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Apache in a Wireless World Page 3

By Aaron Weiss (Send Email)
Posted Aug 17, 2000


#WML/WAP types
AddType text/vnd.wap.wml .wml
AddType application/vnd.wap.wmlc .wmlc
AddType text/vnd.wap.wmlscript .wmls
AddType application/vnd.wap.wmlscriptc .wmlsc
AddType image/vnd.wap.wbmp .wbmp

The basic WML file is delivered to the browser with MIME type text/vnd.wap.wml. In the statement above, we have told Apache to delivery this MIME type whenever the filename ends in the extension .wml. Similarly, appropriate MIME types are passed for other WML variants. The .wmlc files would be compressed WML files, while .wmls and .wmlsc represent WMLScript (a wireless scripting language) and compressed WMLScript, respectively. Furthermore, .wbmp files represent wireless bitmap files or WBMP, the graphic format that wireless devices support (as opposed to, for example, .gif or .jpg on desktop browsers).

Changes to the Apache httpd.conf file take effect only when the server is launched, so the server must be restarted to save the above changes for the new MIME types to apply. Once done though, Apache is ready to go, and will happily deliver WML and related files to a wireless device.

Development Simulation

You might be thinking, configuring Apache to deliver WML sounds nice in theory, but how can we see it in action? Without a wireless phone, aren't we flying blind?

Fortunately, no. If you're doing any development at all in WML, and also want to test drive your Apache configuration in delivering WML pages, check out Phone.com's UP.SDK package, which includes the incredibly handy UP.Simulator. The Simulator ("UP" stands for "Unwired Planet") displays a virtual cell phone on your desktop, which you can use to connect to and browse any WML page over the Internet (using your normal land-based Internet connection).

The Simulator even includes alternate "skins", or templates for various models of phone, so you can see how WML pages will be rendered on the particular screen size of a certain vendor model. The UP.Simulator is, as Martha Stewart would say were she to prototype WML pages for wireless delivery, "a good thing."

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