Re: [wmlprogramming] Using WURFL or UAProf?
- Hello Geoff,
WURFL and UAprof are not necessarily mutually
exclusive databases. UAProf is a URL that is supposed
to carry all capabilities for the device. WURFL is an
XML file that carries the same information.
UAProf is *official* data provided by the device
manufacturer and/or network provider while WURFL is
data that comes from real world after developers
identify capabilities as a result of real tests in
Both data holders might have bugs of course and
neither of them are perfect. However WURFL is more
complete just becuase there are devices that do not
carry UAProf as part of HTTP headers.
PDAs being younger than simply WAP1 devices might
carry always UAProf. I do not know. If yes then UAProf
would be better than WURFL for your case since
automatically you get the capabilities for all devices
and you do not have to wait for that new device to be
identified and manually provissioned in WURFL file.
I have been doing markup rendering on the fly for some
years ... first it was just a matter of reading the
Accept header, then WURFL, then UAProf and pretty much
all of them together.
The easiest way I found to render different markup
according to the device was using generic XML carrying
the data to be rendered and then XSLT to present the
Having an application that accept the complete
User-Agent HTTP header and returns back the
capabilities is a most if you want to apply DRY.
Your Controller (considering you implement the MVC
design pattern in your framework) can access that
application (WEB Service, RMI you name it) using
functions like isXHTML(), isXHTML-MP(),
isXHTMLBASIC(), isHTML(), isWML(), isCHTML() etc and
just decide the template to render.
You obtain a great separation of concerns for your
VIEWER part using XSLT but your web designers must
know basic XSLT which is not that hard since the only
thing they have to do is to iterate to render lists or
use parameters or variables to output results. If
complex logic is needed to render you can provide
external XSLT templates to be used by designers inside
The final work is very stable and easy to maintain I
must say as my projects show.
If you have a small project of course where just few
developers take care of everything (markup rendering,
business logic, data storage) you might find useful
just to use your preferred language and WURFL has APIs
for practically all of them.
I have posted several times my idea about a WURFL Web
Service (look in the forum archives) and one of them
is to use eXist native XML database to build such a
service that will simply provide the capabilities or a
special capability for a given User-Agent. Take a look
for more information.
Thanks and good luck!,
--- geoff freed <geoff_freed@...> wrote:
> Hello, Everyone:
> I am a researcher at the National Center for
> Accessible Media at
> the WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston, MA
> On behalf of a client, I am investigating methods of
> transmitting usable, appropriately reformatted Web
> sites to wireless
> devices, especially PDAs. I've been reading a lot
> about WURFL and UAProf,
> and would like to hear from developers who have
> actually implemented these
> technologies. I'd like to know about Web sites that
> are delivered using
> WURFL or UAProf, and I'd like to know how much time
> and trouble it cost to
> put these approaches into use, as well as if they
> are judged to be
> If you'd like to respond, please send a message to
> me off-list.
> Thanks very much for your time!
> Geoff Freed
> Project Manager
> Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for
> Accessible Media
> WGBH Educational Foundation
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- Hi, Luca:
> geoff freed wrote:Actually, my job is to gather the information and help this particular
> >Hello, Everyone:
> >I am a researcher at the National Center for Accessible Media at the
> >WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston, MA (http://ncam.wgbh.org).
> >On behalf of a client, I am investigating methods of effectively
> >transmitting usable, appropriately reformatted Web sites to wireless
> >devices, especially PDAs. I've been reading a lot about WURFL and
> >UAProf, and would like to hear from developers who have actually
> >implemented these technologies. I'd like to know about Web
> sites that
> >are delivered using WURFL or UAProf, and I'd like to know
> how much time
> >and trouble it cost to put these approaches into use, as well as if
> >they are judged to be effective.
> I don't quite understand if you are thinking of building a
> mobile site from scratch or if you are looking for ways to
> dynamically reformat an existing web site.
client make the best decision regarding solutions for mobile delivery, and
eventually the client will do the building. So I guess the answer to your
question is really "both." Because this client has a large number of pages
that will need to be made available to mobile devices, I'm thinking that the
dynamic-reformatting approach may be the most efficient, as well as the most
cost-effective. But I need to research all options.
>I suggest you readI will definitely read this carefully. Thanks for the lead.
> this and come back with more specific questions later:
> >If you'd like to respond, please send a message to me off-list.Sorry-- I didn't mean to preclude answers on the list. I wanted to give a
> this is not good netiquette. Public questions should be
> answered publicly, unless there are special reasons not to do so.
private-response option to those who didn't want to divulge potentially
sensitive information. Public answers are, of course, welcome!
- geoff freed wrote:
> I'm thinking that theI wouldn't be so sure. First, it's operators who set up the
>dynamic-reformatting approach may be the most efficient, as well as the most
>cost-effective. But I need to research all options.
infrastructure for such dynamic reformatting. There are some free
services on the internet though. Here is a list of companies in that space:
Google offers the same service too. There are at least another 4 or 5
smaller companies that offer the same.
I would also keep in mind that, no matter how good the reformatting
process is, you will never get near the usability levels of a site built
for mobile from the ground up. Developers know what makes sense to
access on a mobile device and what doesn't better than programs. And I
typically find on web pages and which cannot be ported to mobile