getting your mobile site to work on all phones

I have a fairly popular WAP site which is running Adsense Mobile ads and getting 300,000 impressions a day according to that so it’s pretty big. Problem is it was coded in WML 1.3 years ago when that was the only format that mobiles used. But smartphone browsers like my Nokia E61 use xhmtl-mp and don’t recognise WML at all. So I’m getting loads of emails from pissed off teenagers who can’t access the mobile site. Then there’s phones in Asia that use cHTML, a completely different format,, but I don’t think I have many users from Asia. So how do you cater for all these phones, create a different site for each format?

I was looking into this until I found the WURFL project which is a big database of all known phones and their capabilites and preferred languages. Luca Passani created WALL, the Wireless Abstraction Library for Java and Kaspars Foigts ported it for PHP. To use this you code all your pages using standard tags like and and WALL gets the phone user agent, queries the WURFL xml file and returns the appropriate code. This obviously doesn’t scale well so Tera WURFL grabs the WURFL xml file once and stores it in a local MySQL table for querying. I agree with others that the mobile web is finally coming of age about 6 years after the disastrous rollout of black and white WAP in shitty small mobile screens.

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