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Chapter 10. Browsing the Wireless Web > The Blazer Web Browser and the Wireless...

The Blazer Web Browser and the Wireless Web

Before getting into the specifics of the Blazer Web browser application, it's important to cover a few important concepts related to mobile browsing. First off, you've probably heard the expression “wireless Web.” If so, you were quite likely hearing someone talk about WAP, even if he or she didn't realize it. WAP (pronounced so that it rhymes with “map”) is a technology that enables wireless devices to receive data from the Internet and display it on their constrained displays. You can think of WAP as essentially a technology that supports a minimal Web browser on wireless devices. However, as its name clearly states, WAP is not an application but a protocol.

WAP must be supported on both the client (device) and the Web server, and there must also be a WAP Gateway, which is an intermediary between the Internet and the device's mobile network. The WAP Gateway is responsible for converting WAP requests into traditional Web requests and vice versa. Web pages for WAP are somewhat different from traditional web pages in that they are written in a special markup language called Wireless Markup Language (WML) instead of the familiar HTML. WML also supports WMLScript, a scripting language that is a simplified version of JavaScript. Web pages designed for WAP tend to be minimal in design as well as content. The number of WAP/WML sites is limited, at least in comparison to normal HTTP/HTML sites.


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