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From "Lars Groenhagen" <>
Subject RE: Select on Browser Capabilities
Date Fri, 18 Jan 2002 17:07:54 GMT
> Like many others (I imagine), I want to serve up wml to mobile users and
> html to  desktop users from the same request:
> The example in the sitemap shows the use of a selector to choose a
> pipeline based on the name of the browser, then deliver html or wml.
> But, I don't know the name of all the browsers that might use my site!

In most cases, you could get the information on User-Agent strings from the
vendor websites. Good starting points are:

> Wouldn't it be better to match/select/action on browser capabilities to
> determine whether to send html or wml? Do mobile phones (etc) declare
> browser capabilities in their headers? Do all html browser declare
> themselves as html? Would this approach work? Is there a way to
> do this now?

>From my experience mobile phones do not declare (enough of) their
capabilities in the header. Therefore I prefer to decide from the User-Agent
what to serve. In most cases the UA-Strings will give you not only the name
of the browser used, but also the model of the phone. Most vendors also give
information about the capabilities of the phones on their websites. With
this information you could already serve very optimized code to the
different phones or PDAs. If you just want to decide whether to serve html
or wml the UA-string is IMHO by far enough since there are only very few
devices that are capable of displaying html an wml with the same browser.
Unfortunately the WAE implementations of different mobile phones generate
quite different output from the same wml code. Therefore it makes sense to
have specific wml according to the requesting phone/PDA. Openwave wrote a
guide that shows the differences between Openwave and Nokia browsers:

Getting information on the behavior of other wml-browser requires a lot of
testing :-(

I think generally you are right. It would be nice to get the capabilities
directly from the header and serve the content accordingly. But I guess this
will have to wait until the next(?) generation of mobile phones.


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