off.

    If you have a VLive branded phone that does not allow you to change the proxy settings, try and create a brand new profile (with no proxy set) and use that to connect. Reports so far shows this to work fine.

    What if I can't bypass it at all?

    Some SSD's won't allow you to delete or change the proxy setting. In this case the best bet it to report the site and Vodacom will add it to the exclusion list. We're looking how to permanently switch the CA process off for SSD's where you cannot disable the proxy setting.

    How can I report a site that does not work properly?

    If you do find a site that does not re-render properly, the first step should be to report it and Vodacom will add it to the Exclusion list. Best way is to PM myself on this forum at this time. I'll see if we can create a special e-mail for exclusion requests.

    This process is open to everyone (end-users, developers, etc.) and Vodacom actively solicits your feedback. The more feedback we get, the quicker we can sort out the problematic sites.

    What's with the 'banners'?

    In addition to the Content Adaptation, a small Navigation Bar is inserted above and below the re-rendered page. This bar performs 3 functions:

    1 - It performs a Quick-Jump from the top to the bottom (or back) of the page.
    2) - It gives Quick-Link to a Google Search Page. Similar to the one you have on your desktop browser.
    3) It provides a Quick-Link to VLive. Similar to the VLive Red Button on VLive phones.

    Why has the roll-out been so painful?

    Any new service that interacts with the whole internet is bound to be a complex thing to get right, trying to work with the unstructured and uncontrolled world that is the world-wide-web.

    In addition, doing something like CA is going to be complex, so we did anticipate there will be teething problems and were ready to address them as they occur.

    But, I must say, the number of problematic sites did surprise us but we have a process in place to address these (the exclusion process).

    In addition, by definition, power users and sites like this one will be quick to point out problems, so I'm not surprised that most feedback we're getting here is somewhat negative.

    Is the service deemed a success?

    It's still early days and there has been a fair amount of teething problems. But we can already see a substantial increase in web browsing via the CA portal. (While some here have flippantly remarked that this is probably due to all the re-tries ), we can see that more people are beginning to use the service to browse new sites who probably never used their mobile phones for this before.

    And that is the crux of this service, to give people who had difficulty in accessing the web a better chance to do so with the tools they have. Members of this forum are privileged enough to have a PC to access the web. But millions out there only have an entry-level cell phone.

    This service not only give them this ability, but substantially reduce their bill in browsing the web.
    Last edited by vodacom3g; 29-06-2008 at 11:38 AM. Reason: FAQ

  2. #2

    Exclamation Content Adaption [re-rendering content] for displaying web pages on mobile phones etc

    As of this morning all sites I visit with my Nokia E65 have a Vodafone live banner at the top and bottom. I can't log in to Google mobile sites (Reader etc.) and Google Maps cannot connect, reports 302 error. The browser indicates that I'm viewing all pages through some sort of proxy page on the vodacommi.co.za domain. Has anyone else seen this? Most disturbing: http://www.vodacommi.co.za doesn't even seem to belong to Vodacom.

    • Why should I be subjected to banners when I'm paying for my internet access?
    • Are my login details now being passed through vodacommi.co.za?
    • Has anyone at Vodacom heard of screen real estate?
    • How long before that banner starts scrolling ads?


    If this is a new Vodacom feature I will be taking my business elsewhere very quickly.

  3. #3

    Default

    I also got that this morning. I logged a query on vodacom4me and the reply was that there was a upgrade to the vodafone live site. They also say that the change is permanent and cannot be deactivated.

    Now everytime I try to log in to a site that uses secure logins, I get the following error:
    Server certificate subjectCN do not match domain name
    CN:*.vodacommi.co.za
    CN:Entrust.net
    Secure Server Certification Authority

    I have logged a query for the error, but they haven't replied yet.

  4. #4

    Default

    The new Vlive portal went live today.

  5. #5

    Default Start a petition anyone?

    This is bullsh*t... does Vodacom really think their customers should have their banner injected into EVERY site they visit?

    I'm going to give Vodacom 1 week to remove it or I'm leaving (been with them 10+ years). Unless customers send a strong message the other operators are going to follow suit.

  6. #6
    Vodacom Representative
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    (mostly) Plattekloof, Cape Town
    Posts
    12,066

    Default

    I'm checking up on this.

    What happens if you connect via the internet apn?

  7. #7

    Default

    It gives a nice OpenWeb link at the bottom of the page... This is not cool...

  8. #8

    Angry Unbelievable

    Hey guys,

    We're in the process of launching a mobile app, and you won't believe how this completely buggers up any HTTP communications between the phone and the server! This is basically our "day before launch" and they've dumped this in our laps.

    However, what's very interesting is that if I browse to "www.mxit.com/wap", I don't see the (disgusting) Vodafone banners. And the HTTP User-Agent is clearly going through correctly because Mxit can detect my phone correctly. But a colleague (also on Vodacom) goes to the same page and gets the same page, *with* the banners.

    They're also caching stuff. I put up a PHP page on the web that dumps headers back to the phone. If my colleague browses to that page on his phone, he sees his phone's user-agent. If I browse next, I see his user-agent too (his is Samsung, mine is Nokia). It's truly unbelievable stuff...

    I wonder if Vodacom will at least allow businesses to request there URLs be exempt from this? Are they really this determined to stop anyone other than themselves run a business on their network?

  9. #9
    Grandmaster
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sandton Area
    Posts
    1,677

    Default

    I saw this today.

    I disabled the proxy, and now connect to the internet apn and it seems to have dissapeared.
    Last edited by broken1; 25-06-2008 at 12:38 PM.

  10. #10
    Karmic Sangoma ghoti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hotel California
    Posts
    44,015
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default

    Wow... this was a dumb idea. How to piss of your customers 101.
    Schrodingers immigrants : Simultaneously stealing your job and too lazy to work.

  11. #11

    Default

    I've just tried - using the "Internet.GPRS" APN on my phone does work. No banners, no proxying that I've noticed so far.

    Is that going to be the solution in the long run?

  12. #12

    Default

    Also noticed it early this morning, using the Internet APN.
    Still happening now.

  13. #13
    Super Grandmaster
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lonehill
    Posts
    16,822

    Default

    Why introduce this in the first place?

  14. #14
    Super Grandmaster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    9,875

    Default how I fixed this

    I'm using a Nokia E61 but basically you need to remove the proxy IP from the connection. On the E61 I did the following:

    1) Go to 'Tools' on the menu
    2) Go to 'Settings'
    3) Go to 'Connection'
    4) Go to 'Access points'
    5) Open the vodacom access point - On mine it was called Internet.GPRS
    6) Go to 'Options' - 'Advanced Settings'
    7) Remove the Proxy serv. address
    8) Viola, no more banner!

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by joelus View Post
    I'm using a Nokia E61 but basically you need to remove the proxy IP from the connection. On the E61 I did the following:
    Yup, worked for me.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 23 1234511 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •