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WAP is Dead, Long Live WAP

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the ideas-before-their-time dept.

Communications 230

antimatt writes "Everyone knows WAP is dead. It was dead on arrival. Right? Wrong. WAP use, at least in the UK, is up 42% in the last year. Are we seeing postmortem twitching, or a phoenix rising from the wireless ashes?" While the first incarnation was pretty rough, WAP is slowly growing into what people had hoped the first version would be. Now if only it just lost the stigma attached to it.

cancel ×

230 comments

WAP is way up in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9942857)

In the UK WAP is up 42% last year

Oh yeah WAP is up infinitely higher in the US. I just turned on my WAP phone to see if it still works so the number will show 1/0 for the year.

one divided by zero... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9942878)

is that an infinite number of users??.. ;P

Re:one divided by zero... (1)

StalinsNotDead (764374) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942934)

If it's up from 0 users, yes.

omg lol (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9942858)

I saw a nothing to see here move along.. it's gotta be fp record.. :)

It's by no accident... (-1, Troll)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942859)

...that WAP rhymes with CRAP.

The name... (2, Funny)

Mohammed Al-Sahaf (665285) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942942)

WAP is the sound your WAP-enabled phone makes when you throw it in the trashcan!

ass master (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9942863)

ass master

Ars Technica article on wap: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9942864)

fr1st ps0t, holmes

BSD DEAD

WAP DEAD

LINUX DEAD

SLADHWOD TEAD

You am teh FAIL!!!!! propz to gnaa

Re:Ars Technica article on wap: (-1, Troll)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942881)

As you know Apple is dea.... Dam I should of used Windows!

One more user .. (5, Funny)

grazzy (56382) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942866)

.. and it'll gain another 100%.

Re:One more user .. (4, Funny)

MrChuck (14227) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943105)

Hey, I use it
along with BSD.

Guess I'm doomed.

(DOOMED!)

not dead until... (5, Funny)

5m477m4n (787430) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942869)

I won't believe it until Netcraft confirms it.

WAP 1 vs. 2 (4, Interesting)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942882)

WAP has such a negative stigma attached to it because that's what carriers marketed several years ago
The stigma is largely a result of the lack of support for WAP 2. Many new phones on the market today support only WAP 1, as well as most of the existing phones already in use.

WAP 1 had some limitations and faults, but much of that has been addressed in WAP 2. However WAP 2 is only supported by newer, higher end phones.

Re:WAP 1 vs. 2 (4, Funny)

garglblaster (459708) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943126)

WAP has such a negative stigma attached to it because that's what carriers marketed several years ago


So what does the acronym WAP actually stand for?

Answer: Wait And Pay.

Re:WAP 1 vs. 2 (5, Funny)

Greger47 (516305) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943157)

No, WAP isn't an acronym. It's and onamatopoetic word derived from the sound your phone makes when you throw it at the wall out of frustration...

/greger

The site is pretty slashdotted, so... (1)

Sasha Slutsker (799836) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942883)

Here is the article text:

There's a pretty big misconception that WAP has been a miserable failure, but the much-maligned technology continues to putter along.

UK trade group the Mobile Data Association says that 1.11 billion WAP pages were viewed in the country in June, a 42 percent increase over June 2003, and over 4 billion pages were viewed in the second quarter, driven by ringtone downloads as well as the Euro 2004 football tournament.

Four billion pages in three months isn't bad for a technology that was supposed to have died on arrival several years ago. Certainly faster GPRS and 3G connections help, as do advanced handsets, but the biggest change has come in the design of mobile services and how they're marketed.

WAP has such a negative stigma attached to it because that's what carriers marketed several years ago, rather than what could be done with WAP, and the technology got the blame for misguided and poorly implemented content. Systems like Vodafone live!, i-mode and O2 Active are successful, in part, because they separate the technology from the services. The majority of users don't care how their phone gets the news headlines or sports scores, just that it can and does. Make technical information available for the geeks that want it, but sell simpler services to the masses.

But these services are all better designed than early WAP efforts as well, and the difference is more than color icons. Content providers are finally gaining an understanding of what works on a mobile device, though some are still stuck on what doesn't. But just as WAP has evolved from WML to XHTML, what programmers do with those languages has to change as well.

Mobile search must continue to improve, since mobile users typically go online in search of specific information rather than just to browse. This also reinforces the need for robust personalization features and smarter systems that help users get to the information they're looking for more quickly.

And stay dead! (4, Insightful)

Onan (25162) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942890)

We already have a language which was designed to scale very far up or down, and to adapt itself to disparate display environments: HTML.

And if people would just use it as intended, rather than trying to smother it in ecmascript, flash, et al, we wouldn't need to come up with a whole new protocol every time a new display gadget becomes popular.

Re:And stay dead! (4, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942943)

well.. actually most of the useful sites to browse from phone are writtin in either html or xhtml-mp, but reachable through 'wap'gateway(important billing wise with some operators)...

with the modern phones any decently put together site is viewable pretty well, as long as the creators weren't too narrow minded.

(though, there was a 'need' for wap, it was to minimize the amount of data needed to transfer and to make the browsers simple/small, however as tech progresses so quickly they should have realised that by the time this thing would catch on it wouldnt be too costly to have a semi-full html browser)

Re:And stay dead! (3, Insightful)

FrankHaynes (467244) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943228)

with the modern phones any decently put together site is viewable pretty well, as long as the creators weren't too narrow minded.


That qualification just excluded a good number of sites. I do occasional work at an art college and their web design class there focuses on how to gum up your web site with Flash widgets and scripts and animation...completely disregarding that a growing number of web site visitors on mobile devices will be unable or unwilling to partake of that 'rich user experience' that gobbles up their costly bandwidth. The kids eat this stuff up without any comprehension of the impact on the user, based on my discussions with some of them who take that class.



WAP will stay dead as long as narrow-minded people want to show the world how 'artistic' they can be, whether it takes the form of HTML, XHTML, XML, etc.; these just provide more ways for thoughtless web authors to paint themselves and their hapless clients into a corner.


Re:And stay dead! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943230)

with the modern phones any decently put together site is viewable pretty well, as long as the creators weren't too narrow minded.
Circles are hexagonal, as long as pi is 3.

Re:And stay dead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943258)

We already have a language...

WAP is a suite of standards not a language.

Problems.. (-1, Troll)

artlu (265391) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942891)

Im stuck using WAP when im on the road for monitoring stock trades for my company [groupshares.com] , but the reaction times/load times are just ridiculous. 5 minutes to load one page.. jesus. If reaction times were instant but data speeds were slow, im sure a lot more people would join on the WAP bus. Second, the cost. AT&T charges damn close to $7 for 1 meg of transfer per month, that will never sell the the consumer audience.

Re:Problems.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9942927)

Sounds like you've had a bad experience with WAP -- one that's probably quite uncommon. My girlfriend and I both use WAP to read news etc. during boring classes, as well as check stocks etc. Loads very fast (about 3-4 seconds to load a page, even when using CSD and not GPRS).

Re:Problems.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9942969)

Don't blame the slow service on WAP. WAP is a decent GPRS connection is better than snappy.

Re:Problems.. (1)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942974)

That isn't WAP, that has to do with your data connection. WAP is a standard for web browsers on mobile devices - it defines markups and alike.

In GSM networks you can run WAP over GSM data, GPRS, or 3G networks, which will give increasingly good performance.

Re:Problems.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943255)

WAP is a standard for web browsers on mobile devices - it defines markups and alike.
That's WML, you 'tard.

Re:Problems.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943030)

Please everyone, stop modding this asshole up. He's just pimping his stock scam site.

And AT&T is one of the worst cell providers for cost, get Sprint you wanker, unlimited data. Of course, you can probably afford AT&T because of all the money you stock scam out of people.

Re:Problems.. (1)

joggle (594025) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943210)

...all the money you stock scam out of people.

So, if I understand you correctly:

  1. Set up a website.
  2. Stock scam out of people.
  3. Profit!!!
So, if I do frontal lobotomies on a bunch of scammers, I'll become rich from all the good karma I accrued, right?

hey spammer, scam somewhere else (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943033)

why does every single post [slashdot.org] of yours on slashdot mention your shitty pump and dump stock scam [groupshares.com] ?

why are you really here on slashdot ? perhaps you would do better if you concentrated on your portfolio's selection rather than spam people with pump and dump [groupshares.com] scams , maybe the authorities should take a closer look at you

Re:hey spammer, scam somewhere else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943198)

I so agree... I'm getting a little tired of seeing his fucking site linked to in every /. story. .

