blog.TOfilmfest.ca

Friday, August 27, 2010

Film festival mobile phone website (alpha version)

The future is free.
TOfilmfest was specifically built on free software, back in 2005.
In fact, it was free advice that led to the website's re-design, and to various venues and sponsors who helped promote it.

This year, with increasing traffic costs, some small advertisements were added – to keep TOfilmfest free.

So, when the film festival announced it's mobile app would only be available for BlackBerry (a major sponsor), we wished for a free solution for all users of mobile devices.

Information wants to be free, so our database is available to other developers for collaboration on new projects.

Today, a new project is ready for testing!
TOfilmfest.ca/TIFFwidget
“a web-based app, optimized for iPhone – but should work with Android


Since this project is considered an alpha version, it's announcement is being limited to this blog. Please do not spread the word just yet! It's being made available for those participating in the Advance Order process on Monday, August 30th.

A disclaimer from the developer:
IMPORTANT: Screening times listed are NOT official. There should be a high degree of accuracy, but the schedule can change at any time and this page is NOT maintained in real time. Use this form ONLY as a preliminary planning tool and be SURE to double-check a chosen movie’s screening times via the TIFF button.
Unfortunately short films are not included in the data.

Any feedback is welcome and appreciated!

We look forward to future versions of TIFFwidget to bring all the functionality of TOfilmfest to all mobile devices! :-)

Pick the best of the fest!
#TOfilmfest

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2 Comments:

Blogger Jeffrey said...

From the author:

I hope you’re finding the Tiffwidget as handy an accessory for paring down your selections this weekend as I am. Sorry about the video, if you’ve tried it from a regular browser and found the alternating entries nearly illegible -- this application is optimized for the iPhone browser and the colors I used for consistency with ToFilmFest (see the graphics above) turned out looking like this in a regular browser. I think a minor adjustment can make everybody happy … stay tuned for updates. (As a temporary workaround, you can just click “edit -> select all” in your web browser to make everything legible.)

Because this mobile website is optimized for the iPhone, results with other mobile web browsers vary. I can use it perfectly well with my Droid, but there’s the inevitable nuisance of the hardware back button not refreshing the input screen properly. This results in the screen being unresponsive and in need of a refresh, which can be irksome after it’s happened a few times. If you can keep it in mind to always use the ON-SCREEN back buttons when using the program, you can use a Droid just as easily and conveniently as an iPhone user. (Not as pretty, true, but at least the colors are right.) And even if you have an iPhone, you may find the program unresponsive if you’ve been away from it for a while and your session with the server timed out in the interim. When in doubt, refresh.

These caveats aside, enjoy the unique options for navigating the TIFF 2010 lineup that Tiffwidget affords! Having an infinite variety of ways to navigate festival information is nice, especially when TOFilmFest.ca’s treasure trove of information is just a touch away for any movie that comes up that you want to know more about. Even if you want information from the TIFF.NET website or from IMDB, you can navigate the 2010 lineup at those sites FAR faster and more efficiently using Tiffwidget than you can using their native interfaces.

The Tiffwidget mobile website gives you rapid access to all of the information that can be accessed about any movie at playing at TIFF 2010 … the proprietary program for the Blackberry gives you micro-synopses. Choose wisely, and have a great fest!

Jeff Levin
The Help Command
Rochester, NY

Saturday, August 28, 2010 9:36:00 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey said...

As promised, I've updated Tiffwidget to make it compatible with regular browsers, as well. The one-column design may look a little strange, but it still does the job of getting you to the TIFF movie data you want to find faster and more efficiently than any alternative means.

No luck with the exasperating Droid problem, though. It looks like a basic shortcoming with the Droid hardware back button that there simply is no way to compensate for. (More on this here: http://www.droidforums.net/forum/droid-development/77540-droid-backbutton-vs-iphone-backbutton.html). If you have a Droid, you're simply going to have to remember to always return to the data entry screen from the results screen via the ON-SCREEN back buttons or get used to pressing refresh after returning via the Droid's built-in back button. If you have an iPhone, this won't be a problem.

The scheduling data displayed is accurate as of Monday the 6th, but please remember to check with the TIFF website (it takes only a click) for confirmation if you decide to attend a show listed here.

Jeff Levin
The Help Command
Rochester, NY

Tuesday, September 07, 2010 10:59:00 AM  

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