The Wireless Universal Resource File

12.4 How is iMode different from WAP?

The difference between iMode and WAP is first of all that iMode uses another markup language. For WAP, the markup language is WML (Wireless Markup Language) while iMode uses CHTML (Compact HTML). Not to be confused with "Chunks of HTML", a phrase related to generating dynamic HTML content.

Compact HTML has an advantage over WML in that a large majority of WML developers come from the "web" world where they are used to HTML. Compact HTML is a subset of HTML 2.0, 3.2 and 4.0. However, the future of internet content serving is XML, and from XML the step to WML is hardly noticeable. It's much more noticeable with Compact HTML or HTML.

iMode with its markup language similar to HTML is NOT the WAP killer the media has been waiting for. To be honest both technologies are in their infancy, and would do well to learn from each other.

You can read a lot more about Compact HTML here.

iMode browsers support images in the GIF format. This is likely to change as the rest of the "web" world is turning away from the format due to patent problems.

Compact HTML does not support the following

  • JPEG images
  • Tables
  • Image maps
  • Multiple character fonts and styles
  • Background image
  • Frames
  • Style sheets
  • <INPUT> buffers larger than 512 bytes
  • <SELECT> buffers larger than 4096 bytes

iMode also has a very different set of protocols, but reliable information on this is not yet available. I'd rather not base this on rumours. Stay tuned.

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