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Mobile Internet: WML/WAP Tutorial
Part 1 - Introduction

Introduction

WML (Wireless Markup Language) is the new web language for making sites on mobile phones. Over the past few months new WAP (Wireless Applications Protocol) phones have become extremely popular and many large websites have created special 'mobile' versions of their site. Many people predict that, over the next few years, WAP sites will become even morepopular and e-commerce over mobile phones will be widely available.

Why Should I Use WML?

Although you might not have any plans immediately for creating a WAP version of your site, it is always a good idea to get involved in new technology. All you need to do is make a small site (even one page) which tells people a bit about your website. In the future you can develop the site further with things like e-mail and information for people to get directly off their phones.

The main sites which will benefit from WAP are ones providing a service like e-mail, live sports scores or a calendar service etc. but there are many other uses. For example, a site giving music reviews could put their reviews on a WAP site. People could then read the reviews on their mobile phone while browsing through the CDs in a shop.

I Don't Have A WAP Phone!

To create a WAP site you don't need a WAP enabled phone. You can get a WAP simulator for a PC. This is a piece of software which will give you a WAP phone on your desktop. You can then type in the URLs of WAP sites and can view them on your PC. You can get a very good free WAP simulator from YourWAP

How Do WAP Sites Compare To Normal Ones?

WAP sites are not like standard web sites at all. As an example, you are looking at part of the Gowansnet web site. Here is a screenshot of the Gowansnet WAP site (http://gowansnet.waphosts.net):

Gowansnet WAP Site

As you can see, sites written in WML are monochrome, very limited and there is very little screen space. Because of this you must be very careful when you are designing a WAP site as it is nothing like a web site.

What Now?

Just read on to learn how to create a WAP site using WML. It is a great advantage if you know HTML as WML is a lot like it (in fact WML is just a variant of XML, another web language).

© 1999 - 2001 David Gowans