Re:Problems.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943262)

5 minutes to load one page.. jesus

Bullshit, since I view Telephia rankings of all carriers statistics, ATT Wireless ranks fastest among carriers, its in seconds, not minutes. Not 1 carrier is slower than 30 seconds.

Telephia has wireless WAP devices in all major cities, and runs automated test suites every 15 minutes, then generates reports and alarms if an outage. The markets are much better than single users report. Most major companies have no issues nationwide, that you report.

Coverage is a different subject, since not all carriers cover the same areas. It's getting better with carriers (TDMA as an example) allowing free roaming (aka Cingular/ATTWS) for better coverage.

See, http://www.telephia.com/Products/ServiceQualityPro ductSuite/DNA-WAP_Internet.htm for more information.

What/Who is Dead? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9942892)

A. WAP
B. BSD
C. Stephen King
D. Mary-Kate Olsen

Trollster-Pollster

The real reason... (4, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942896)

The only reason the usage has gone up is that everyone's using WAP to cheat on pub quizzes by using Google.

Re:The real reason... (5, Funny)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942968)

I have a T-mobile Sidekick/Hiptop and I have always thought of doing that while playing NTN but it's just not fast enough. You are better off guessing or waiting for them to tell you the answer (depending on the game type).

What wireless net access *is* good for (as explained by a friend) is finalizing drunken bar arguments over stupid shit like "what was the name of the juice that the Gummi Bears drank to make them bounce?" "Gummiberry Juice" is the correct answer in case you were wondering.

Sadly the bartender wouldn't name a shot after it.

Re:The real reason... (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943163)

What wireless net access *is* good for (as explained by a friend) is finalizing drunken bar arguments over stupid shit like "what was the name of the juice that the Gummi Bears drank to make them bounce?" "Gummiberry Juice" is the correct answer in case you were wondering.
I swear to go i've had the exact same drunken conversation.

Re:The real reason... (1)

doodlelogic (773522) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942998)

The only reason the usage has gone up...

Another reason may be that the third generation services from 3 (e.g. video clips of news and football/cricket/wimbeldon), while charged for, normally come with a headline and sometimes a short summarry delivered over WAP, gratis. So if all you want is the cricket score, you can get it for free every half hour or so.

Sure 3 has a comparatively small userbase, but they are the early adopters & likely to be using the various services much more per head than the huge installed bases of the big four.

The problem with WAP (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9942897)

The problem with WAP is that it sucks. Proof is here: http://www.kiskeya.net/ramon/quotes/wapsucks.html [kiskeya.net]

The WAP standard is not closely followed by all phone/PDA browsers. You have the openwave browser working pretty well with it, and then you have the Nokia phones crashing the whole phone with some markup (even valid markup).

People should fix their browsers, it not just a matter of fixing WAP itself only.

I found wap.h2g2.com to be usefull (0)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942898)

Back before I lost my job and had to cut back on IP compatibility on my cell phone. Been 6 months working again- and I hope to clear up the credit by this time next year.

My main problem... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9942907)

My main problem with wap was that it costed 10p/minute. I used it a bit when I had a month for free, but haven't used it since. What's the point in investing huge amounts of money in something, and then making it so expensive that no one will use it?

Re:My main problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943025)

eggs f'n zactly. wap is far too expensive. i have it on my gsm, and it costs me over a euro to check the weather. screw that!

Re:My main problem... (1)

Soruk (225361) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943069)

I'm on Orange UK, with an old, ringfenced tariff (Everyday 50 - 50 minutes a day offpeak every day). On that, WAP costs 5p/min daytime, and inclusive then 5p/min offpeak. Or on GPRS without a bundle it's £3.00/Mb.

I've just added the 3Mb GPRS bundle for £4 (this covers both GPRS WAP and GPRS internet access) - and when my bill arrived, I found out it even included 4 hours of dial-up WAP access. I think I'll use the dial-up WAP and leave my GPRS bundle for the internet access!

Set up your own WAP gateway (4, Interesting)

Alan Cox (27532) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943110)

All you need is a dialin modem (eg an old pay as you go mobile 8)) and a Linux box running kannel - now your normal call rate/sminutes apply. GPRS also helps a lot since its then traffic by usage. Certainly thats the big reason I now use the mobile phone stuff a lot more.

GPRS is actually a lot better for things like irc, which being such low traffic volumes means you can irc on long train journeys with your phone plugged into the sockets virgin trains now supply, and at a low typical cost.

