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Demystifying WML (part 1)
An introduction to the WML programming language.

| Or Is It? |

Of course, WAP - and its attendant user-interface language WML, which is actually the subject of this article - isn't completely free of gotchas. There are a number of issues that developers need to be aware of before they leap headlong into the world of WML.

According to the specification for Wireless Markup Language, which is currently being developed by the W@P Forum [http://www.wapforum.org], WML has been specifically developed for a certain class of device. The primary characteristics of this class of device are limited display area, limited memory and processing power, and low bandwidth connections - exactly the opposite, in fact, of the characteristics of a typical desktop PC.

Naturally, at the very outset, you get the feeling that WML content is going to be pretty boring - after all, compared to the glitz and glamour of the Web, reading plain text off a two-inch-high screen hardly constitutes riveting entertainment. Despite this, the rapid emergence of handheld devices and cellular phones means that there's a lot of attention currently being focused on WML - and consequently, developers who have thus far been content with HTML and JavaScript need to quickly get their arms around the new beast.

That's where we come in.

Over the next few pages, we'll be giving you a quick-and-dirty crash course in WML, starting off with the tools you'll need to develop WML content and continuing on with the basic elements of the language. If you're familiar with HTML, you should have very little trouble adapting to WML - and of course, we'll be here to catch you if you fall.

Onwards...


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