Nokia’s S40 Engineers: Amateurs

I decided to install the Nokia S40 3rd Edition SDK tonight and have a look at its XHTML/WAP web browser. What a piece of shit. And no, I am not talking about the fact that it doesn’t have super features. I am not a feature creep. I am talking about not getting the basics right:

1. When a table is 100% width and the whole page normally should fit without ANY horizontal scrollbars on its QVGA screen, it still doesn’t fit. It seems that their calculation of their available screen resolution is off. This results on most of the sites I tried that normally fit even on a 128×128 screen to create uneeded horizontal scrollbars (when using the default setting of “Full” screen rendering). Look screenshot rendering

2. When changing the setting to “small screen rendering”, the browser does not behave as a media=”handheld” anymore, so it downloads the full CSS layout which is meant only for desktop browsers. For example, Slashdot looks terrible with the “Small screen” setting because the browser downloads the “screen” CSS file and not the “handheld” one. Opera gives web developers the same headaches too. In my opinion, all mobile browsers should be “handheld” no matter the mode they are in. They are running on handheld devices. End of story.

3. What a freaking waste of space. Look at the screenshot and see the 16 pixels of width of the vertical scrollbar and 24 pixels of height of the horizontal scrollbar! Lots of unused space for no good reason! The whole OS is like that actually, and Series60 is as bad on saving real screen estate too.

Now, how is it possible Nokia to have a browser out there for over 4-5 years and yet make such crucial rendering mistakes like the one described on #1? If you can’t get the 100% table width right, then you should not be shipping AT ALL. You hear this Nokia?

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