WAP seems to be on the increase. I've had more mails in the past 3 months about the wapirc gateway I wrote for my old 7110 than in the 2 years before.

Re:My main problem... (1)

dyefade (735994) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943114)

To be fair, if you pay per meg on GPRS it's a lot cheaper, and faster.

Must be the branding (4, Insightful)

Lispy (136512) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942908)

Most new phones, at least over here in germany, are branded by the provider. Of course it is technically possible to flash the software but most users keep whatever their phone carries.

This means that some keys are preprogrammed to dialup the default GPRS-connection whenever they get pressed (mostly by accident when the phone is in the pocket and you forgot to lock the keyboard). Maybe the service gets really more popular but I would love to see a statistic that shows how many connections are dialed by mistake.

WAP in the UK (3, Interesting)

AveBelial (762816) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942910)

I live in the UK and now after more and more mobile phone offer services such as Colour backrounds, Java Gaming, Ringtones ETC, many websites have started up to give theese for free through wap, which was the main useage between myself and friends, also things such as Vodaphones "Live" service helps, giving a user friendly portal to services that are actully USEFUL, things like train and bus times etc, and because this is set up through the provider, you are linked striaght into the information service. GPRS also will have played a factor in this as there is no more dialing up, or costs per min. Christ even my mother looks up bus/train times on her mobile, and downloads dodgy ringtones!

What?! (0, Offtopic)

EvanED (569694) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942916)

Everyone knows that random statements of "X is dead" are always to be taken seriously...

BSD is dead.

Re:What?! (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942957)

Yes, but is XFree86 dead?

Re:What?! (1)

CharonIDRONES (656891) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943054)

Yeh, then there are always the people who must always chime in going "X is not dead! X rocks so much, I still use X everyday"

Not that anyone from Slashdot would ever be one of these people.

-Brandon

Re:What?! (1)

maskedbishounen (772174) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943080)

*cough*
Dreamcast
*cough*

xhtml (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9942918)

What about xhtml? Even my crappy Nokia 6800 supports this and WAP 1.2.1...

Slashdot wap page? (4, Interesting)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942929)

Speaking of which, when will we see WML version of Slashdot? Currently I use http://slashdot.org/palm [slashdot.org] as the homepage in my cellphone, which works fine, but a true WAP page would be better.

As the (on topic) side note there is no reason for WAP to die, as it actually is pretty useful. Not only for gratuities checking slashdot and news on the cellphone, but for truly useful things. The public transport system here has a WAP page for checking timetables, which is pretty useful if you don't want to walk from the bar to the busstop only to find you have a halfhour's wait.

Several TV channels here also put out all there tele-text material on wap, which is nice because it is brief, up to date, and meant to read on a low res screen. The only thing wrong with WAP is the silly price for wireless data (2 Euro per meg!)

Re:Slashdot wap page? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9942972)

Cool,

I didn't know there was a light weight palm page.

It loads so nicely in moz, so will be using it there :D

Re:Slashdot wap page? (1)

Celt (125318) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942982)

thanks man been looking mobile version of /. for ages (that actually updates)

As for WAP, I was in the UK visiting last March and bought myself a O2 sim card (pay as you go) and GPRS traffic was free, I basically used it every day to check my mail and read news as I had no other internet access at the time :(

Comparing that to Ireland where it costs 3c per kb which sucks big time

And that one stinks too! (4, Insightful)

SlashChick (544252) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943004)

Adding to my earlier rant [slashdot.org] in this same article, what's up with the Slashdot WAP page? Sure, the articles are nice, but "Top 5 comments" only? How useful is that?

Why doesn't Slashdot have an option to view the whole article including comments? Better yet, why can't we view the article in "light" mode without all that crufty table formatting?

Perhaps I'm asking for a lot from a site that still uses HTML 3.2 (and can't even seem to conform to that standard), but honestly, folks, it's not 1998 any more. There are a lot of people out there who would love to view Slashdot and other sites through Palm-type browsers, but when there's no content, there's not much reason to do so. Phones are becoming more and more advanced, but very few websites seem to be pushing the cutting edge in mobile compatibility.

Re:And that one stinks too! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943137)

There is NO reason Slashdot can't be viewed on a WAP phone - except for the laziness of the people who run it. This bloated crap they call slashcode produces about 1000% of the volume of data it needs to. There is no reason you couldn't view all comments and links on any post-2000 browser phone.

