Wikipedia Mobile #1

Published 2012-04-08, 02:00

This morning I accidentally installed Wikipedia’s mobile app on my iPad. It felt sluggish, strange and not at all what I expected. As bitching doesn’t help and I wanted to use my professional knowledge in my free time, I started poking around. This is the result.

Starting position

The iOS Wikipedia app has really bad ratings. Users complain about bad performance, bad usability and about the feeling that this is more an Android app but an iOS app. In sum, this creates you a rating of only 2 stars for the current version. Ouch.

Android users seem to be happier with their 4.5 star rating. The problems only exists with the iOS version of the (similar) app. Strange. Let’s start with the basics and look into the feature set:

Doesn’t sound too bad. It’s not only stuff a mobile web site could do, so an app makes sense. So lets start to investigate.

What’s the background of all that?

The AppStore description of the app also links to a Twitter account and the source code of the app on Github:

From these two links I basically spent hours reading, clicking, reading again – typical procrastination stuff (Procrastinators beware if you are even near Wikipedia articles…). But I learned a lot ;) Back to topic: The following links all are relevant to the mobile efforts of Wikipedia:

While reading these pages, I noticed information about two different iOS apps: One is based on Rhodes, one on Phonegap. It turns out the Phonegap version for iOS is quite new and the old one is to be retired and phased out:

So we have several projects and initiatives in the mobile space of Wikipedia:

Not too bad. Of course the articles in the wiki are quite… organically grown and sometimes hard to differentiate and classify. But I think that’s the case most of the time when volunteers and professionals work together.

The funny stuff: code

Now I have an overview, so let’s get back to the funny stuff: code.

As I have never used git before, I spend some time installing all the tools and learning how to use them. After that I can finally checkout the repository on Github. While I do this, I notice that the isn’t as pretty as all the readmes of the other Github projects I know. So that’s the first thing I decide to fix. 1 hours, lots of reading and 3 minutes of ‚coding‘ and a pull request later, it is done. My commit gets integrated by reedy a few minutes later. I’m in.

But now to the real code. The folder structure of the repository isn’t very clear. There are lot’s of confusing files in the root that don’t really belong there in a multi platform project, several folders that also don’t make sense to me or I can’t identify. Again, this seems to have grown over time. This is definitely something that could and should be fixed.

In /assets/www I find something that looks like the html application. Loooots of Javascript, jQuery and Zepto *confused. Anyway, using –disable-web-security I can open the Phonegap app in Chrome and even get it working! Still, several ‚file not found‘ as non-existant files are requested. But here it becomes quite clear, that the app itself is no bad in itself. It works, the code is more or less structured, you can see what the developer was thinking. Normally that’s a good thing. So as to not fish around without all information, I conclude my little poking session for today.


After getting this short glimpse into Wikipedia Mobile I think that the code isn’t the first problem to fix. First it needs some love in the Documentation and Organization of the code. So that’s where I will start. Let’s see what I can do.

PS: Well, I installed the app on my old iPod 3 (iOS 4.2.1) and tried to use it – completely unuseable. Maybe we should start with the code after all.

Topic(s): Kram, Mobile, Technik No comments - :(

iPhone-Apps analysieren

Published 2012-04-06, 22:55

Heute habe ich ein paar iPhone-Apps auseinander genommen und sowohl Funktionsweise als auch Datenverkehr näher angeschaut.


Dateien auslesen

(Binary) Plist Dateien anzeigen


SQLite Datenbanken anschauen

Web-Traffic nachvollziehen

  2. iPhone und Rechner in selbes WLAN
  3. Rechner-IP:8888 als Proxy der WLAN-Verbindung im iPhone einrichten
  4. Session capturen

SSL-Web-Traffic nachvollziehen

  1. Proxy -> Proxy Settings -> SSL -> Enable SSL Proxying
  2. Locations mit den entsprechenden Domaisn füllen
  3. Help -> Install Charles CA SSL Certificate -> Details -> In Datei kopieren -> Per Mail an iPhone senden und installieren

Vorsicht, besser nicht zu sehr bei der Installation von Apps benutzen, ich war heute 2 Stunden vom AppStore ausgeschlossen ;)

Mit dem Setup kommt man schon recht weit und kann doch so einiges lernen.

