A Conversation for h2g2 On the Move

WAP is dead.

Post 1


Looks like WAP really will be a shortlived craze. The bidding has finished for the next generation of Broadband mobile phones, and handhelp computers and PDA's are getting better and better.
I often revert back to my trusty Psion using my 7110 as a glorified modem. With these PDA's with colour screens and cut down versions of real browsers, what will be the point of tiny text screens attatched to only certain "specialist" phones which force webmasters to write second versions of their sites in a different code, when a simpler low graphic HTML version is soo much easier.

WAP is dead.

Post 2

Adam C-R

In a way you're right - phones with titchy, black and white screens are on their way out. However, handheld devices are entirely different beasts to desktop or laptop computers and simply cutting down the graphics on a website and presenting it in a cut-down browser is not a good way of accessing information.

Think personalised, up-to-the-minute information, specific to when and where you are and accessible in less than five "clicks" (or nearest equivalent). It's coming soon and it might be HTML or WML but it won't be a cut-down web page.

WAP is dead.

Post 3


I tend to think that WAP is often thought of as either too much or too little. By that I mean that it's either over-promoted as the next biggest ever thing, or simply brushed off as an "in-betweenie" technology that will soon be replaced by G3 or something.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but WAP is simply a protocol like HTTP, and WML is a language like HTML. HTTP/HTML can be delivered over narrow band as well as broadband. We all get frustrated with low speed web connections, in a way the current generation of WAP on GSM is similar.

I think there is a future for "Wireless Applications", but the format will certainly evolve a lot.....

WAP is dead.

Post 4

Shins McT

Wireless apps, definitely (he says from the thoroughly baised viewpoint of a company which markets real-time financial price data delivery over GSM to a Windows CE device).

And that goes ditto for WAP, although I'm still curious about the business model of some content providers - if they're not selling anything explicitly, the only income I can see is from a proportion of connect time charges, since banner-ads (WAPvertising?) look like a non-starter until (a) screen resolution improves dramatically (mega-pixel in your pocket? A good trick if you can do it) and (b) bandwidth improves to the extent that users will tolerate it (i.e. G3).

WAP is dead.

Post 5

Researcher 140724

Sigh. Try getting your facts straight before shooting your mouth off. WAP is (as rightly stated below) a protocol. Think of it as how the web looked in the early-to-mid nineties. WML will still be there but being pumped over faster networks to higher-spec clients. PDAs, handheld computers and phones will converge. If not into one box, at least into very few boxen dynamically networked together. Whereas a PDA (such as your woefully underpowered Psion) is an expensive, proprietary hassle with limited functionality, a WAP client is the ultimate in thin clients. You can do anything with it, and if you can't, you can connect to something that can. Why exactly would webmasters have to write two versions of their sites? HTML and WML are very close as it is, and any webmaster with a clue (and an incentive) will be working with XML at the back-end anyway. As for "a few specialist phones", obviously at this stage only some phones have WAP capability. But five years ago only some computers had networking capability. If anything can be decreed dead, it's Windows CE. What a joke that is! Not only rigidly trying to retain the 'personal computer' model, but transfering it to an utterly unsuitable environment. Bye bye batteries...

WAP is dead.

Post 6

Researcher 141986

wap is a protocol.that's all!
it's above GPRS & UMTS. and it's an XML application!
this sum up demonstrates that WAP is not dead but what about HTML!compliant with XML???
in my opinion, the second point is the PRICE!!!
your f. PDA cost one year of a phone bill!
imagine your a lambda user and you want to browse internet!
the cheapest solution is your mobile for 50$ which can do everything your pda does(contact,sheduler, phone call, internet, email) except high screen resolution & actually colour for about ~500$.
I prefer the smallest and the cheapest one!!!
and if I need to browse the web and to work I use my desktop!

WAP is dead. or is it?

Post 7


I suppose that you are expecting to be able to access and surf the web in the same way that you do from your PC. If you are then you are correct in what you are saying, the next generation of devices will indeed offer a lot more.

On the other hand, if you are just using WAP as a cheap way to access your email and contact lists whilst on the move then why pay out the £180 or so, for a palm top?

I think that like most things WAP phones have filled a hold in the market and as such will stay with us for quite some time to come.

I base this theory on the fact that the idea of WAP was dismissed at first by the Internet community, but now!! Well they have given it its own language and large sites like this one have given time to it......

I leave you with this thought!

WAP is dead.

Post 8


The protocol layers of WAP will actually retain their relevance even in the Brave New World of GPRS, UMTS and That Which Shall Come After Them, for the simple reason that they deal with wireless networking in a way that straight IP was never designed to do.

HOWEVER, I believe that WML is the real dodo here. It's definitely an intermediate solution, which will Go Away as soon as we get some decent displays and faster speeds into our mobile phones.

If a regular website is moderately thin (no Flash, Shockwave, huge Jpegs and all that other useless crap), it loads practically as fast on my Sony CMD-Z5 as a Wapsite (yes, this phone actually does *both*).

In the meantime, as you correctly point out, webmasters with a clue will use XML, and render down to HTML or WML depending on the client that's hitting them.

WAP is dead.

Post 9

Adam C-R

> webmasters with a clue will use XML

Thanks for the compliment! smiley - winkeye

WAP is dead.

Post 10


You're welcome.

Anyway, arguing that WML is dead could lead one to argue that /any/ form of XML subset (GuideML, MathML) and so on is dead, because Yea Verily, it is not The True XML. This, of course, is tantamount to saying that any Lego model is rubbish, because once the bits are assembled, they're, e.g. a house, and can't be used easily to represent, e.g. an airplane, because you'd have to take everything apart again.

Plus also, as long as there's people like us who go out and buy phones that render WML, it's not dead. I know I can whip out my Psion5mx, infrared it to my mobile phone, and look at h2g2 in its (almost) full glory, but I feel a bit of a prat taking up half the table in the pub to do so. Not to mention the cost. Having a tiny little phone that fits into your palm is ever more discreet.

Plus also, this means you can use it as a cribsheet, and then impress your entourage by saying "Never mind, I know a really GREAT eat about two streets from here."

"But you don't KNOW [insert city name here]," they cry out.

"Ah-ha..." you say, tapping the side of your nose in a knowing manner...

WAP is dead.

Post 11

Adam C-R

Actually there's already a cheat-sheet service available on WAP especially for students in exams... Available from http://www.yourwap.com

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