But efficiency, what's that? It's that thing you whine at Microsoft not having. Back to watching anime, boys.

Re:And that one stinks too! (1)

Jahf (21968) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943252)

Well crap ... I spent about an hour one day paging through /. on a WAP phone without using the /palm version ... oh the time I could have saved.

Then again it was at an airport and wasting time was the main reason I was using WAP in the first place, so maybe it served the purpose.

Re:Slashdot wap page? (1)

dyefade (735994) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943028)

2 EURO PER MEG!?!!?!?

That's like £1.50! I pay £4/meg in the UK!!!!!

What provider are you on?

Re:Slashdot wap page? (5, Informative)

eggz128 (447435) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943055)

Google has a WAP proxy. Go to wap.google.com on your cellphone, enter http://slashdot.org/palm as the search term, then select settings and select URL destination, go to the wapalised Slashdot and bookmark that.

At least, thats how I've been reading slashdot for a year or so on my mobile phone.

Re:Slashdot wap page? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943089)

Mod parent up - that is surprisingly useful!

Re:Slashdot wap page? (1)

Garabito (720521) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943134)

go to the wapalised Slashdot and bookmark

A new word to my vocabulary.

Re:Slashdot wap page? (1)

AveBelial (762816) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943109)

use an XML Parser anduse the slashdot feed, thats what i did on my mobile

Slashdot !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9942933)

Ive been using WAP & GPRS to read slashdot with when I'm on the run. I wasn't until I got GPRS I used it and it's still a bit clunky because you have to use a proxy, but it's it'll sooth you when you can't get an internet connection.

Everyone knows WAP is dead (0, Redundant)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942948)

And the wikipedia link on the word WAP contains this:

WAP has seen huge success in Japan

Who cares about some device-specific protocol anyways? Does it really affect my life if people are using it or not?

Few problems (4, Interesting)

usefool (798755) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942950)

There are few problems with WAP usages, at least from my personal point of view.

First is the cost, it's not that cheap to use it yet as most service providers are charging by the seconds or bytes.

Secondly, some phone designs are not good enough to use WAP comfortably, but I am sure this will change with more all-you-can-eat phones coming out.

On top of that, there isn't enough incentive for site owners to provide a WAP friendly interface, because there isn't much to make out of it.

Maybe if phone service providers start offering 'referral incentive' to sites, that is, to pay site owners $0.001 per visit via mobile phone, we might be seeing something very quickly.

Personally I believe providers make more than enough to pay that incentive, and with more sites becoming WAP friendly, more users will start using WAP, and the more the providers will make, and the more they can afford to pay site owners or lower the WAP access cost.

Wap is too limited (3, Insightful)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942952)

My phone has the real internet, though the more compicated sites don't work right.

WAP's problem is the developer has to put in extra effort just to deliver a crappy version.

XHTML and the real internet is the future. Flash is a cancer.

Urban Connection (1)

c0dedude (587568) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942953)

The UK is more urban than the US. S. Korea is more urban than the US. These gagets, especially cell phones, facilitate an urban lifestyle by allowing quick communication between people away from a phone. Cell phones just don't make as much sense in rural areas because even if you could see somone, he or she might be 50 miles away. Quick action in social networks is more essential in a densly populated populated areas, thus allowing the growth of cell phones. Like any other gadget, e.g. the computer (internet), phone (fax), and electricity (telegraph), it's natural for changes in the communication protocal to grow off it. I predict that within 10 years the videophone will be in majority use in Seoul and Hong Kong.

The soul usage (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942956)

The soul usage for WAP that i've actually found useful is to remote control my computers. Nothing like reviewing logs on that fishing trip =P

Yes, i know i'm hopeless.

looking for revenue streams (1)

mikieboy (661018) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942958)

the itu got caught off guard by the popularity of sms and feel that they undercharged for it. now they have the debts from the 3g grab the money auctions in the uk and are trying any way they can to get people to use their cellular charge per meg bandwidth. Pictures didn't tempt people so here is new WAP to encourage us all to forget about those pesky bills and keep these poor starving telco businesses in profit.

greece ruled :P (2, Insightful)

topgan1 (725611) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942959)

wap was never alive :)...at least in Greece.

