"Vendors of wireless communications devices, including such
heavyweights as Nokia and Motorola, realized that a data routing
system was necessary to push information across wireless networks,
which operate with different principles and constraints than
physical land lines. ... WAP was designed to push data across the
many various types of wireless network topographies in a secure
manner, since the wireless space is inherently more vulnerable to
eavesdropping than are physical connections. ... A companion to WAP
was needed then, as well as a defined document format that would
render sensibly in the constrained space of small wireless
"The Wireless Markup Language, WML, will strike a familiar chord
to anyone who has ever worked with the HTML behind most Web pages.
In fact, WML is a specific implementation of XML, defining a markup
syntax and structure with which users can design pages suitable for
a small device. HTML and WML operate on slightly different
underlying metaphors. Whereas HTML is premised on the
now-ubiquitous "page" metaphor, WML rests on a "deck of cards"
metaphor. Typically, an HTML document represents a single Web page,
but a WML document represents a deck within which there can be one
or more cards. Navigation within the deck consists primarily of
flipping between cards in the deck, either in sequence or via
"By and large, the Web server doesn't need much tweaking to
deliver WML pages to a wireless device. As far as Apache is
concerned, it needs only to know how to recognize the MIME type of
the file, based on the file's file name extension. Apache will pass
this MIME type to the receiving browser and, assuming the browser
knows WML, it will know what to do with a WML type file."
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