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Intro to WMLScript
Posted: 01-Apr-2000 [Source: Developer Journal]

[Want to develop wireless applications quickly and easily? Here is a great intro article on WMLScript.]

by Kevin Sharp -- "Developing wireless applications can force you into some interesting trade-offs. WAP, for example, is designed for low-power, resource-constrained devices, and the implication for developers is that any needed CPU horsepower will come from servers. Unfortunately, high latency networks and unreliable connections will drive some applications to operating on the local device. What's a developer to do? WMLScript is one answer. It provides a simple but powerful mechanism for adding local intelligence to your distributed application. While the source code is still maintained on the servers, the script execution takes place on the local device.

"WMLScript is a function-oriented scripting language, designed for wireless applications. The 'WML' in the name stands for the 'Wireless Markup Language', the wireless world's equivalent of HTML. The scripting language itself is based on ECMA Script, which in turn is based on JavaScript. In practice, developers build WMLScript functions to enhance their WML applications and collect related functions into source code files called compilation units. The functions are hosted on the application server and accessed through URLs.

"Before launching into an explanation of WMLScript, it is important to place the language in context, because WMLScript is an extension of WML and accomplishes those tasks for which WML is ill suited. For example, WML focuses on content. It is a declarative document markup language designed to convey the essence of a user interface. While it is possible to code some basic procedures in WML, in general WML executes through a single thread, with all variables global.


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