Where's the f'ing CONTENT? (5, Insightful)

SlashChick (544252) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942966)

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I own (and love) a Treo 600. [palmone.com] Got it for $400 on eBay; the best $400 I've ever spent. I love being able to SSH, send and recevie email, and log onto AIM from my phone! However, online wireless content is severely lacking.

My worst pet peeve about the wireless world in general is that there just isn't enough content out there designed for mobile devices. Ever tried to load movies.yahoo.com on a Treo? Even at 144K speeds (twice as fast as a 56K modem), the movies.yahoo.com page takes forever to load because it's a 250K+ page. How about citysearch.com? Also horribly bloated.

I have Small Sites [209.221.153.18] set up as my home page on my Treo, but most of the sites it links to are outdated, toast, or horribly broken. For instance, Yahoo! Movies is on there, but is often broken ("Page not found", anyone?) Citysearch or a comparable site doesn't even make the list.

Why can't I log on, type in my zip code, and get movies, restaurants, maps, and driving directions from my Treo? That's 90% of what I need WAP for. But the "portal" sites seem like an artifact of the dot-com boom -- missing or outdated information, or whole pages that just don't work.

Yahoo/other portal companies, are you listening? Please create a WAP or "wireless-web"-capable interface for me (and the thousands of others like me who know how frustrating it is to load a 200K page on a Treo or similar device.)

Re:Where's the f'ing CONTENT? (3, Informative)

singularity (2031) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943007)

Check out Vindigo [vindigo.com] .

An entire Palm application, for $25/year, that does everything you want it to do.

The best $25 I ever spent on my Clie.

It can also do wireless sync'ing, so you can update the information from your Treo easily.

Re:Where's the f'ing CONTENT? (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943170)

Why can't I log on, type in my zip code, and get movies, restaurants, maps, and driving directions from my Treo? That's 90% of what I need WAP for. But the "portal" sites seem like an artifact of the dot-com boom -- missing or outdated information, or whole pages that just don't work.

I don't know what a Treo is, but my phone cost about the same amount (well would have been cheaper if I sent in the rebate, didn't care though) yet I can do all of the stuff you just mentioned except for SSH. I don't need movies.yahoo.com, I use T-Zones (some service with t-mobile.) And I can call people too (calling people with a cell phone? What a novel idea!) Was really helpfull while I was driving across the country, I had to send a few important e-mails about shipping an item to AZ so it would arrive when I got there. And I can use T-zones as long as I have service (and I don't think there was like 30 minutes where I didn't have service.) Anyway, I wonder how much your service costs, it sounds like it would be expensive.

Re:Where's the f'ing CONTENT? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943219)

are you really a chick?????? oh gosh, i would like to suck your cunt like there was no tomorrow

New Technology Lifecycle (4, Insightful)

Bubblehead (35003) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942979)

(1) New technology gets developed;
(2) Corporations see the potential, and start huge marketing campaigns;
(3) Industy trend setter (Wired, etc.) hype the technology beyond means;
(4) Technology doesn't deliver, because it isn't mature yet (and applications are missing);
(5) Industry trend setter declare the technology dead;
(6) Surprise - years later, the technology has a comeback, often without ordinary folks even noticing.

I have seen this happening often (Java, Bluetooth, etc.), and it seems to happen again. I once heard that new technologies, no matter whether software or otherwise, take an average of seven years to mature. Java is a great example: Released in 1995, and hyped like crazy, failed to deliver. Interestingly enough, it got hyped as a web language and succeeded in the enterprise.

Back to WAP: The article acknowledges this mechanism:

"WAP has such a negative stigma attached to it because that's what carriers marketed several years ago, rather than what could be done with WAP"

Pure marketing hype, without knowing how to deliver.

"... the technology got the blame for misguided and poorly implemented content."

Like with Java, the application of the technology was not yet completely understood.

"The majority of users don't care how their phone gets the news headlines or sports scores"

... the same way that most users don't care whether the sites they visit are driven by JSP, PHP or ASP. I bet most uses think Java is dead (if they even know what it is). Likewise, myst users don't care about WAP.

Let's face it: Most technologies get only powerful and influencial once they are not sexy any more - and even then only geeks will notice.

Re:New Technology Lifecycle (2, Funny)

Lispy (136512) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943233)

That would make 2005 the year Linux will succeed. I will watch carefully.

WAP is alive! (5, Funny)

Garabito (720521) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942984)

I think WAP is a very cool and convenient technology, it's the best thing since sliced bread and it lets me

more...