Topic(s): Kram No comments - :(

Kurze Analyse von Forge of Empires

Published 2012-03-29, 15:30

InnoGames hat mit Forge of Empires ein neues Browser-Aufbaustrategie-Spiel veröffentlicht. Logischerweise habe ich mir das ein wenig genauer angeschaut:



Performance-Optimierung am Beispiel:

Published 2012-03-22, 20:07

Ich habe mich ein wenig mit Performance Optimierung von Webseiten beschäftigt. In den nächsten Tagen und Wochen werde ich einige Beiträge dazu veröffentlichen. Den Anfang macht diese Beschreibung des Optimierungsvorgangs von

Beispielseiten für Optimierung


Erste Beobachtungen und Auswertung


Anwendbare Regeln aus High Performance Website Sites:

Rule 1 – Make Fewer HTTP Requests

Folgende Bilder können zusammengefasst werden:



Rule 3 – Add an Expires Header

Mit W3 Total Cache lässt sich sich das wunderbar erschlagen.


Rule 6 – Put Scripts at the Bottom

Das Analytics-Script ist zwar schon ganz unten, aber noch das alte synchrone. Also mal das neue besorgen und einbauen.


Rule 10 – Minify JavaScript (+ HTML + CSS)

Javascript gibt es keines, aber für Minify von HTML und CSS kann einfach W3 Total Cache konfiguriert werden, fertig.


Dann zum Abschluss noch ein bisschen serverseitiges Caching um DB-Anfragen und so weiter zu minimieren mit W3 Total Cache.


Tadaa, schnell.

Wireshark: Copy content of compressed requests

Published 2012-03-07, 17:40

Copying the content of a request compressed by using gzip is not easy in Wireshark:

  1. Click the request you want the content from
  2. In the Middle panel, click „Packet Details“
  3. Collapse all branches
  4. Right click on last Branch (Could be „Line-based text data: text/html“ or „Media Type“)
  5. Click „Copy“
  6. Click „Bytes (Printable Text Only)“

Now you have the content in your clipboard and paste it where you want.

Topic(s): Kram No comments - :(

Anwendungen und Tools zum Monitoring und Graphing von Serverdaten (Load, Memory, Traffic)

Published 2011-07-31, 18:19



Ergänzungen willkommen.

Topic(s): Technik 1 single comment - :/

Fix ugly fonts in Firefox 5

Published 2011-06-27, 09:40

  1. about:config
  2. gfx.direct2d.disabled auf true setzen
Topic(s): Kram No comments - :(

Secure XAMPP: only local connections

Published 2011-03-25, 12:23

1) Open file xampp\apache\conf\httpd.conf and replace

Listen 80



2) Open file xampp\apache\conf\extra\httpd-ssl.conf and replace

Listen 443



3) Open file xampp\mysql\bin\my.cnf|.ini and put in


directly after [mysqld] (NOT [mysql]!)

Topic(s): Kram No comments - :(

Dual-boot a hackintosh with Windows 7

Published 2010-07-07, 10:26

Topic(s): Kram No comments - :(

Pin Freemind to the taskbar in Windows7

Published 2010-04-08, 09:55

The normal Freemind shortcut goes directly to Freemind.exe, but as the execution takes place in Java you can’t pin this shortcut to the taskbar in Windows 7. Another icon will appear with the same icon. If you try to pin this icon, Freemind won’t start or the icon will change to the generic Java icon.

The solution to the problem is to change the target of the shortcut from […]/Freemind.exe to this:
"C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\javaw.exe" -jar lib/freemind.jar
Now you can pin the program to the taskbar in Win7 and use it as every other program.

And yes, this tip works with almost all Java programs that are delivered with working .jar files.

Topic(s): Kram No comments - :(

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