WTF is Tap-a-Talk and ......

  • I need it? All I know is it has something to do with forums. Every now and then I get an email from these TaT people about someone on a forum who liked or commented on a post I wrote long time ago. I don't even participate on those forums anymore. Constantly getting requests to download app but I'm hesitant. I liked it the way it was. For those who use it, are things better than before or is it a pain in the ass? I get a bad feeling from the download prompts, like I'll be bombarded with useless crap and ads if I do. Probably a sign that I'm old and being run out of town.   Huh

Never heard of it till now (or blessedly already forgot if I did). Makes me glad I rarely or knowingly subscribe to alerts by email at any forum. Even though Tapatalk seems to be a legit app, the latter is still what malware & phishing could be hiding under, using as a facade. Don't click any link the email provides for downloading it (especially if it's a button rather than a text URL).

Still difficult to imagine forums being dominated by people on mobile devices rather than desktops and laptops. It's as if the web re-winded back to the 1990s... Webpages being converted to bare-looking affairs... Those minimalist graphics of todays operating systems... Things being stored online again and not just because the hard-drives have less storage space once more on those portable toys (solid-state drives actually).

And even when it comes to the old-time PCs... I dislike hybridized Win10. It even brought back crashing, something that seemed to have almost become extinct in Win7 if not even earlier with XP. Maybe the only OS for broad installation in computers that looks slash acts like a desktop OS anymore is Linux Mint. But it has fewer program options to install, etc.

One of the main advents with the continued swell of mobile platform usage was a way where particular sites that were designed with desktop browser in mind could be altered to fit the criteria of the smaller mobile displays. This lead to many avenues of application.

Originally WAPs (Wireless Application Protocol) WML ( Wireless Markup Language) was a complete nightmare when it came to website design. Entire websites would originally have to be ported into WML and it was a messy affair. As phones gained processing power, they've got to the point where they can handle a majority of what would have been thrown at a desktop browser with the only conditions being resizing fonts, margins etc to suit the size of the screen.

I assume Tapatalk (and other applications like that) attempted to act as a third-party system for conversion of the desktop format to mobile format, however it does leave the concern that using such an application exposes your passwords as plaintext since they act as a transparent proxy to the sites they connect to.

It is possible to attempt to make websites cross-platform compatible with the usage of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and mediaqueries (in the more recent CSS version) which allows the CSS to be applied in a similar fashion to the WML card layout where the mediaqueries can be bound by screentype, display size and even information like OS or platform.

One of the main problems though using CSS in such a fashion is it pushes it onto the browser developers to work out just how much information is buffered into the browsers cache, as pulling a file online currently means downloading it's entirety rather than identifying the indexes of what particular area of a file meets the criteria of the device loading it. (There are of course addition add-ons that people have developed to do just that, to strip the excess to keep the page clear of excess unused data.) Unfortunately I've not rigged that up on this site, should you view this through phone (the desktop version not the mobile version) or through a desktop, the sourcecode of the mark-up should be near enough identical.

So for whether you want to use or not use Tapatalk, that's entirely up to you. They could possibly have tapped into the OpenID schema which is why they can monitor all forums linked to a particular username (if logged in through OpenID) or even through an email address.

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