Re:WAP is alive! (0, Flamebait)

kruczkowski (160872) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943165)

Next time you use Microsoft's Word Troll Wizard make sure you fill out all the fields.

The Reason it's only just starting to catch on... (3, Interesting)

dyefade (735994) | more than 9 years ago | (#9942987)

is that vendors are only just starting to really make the effort with their portal services. For example, I (in the UK), am on Orange, it's only recently that the majority of people have had WAP compatible phones, so it's only recently Orange have really made the effort to provide a decent WAP service. Add to this the slow (but now nearly there) uptake of GPRS, and it's not surprising it's taken until now for WAP to become popular. I've only just started to use it myself.

Another reason it's use is picking up (I would think...) is that you can buy java games, ringtones, graphics etc from your provider via WAP, which is now a big business.

wap.slashdot.org? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9942999)

WAP on a modern 3G telephone works good.

Now, when will we see a wap version of slashdot? :)

Re:wap.slashdot.org? (2, Interesting)

Soruk (225361) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943116)

It doesn't help that the only consumer-level 3G service in the UK, Three [three.co.uk] , only offer a walled garden of content, and don't even permit data calls. No data calls? Even my old Cellnet PAYG SIM allowed me to do that (at a price).

The wap killer app (1)

Xhargh (697819) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943005)

If http://www.imdb.com/ [imdb.com] would build a nice and clean wap interface to their movie database, then I would use wap a lot more than I do today.

Re:The wap killer app (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943022)

To do what? Getting local times from moviefone I can see, but remembering who played the black guy in that movie you saw on late night TV while you're stuck on a bus with no internet access?

Re:The wap killer app (1)

Xhargh (697819) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943051)

Actually to check if the movie I intend to buy/rent seems to be good.

Re:The wap killer app (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943149)

If http://www.imdb.com/ would build a nice and clean wap interface to their movie database, then I would use wap a lot more that I do today.

WARNING: shameless plug!

If that's what you want, and if you have a Palm device (with an SD Card or with lots of free internal RAM), go to PocketSensei [pocketsensei.com] and get VideoHound and REX. If it's a US-release, feature film that ever made it to DVD or VHS, it's pretty much definitely in there. Very handy at the video store, because you get an unbiased review, not the always-positive review (from some newspaper in Topeka) on the back of the box.

(Why is it a shameless plug? I wrote the app.)

WAP for tracking Euro banknotes (2, Interesting)

avij (105924) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943009)

We [eurobilltracker.com] use WAP [eurobilltrackerforum.com] for tracking Euro banknotes while travelling. Most of the notes are entered via the web form, but when you're travelling you may not have an internet connection available all the time and that's where WAP comes handy. I just spent a weekend in Brussels in our annual EuroBillTracker meeting, my life would have been miserable if I didn't have my phone with me ;) Unfortunately there are some bugs and limitations in phones that need to be worked around somehow.

Re:WAP for tracking Euro banknotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943070)

Wow! You are the biggest geek on /.

Wow.

mo3 uP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943027)

can be like the channel tO sign I type this. want them there. rule)s are This fly They looked since we made the

this topic has been discussed recently at ./ (3, Informative)

wehe (135130) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943036)

This topic has been already discussed at /. February 2004: What Do You Use WAP For? [slashdot.org] . I still can see from the footprints of mobile cell phones in my Apache log files [tuxmobil.org] , that many people are using the WAP format of TuxMobil - Linux On Laptops, PDAs and Mobile Cell Phones [tuxmobil.org] . Also the i-mode format is used, too.

Heh (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943067)

Well, being the 'UK' as Tony Bliar & co. like to call us (I am English and live in England), a 42% increase in WAP from a base of negligable users == naff all.

Perhaps the real significant increase announced is that the Government can 'watch' 42% more people (than before) using this stuff.

That still == naff all.

Applicable phrase from the stock market . . . (1)

Astrobirdr (560760) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943081)

Are we seeing postmortem twitching, I know little of WAP, but I believe the phrase that you are looking for is: "A dead cat bounce" [investopedia.com] :-)

Compact WAP (2, Insightful)

BillsPetMonkey (654200) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943113)

Following the miserable failure of WAP/bug-ridden implementation of WMLScript, lack of graphical api (Oooh lets use bitmap picture files for low bandwidth devices!) and poor user recognition, a new paradigm in WAP is coming, based on NTT Docomo's HTML subset called cHTML ...

