note-to-self: the following is a boatload of stuff related to the wireless application protocol. you probably won’t remember that you put them here for future reference. but they really are here if you need them. maybe you should start a topical index. rememember that dave pointed you to them.

first, not all is well in the world of wap:

“…criticisms fall into at least five categories:

WAP is designed to further the economic interests of the cellular carriers, the handset manufacturers, and sellers of WAP gateways.

The developers of WAP and WML, and the WAP Forum, failed to use the collaborative process within the W3C and rushed ahead on their own agenda.

The protocol is flexible enough to allow different implementations on different handsets and browser clients, meaning a dramatic increase in the number of interfaces that web developers will have to design for and serve to.

It is only a temporary fix, a stop-gap measure for the few years until more processing power and wider bandwidth (G3 networks).

An incompatibility between wireless and Net security protocols exposes encrypted transactions in the middle of their journey, making the system risky for secure transactions like bill paying or banking.”

but wait! there’s more:

“Mobile data is a compelling concept. The idea of being cut free from wires and being able to access information in various shapes and forms is hugely attractive. Being able to make use of the mobile phone
companys’ billing systems to allow for online purchasing is an awesome opportunity. There can be hardly any doubt that somehow, somewhere, somebody will figure out how to do it right, but on the evidence to date, WAP/WML is not the answer. Let’s hope that after this poor start the industry will get its act together better and start thinking from the consumers’ point of view, not its own.”

worried that the previous gripe was simply a disgruntled developer – don’t forget the survey of actual end users:

“Some 86.5 percent of respondents said that WAP services were too slow, while 85.5 percent complained about the price. There are too few services to make WAP attractive, according to 83.3
percent of those surveyed.”

and lastly, interesting comments via worldlink:

“Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal Europe had a fascinating piece on the strategy telecoms companies are following with WAP. They are “locking” their phones so that you can only access their portal, or even in some cases only access sites that have agreements with them. Have these people learned nothing from the Web?

Fortunately, mobile Internet company Wappup took France Telecom to court on this issue. The French courts ruled yesterday that France Telecom would have to unlock its phones — but only at users’ request! (Incidentally, it doesn’t look like Wappup understands the Web either — access to anything but the home page of their site, which is not very informative, requires a username and password. They do, however, have a link to the text of the French court decision, in French, bien sur.)

There are a number of issues here. First, trying to partition the Web is wrong and futile. As Dave Winer points out in Scripting News, if you aren’t getting the whole Web, you’re not getting the Web. Second, trying to confine users to a preplanned network not only loses the richness of the Web, it will terminally frustrate many users. If you’ve ever tried a WAP phone, the interface is already a huge constraint. The telecom giants may — with their misguided portal strategy — have found a way to kill WAP off once and for all.

Given the huge sums telecom groups are spending on the promised land of third-generation mobile services, they can perhaps leap over the constraints of WAP.”

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