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Learning WML - WAP Basics

  • June 26, 2002
  • By Steve Schafer
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Adding MIME Types to Internet Information Server (IIS)

To add the MIME types to IIS, open the Internet Information Services Management Console (MC). Access to this console varies depending on which specific operating system you're using and how you installed IIS, but can usually be found under Administrative Tools (Windows 2000) or Option Pack (Windows NT).

Open the IIS MC, click on the server to expand its tree, and then right-click on Default Web Site and choose Properties. (Note: If you don't want all the sites on your server to be able to deliver WML, right-click on those sites you want to be WML-enabled and then continue following these steps.)

Click on the HTTP Headers tab and then click on the File Types button under the MIME Map section. In the File Types dialog, click on New Type and enter the extension and MIME definition ("Content Type") from the preceding table. Click on OK. Repeat this process for the other two MIME types.

When you're finished, close the Web Site Properties dialog by clicking on OK. On some servers, there may be nodes or devices that also define HTTP codes and need to inherit the new setting(s). Choose the appropriate options for your system. Exit the IIS MC. Usually you won't need to restart the IIS service, but it wouldn't hurt to do so just in case.

Tip: Before exiting the Web Site Properties, you may want to add an entry for WML on the Documents tab (such as index.wml). This causes the server to display that document by default, eliminating the need for your visitors to specify a particular file in the URL to access your site.

Adding MIME Types to Apache

To add MIME types to Apache, you must edit the httpd.conf file. This file's location varies from system to system.

This file uses "AddType" lines to define MIME types. Find the section where these appear and add the following lines:

     AddType text/vnd.wap.wml .wml
     AddType text/vnd.wap.wmlscript .wmls
     AddType image/vnd.wap.wbmp .wbmp

Save and close the file and restart the Apache server to reload the configuration with the new MIME types.

Tip: You may want to add "index.wml" or comparable entry to the DirectoryIndex section of the Apache configuration file (requires running mod_dir). This causes the server to display that document by default, eliminating the need for your visitors to specify a particular file in the URL to access your site.

A Sample WML Deck

Now that your server is set up to handle WML correctly, let's try serving up a sample page. The following listing shows the bare minimum coding necessary to contain a WML deck, consisting of a single, blank card:

<?xml version="1.0"?> 
<!DOCTYPE wml PUBLIC "-//WAPFORUM//DTD WML 1.1//EN" 
"http://www.wapforum.org/DTD/wml_1.1.xml"> 
<wml> 
      <card id="Card1" title="Sample "> 
      </card> 
</wml>

The first line of the preceding code specifies that the file is XML and version 1.0-compatible. The second line defines the XML scope of the file; namely, that its DOCTYPE is WML, and where the Document Type Definition (DTD) can be found.

Tip: If you're unfamiliar with XML and don't fully understand these lines, just make sure that they appear at the beginning of all your WML documents.

The next line begins the WML definition with the <wml> tag.

The <card> tag defines a card in the deck. Note that the id and title attributes can be anything you choose, but should be short and to the point, and the id must contain only letters and numbers (no punctuation or spaces).

If you want to try the preceding example, create the file on your Web server (in plain text form), adding the following lines between the <card> tags to provide content for the card:

<p>
A Sample Card
</p>

Place the file in an accessible directory with adequate permissions to access it from an external browser. Now visit the Wapalizer at http://www.gelon.net. Type the URL to the file in the Wapalizer box and click on the Wapalize button. You should see a screen similar to the output below.

Figure 1.5 - Your sample page in the Openwave simulator.
Image courtesy Openwave Systems Inc. (Openwave, the Openwave logo, Openwave SDK, Openwave SDK Universal Edition, Openwave SDK WAP Edition are trademarks of Openwave Systems Inc. All rights reserved.)

Next Time

The next article will cover some essential tools used to develop WAP content, as well as how to create basic WML pages.

About the Author

Steve Schafer is president and CEO of Progeny Linux Systems, a Linux-based consulting company in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has written several technical books and articles and can be reached at sschafer@synergy-tech.com.

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