OK, now that we have our defaults, we are finally ready to configure individual documents in this SXL. I suggest you do some “site reconnaissance” first. No, this isn’t a military operation; this is web-site reconnaissance. Laurens has set up Sunrise XP to utilize Microsoft Internet Explorer’s cookies (and cache too) for various reasons. This is important if you wish to download websites that require registration that is retained in a cookie (in my sample SXL, nytimes.com is one of them). Otherwise, such a website will give your Plucker document a “please login” screen, and nothing else. I’m personally partial to Firefox (isn’t everyone?), but use Internet Explorer for site reconnaissance here, to get those cookies registered.
Your “starting webpage” for each document is called the “Source.” Remember that you’re going to start with the Source and linked webpages in Sunrise XP and parse them down to a form that can be viewed in Plucker. MobileRead has many listings for mobile-optimized sites that will work very well as your “Source” and ways to take advantage of them. The links in the item below are just the tip of the iceberg:
Another good option for the Source is to use RSS feeds-- look for a small orange rectangle logo like the one below with the letters RSS or XML. MobileRead provides a lot of information on what RSS is. If you click on a link leading to an RSS feed, you won't actually see a webpage, but rather XML code. But that's OK-- the URL for the feed you're looking at is what you want to use in Sunrise.
You’ll generally get very good results viewing mobile versions of websites or RSS in Plucker. RSS and often mobile versions help you avoid unwanted ads, and file sizes will be much smaller. A third possibility is “Printer-Friendly” (often without pictures) or “low bandwidth” versions of websites. The downside is that some of these alternatives may be limited in their offerings and may not include graphics. Experiment—you can even view the Mobile optimized sites right in Internet Explorer, though they’ll look funny on your PC screen.
Site reconnaissance is important while you’re creating the SXL because you need to decide just how much Sunrise XP needs to download to suit your needs. Remember that starting at the Source, Sunrise will download every possible
link or graphic that you designate, unless you filter or otherwise restrict what it downloads. For the benefit of both the web host’s bandwidth and your computer’s / PDA’s resources, you want to get what you need, but only
what you need, without going overboard. So surf around the website, particularly the Source page. Think about all of the links that are shown on that page, and consider what links are important and what extraneous stuff you shouldn’t download. Are graphics needed to enhance your experience, or are they unnecessary? Will you want to select links, then select links within those links? How can we leave out ads? Are there multiple versions of the same thing (one-page version, printer-friendly version, etc.) or other links (FAQ, “About Us”, “Contact Us”, etc.) that you really don’t care about? Do you want to allow links from outside that website’s domain?