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October 08, 2022, 12:17:02 am
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Author Topic: WAP/WML  (Read 761 times)
Cobra!
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« on: September 02, 2022, 07:19:27 pm »

I've been getting into WAP, recently... no, not that kind, you perv! I mean Wireless Application Protocol!

Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, mobile phones were becoming advanced enough to have screens, and be able to send data other than voice, but weren't advanced enough to properly render HTML pages.

So they invented a protocol for these new internet-connected devices, using a simplified HTML-like language called WML (Wireless Markup Language).

Basically, everything was condensed into one page, which was divided into "notes", and you click on links to access those different notes.

There was no styling, and for version 1, you can only upload monocrome images.

In a way, it was like a mobile Gopher.

There was a version 2 which was a little closer to HTML, but still had limitations. I don't know too much about that.

Nowadays, though, phones are more than capable of rendering websites properly. In fact the tables are almost turned, with websites being made for mobile first, and desktop being afterthoughts.

I'd love to see WML make some sort of comeback, though. Gopher and Finger have done it, why not this?

I can't find any WML browsers for Android or iOS. There is a working desktop browser for WML pages, though, but is only for Linux. It's called wApua.

Based on videos I’ve seen, it looks dumb phones released today still use WAP, or at least WML, so I guess thats an option. Can anyone here confirm?

Personally, I've only experienced it for like half an hour back in the day, as my then new phone gave me a free hour. Never bothered with it since, though, and lowkey wish I did.

I do have my own WML site (in Scots), however, which I host on Neocites, if you want to (or rather can) check that out.

So anyone here remember WAP/WML? What were your experiences?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2022, 03:48:22 am by Cobra! » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2022, 08:02:00 pm »

Oh that's interesting. I haven't actually heard of that before.
Apparently it's not the first one either:



According to Wikipedia there are extensions for Firefox and even Chr*me to render WML. And WMLscript can replace Javascript. Fascinating.

I wonder if someone would be up for building a primitive community around that, like a webring.
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2022, 10:12:41 pm »

It worked!
Your website in all its glory:
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2022, 04:25:52 pm »

i’ve always loved the idea of WML and found it really charming, but the lack of current browsers for it kinda discouraged me from actually trying to make a site with it. maybe someday i should research the spec more and attempt to make a simple browser for it - that could be a fun project!
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2022, 06:18:37 pm »

i’ve always loved the idea of WML and found it really charming, but the lack of current browsers for it kinda discouraged me from actually trying to make a site with it. maybe someday i should research the spec more and attempt to make a simple browser for it - that could be a fun project!

You should contribute to wApua, it's free software and the dev is still alive and active. :)
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Cobra!
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2022, 03:05:25 am »

i’ve always loved the idea of WML and found it really charming, but the lack of current browsers for it kinda discouraged me from actually trying to make a site with it. maybe someday i should research the spec more and attempt to make a simple browser for it - that could be a fun project!

It would be amazing if you made a mobile browser. Neither Android nor iOS has a browser for it, and it’s an injustice imo!
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2022, 08:35:30 am »

Unfortunately, but somewhat ironically, none of the sites we build here are accessible by actual mobile WML browsers since they only support HTTP, not HTTPS. Just tried opening Cobra's website with my Nokia 6500 slide, and it doesn't know the SSL standard yet. :drat:
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2022, 04:34:20 pm »

Unfortunately, but somewhat ironically, none of the sites we build here are accessible by actual mobile WML browsers since they only support HTTP, not HTTPS. Just tried opening Cobra's website with my Nokia 6500 slide, and it doesn't know the SSL standard yet. :drat:
yeah, the completely unnecessary enforcement of HTTPS on static/personal sites has made the web inaccessible to older devices that still have the technical ability to browse these sites. it's a topic that i could rant about for hours, but i'll save that for a more relevant thread in the future. :p

It would be amazing if you made a mobile browser. Neither Android nor iOS has a browser for it, and it’s an injustice imo!
c# is the programming language i'm most familiar with, so i guess that's a good reason for me to finally look into xamarin for android!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2022, 06:22:58 pm by Frost Sheridan » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2022, 05:20:47 pm »

I have been in correspondence with the developer of wApua and reported a general bug (the one with valid DTDs not being accepted correctly). A new version is hence inbound! Also made him aware of our little hobby community here so perhaps there will be more features in the future? Who knows! :pc:
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Cobra!
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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2022, 01:51:51 am »

Unfortunately, but somewhat ironically, none of the sites we build here are accessible by actual mobile WML browsers since they only support HTTP, not HTTPS. Just tried opening Cobra's website with my Nokia 6500 slide, and it doesn't know the SSL standard yet. :drat:

Ah... I think I might be a member of a tilde server that can do regular HTTP, so I might try that.

I have been in correspondence with the developer of wApua and reported a general bug (the one with valid DTDs not being accepted correctly). A new version is hence inbound! Also made him aware of our little hobby community here so perhaps there will be more features in the future? Who knows! :pc:
Sweet! The project is alive! :D
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2022, 01:30:46 am »

Hi,

the author of wApua writing here. :)

I have been in correspondence with the developer of wApua and reported a general bug (the one with valid DTDs not being accepted correctly). A new version is hence inbound!

The new release of wApua is out now: 0.06.4

Also made him aware of our little hobby community here

I've just shot myself an account here. :)

so perhaps there will be more features in the future? Who knows! :pc:

Don't expect too much. :)

Sweet! The project is alive! :D

At least in the way that I will happily fix bugs or compatibility issues.

There is a working desktop browser for WML pages, though, but is only for Linux. It's called wApua.

It's not just for Linux. It reportedly also works on macOS or Windows (granted, it was Windows 95 ;D), see the screenshots.

Basically it should work on any operating system where you get Perl/Tk working. But yeah, it might need a bit more work (installing Perl and other dependencies) to get it running on non-unix-ish operating systems. Then again nowadays with WSL it should be easy to get it working on Windows, too.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2022, 03:41:05 am by XTaran » Logged

Cobra!
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« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2022, 11:36:57 pm »

Hi,

the author of wApua writing here. :)

so perhaps there will be more features in the future? Who knows! :pc:

Don't expect too much. :)

Sweet! The project is alive! :D

At least in the way that I will happily fix bugs or compatibility issues.
I'm still happy that you haven't abandoned it. Almost singlehandedly keeping the WML flame burning. :)

Unfortunately, but somewhat ironically, none of the sites we build here are accessible by actual mobile WML browsers since they only support HTTP, not HTTPS. Just tried opening Cobra's website with my Nokia 6500 slide, and it doesn't know the SSL standard yet. :drat:

I installed Opera Mini 8 on J2ME Loader on Android, and I tried my site, it works!



The image displays as it should here, but there are problems with it on wApua, any chance this could be addressed?
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