It's known as "Compact WAP".

Or "cWAP" for short.

Re:Compact WAP (1)

BancBoy (578080) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943191)

"Or "cWAP" for short." - Wow, I'm still guessing if you were serious about that name or not. C-W-A-P? IF true, that's just vewwy vewwy funny.

The real reason it never took off... (5, Funny)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943130)

Free content on a cell phone you say? With a limited display size, where the hell do you put the banner ads to pay for the content?

And we all know the web really took off for the same reason VHS did: Pr0n...

No pop-ups? No banner ads? No free content...

the title really sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943143)

* is Dead, Long Live *

I hate this saying.

Eros is Dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943161)

It is now official. Netcraft confirms: Eros [eros-os.org] is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Eros community when IDC confirmed that Eros market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 0.0001 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Eros has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Eros is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Research Projects That Promise Much But Go Nowhere networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict Eros's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Eros faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Eros because Eros is dying. Things are looking very bad for Eros. As many of us are already aware, Eros continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Eros leader Jonathan Shapiro states that there are 7 users of Eros. How many users of KeyKos are there? Let's see. KeyKos at about 8 percent of the Eros market. Therefore there are 7 + 1 = 8 users of either Eros or KeyKos. This is consistent with the number of Eros Usenet posts.

Due to troubles at University of Pennsylvania, abysmal development speed and so on, Eros went through a "focus shift" by doing a useless rewrite in C and was taken over by Johns Hopkins University, who attempted to continue development on this troubled OS. Then the project was sidetracked while precious development resources went towards creating Yet Another Useless Version Control System [opencm.org] . Now it is dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that Eros has steadily declined in market share. Eros is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Eros is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. Eros continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Eros is dead.

Fact: Eros is dying

Is it secure yet? (1)

AssFace (118098) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943175)

It has been years since I have done anything with it - but a major issue at the time was that it was not secure. It couldn't do SSL the way a traditional web browser can.

I don't really recall the how/why of this, I just recall it being a major reason that more stores weren't using it.
(that didn't stop the company I was at requesting that I port our storefront software that we were selling over to WAP - nothing like transactions over a non-secure connection)

Oh yeah, its up alright. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943194)

Last year, 31 people used WAP. This year, 44 people used WAP, therefore usage has grown 42%.

step aboard the cluetrain ... (4, Insightful)

mqx (792882) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943195)


We're supposed to be the insightful techies here, but obviously most people missed the cluetrain on this one:

The issue with WAP was never with the protocol itself, it was with the uselessly small LCD interface on phones that made it clunky and entirely non-user-friendly, not to mention the poor transport layer.

The standard 2004 digital mobile phone has larger and more useful display and keyboard interface, not to mention higher datarates thanks to GPRS -- meaning that any protocol (not just WAP) is far more useful.

I'm sure if you look at the statistics, you'll find that not only has WAP usage increased, but so has that of other features commensurate with the better phone UI.

WAP and RSS feeds (2, Informative)

tubabeat (605286) | more than 9 years ago | (#9943220)

I find wap quite handy for reading RSS feeds from several sites including slashdot. Bloggo [bloggo.net] is a useful RSS to WAP translation service. I also access my Nagios monitoring server using WAP.

Stigma, what stigma? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9943250)

Now if only it just lost the stigma attached to it.

You wouldn't by any chance mean 2x20 character displays, speed only comparable with modems that went the way of Dodo in 1993, pay-per-second pricing plans that would make Rockefeller think twice, and so much support from mobile carriers that not even a bacteria could live on it. Yes, you could call that a stigma.

On the other hand, we now have affordable color displays, pixel resolutions approaching that of VGA, GRPS that goes more than a tad faster than your vintage 9600 modem, pay-per-kb pricing plans that try to hook as many users as possible, and strong portal support from each and every mobile carrier. Now that I think goes a long way in explaining the raise in WAP usage...

Stigma or no stigma, the first and foremost question with WAP was what is it useful for. Up until recently the cost and effort to use anything WAP based was so high that there was really no content that was worth it. Now that the price to use it went radicaly down, speed had gone radicaly up, and displays have vastly improved, people just use it like they use any other cheap and useful service. You want latest headlines? Go WAP. Weather prognosis? Go WAP. Road conditions? Go WAP. Is it a wonder?

Anonymous Cowards Unite

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