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Google Releases WAP Search Tool 95

ChrisUK writes "Google seem to have single-handedly brought html to WAP devices. WAP/Palm users can log on to on their devices, and search through Google's web database. Furthermore, the pages that are linked to can be jumped to, and will be converted to wml on the fly. More details can be found here."
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Google Releases WAP Search Tool

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  • Yep, you guys were right, and I was wrong, I missed that link.

    In my defense, it does not say "1-5 out of 15000" (like on the regular page) but only "1-5".
  • Google does have advertising, and has had it for some time now. The main thing is, the way things are set up right now, Google only shows an ad if it might be relevant. Google isn't showing random ads ("run of site" ads) on every single page. So if the things you search for don't happen to be interesting to an advertiser, Google isn't showing an ad to you. Some topics just aren't commercial enough. For example, if all you search for is pages about ancient Mayan rituals, you may not have ever seen an ad on Google. On the other hand, if you're searching for airline tickets or Mother's day flowers, you might be seeing lots of ads.
  • by DennisZeMenace ( 131127 ) on Sunday May 14, 2000 @09:30AM (#1073561) Homepage
    Actually, Xift [] was first to provide that service, i.e. a WML search engine with automatic HTML rendering.

    Google obviously thought it was a good idea when they saw the demo at Xift's launch party a month ago.

    Funny thing they claim to be first.

  • Sprint uses the UP.Browser v3.1. The gateway
    converts a submit of WML 1.1 to HDML so these
    phones can see it. It won't do fonts / italics,
    and it wants to display regular BPMs instead of
    WBMPs, but it gets by.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's true that the newer phones and certainly the 3G phones will include a GPS receiver, in fact I think the FCC have made it a requirement. The excuse for doing this is so emergency calls can be located, also it has some spin offs with WAP too, i.e. you can automatically find the nearest restaurant from your current location, or the phone will be able to produce a "you are here" type map.

    There is also talk of combining this with marketing too; it seems a little farfetched at the moment though, i.e. when you pull up on a Mobile forecourt your WAP phone beeps and a discount voucher for the Shell voucher down the road appears.

    Also, if you're paranoid of being tracked, don't carry a mobile at all, people can currently be tracked by triangulating the signals from three cells, obviously not as accurate as GPS though.
  • If that article isn't on the main page, where was it?

  • it may be easier to track *digital* phones, but the wap capability lends nothing to trackin ability.


  • You must be kidding me... if you had a choice between getting HTML content in an inconvenient form, or not at all, you'd choose not at all. If you have reason to check HTML pages on the move, even if it won't be the easiest to use, it could be very handy. Could save a few people from buying another mobile device.

    tangent - art and creation are a higher purpose
  • > If that article isn't on the main page, where was it?

    Your Rights Online:
  • [] already has a system that sends slashdot headlines to GSM via SMS. You get two messages every day (you can define the time of day).

  • In Finland we our economy is greatly depending on Nokia's success.

    Well, I have a Nokia communications peice, a 5110....and it doesn't seem to work properly. I tried to contact the managing director of the Nokia corporation to complain about it, but I couldn't reach him. It seems when ever I try to send SMS to a remote communications peice, it says: "Message could not be sent - This time." So I waited for a few minutes, and it came up with the same thing.

    Finns make good gadgets

    See above. Not really. The phone part works fine, but the SMS part is what concerns me.

    Thanks, cheers.

  • I think HTML to WML is more a translation rather than a redistribution. A fine line, but I haven't heard of anyone sueing bablefish lately, have you?
  • ...When a query of "nonfatal weapons" takes 0.03 seconds and thousands of matches just magically show up
  • "highly recommends" that developers use HDML for creating sites to be viewed using the UP.Browser (read: all SprintPCS and apparently Verizon phones). Other browsers, i.e. Nokia's, do not support HDML at all. So, there is already a rift forming between sites to be used by the UP.Browser (United States), and other browsers (the rest of the world). However, it is my understanding that UP.Browser is WML-capable. just pushes HDML...with the apparent intent to force sites to provide content in a language only THEIR browser supports. Is it just me, or does that seem wrong? I can just hear the site developers agonizing, "We have to create TWO sites in TWO separate languages in order to provide access to ALL phones?"

    Nokia's browser is pretty nice, and their developer's kit is slightly more sophisticated than's. I don't know what Nokia phones contain their browser, but I'm fairly certain that none of them are available in the U.S. Fortunately, it seems is giving up on HDML, as their most recent SDK (v. 4.0) does not even support it. It's WML only!

  • Probably I lost it somewhere... Gonna have to search for it...
  • The reason for this being that _all_ US-based phones currently only support HDML. I'm actually at a conference where spoke today, and they made it amply clear that their primary reason for doing this was to provide content at all in the states, due to the general lack of WML-phones out there worldwide. isn't the only criminal out there in this regard.. apparently Nokia's wireless browser follows the WAP spec differently than's, and thus doesn't render pages in the same way. Ahh, browser fragmentation. Just like the old days with Netscape and IE.. wait, uh. -s
  • my point is, get your fucking head out from under your rock and look around, there are analog phones everywhere and the rest are dual mode. second, this is about wap lending a device to being tracked specifically, an untruth.
  • Fast Search and Transfer ASA has had a WAP search engine up for quite some time at and it's very fast; they use pattern matching hardware.
  • by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Sunday May 14, 2000 @09:31AM (#1073577) Journal
    I just connected, entered 'slashdot' as a search term, started reading articles.

    On a mobile phone screen there's a LOT of scrolling. Each page also goes through the banner, header, sidebar (faq|code|awards|etc), Sections and (for articles) the login box. After all that though, you _do_ get the meat of the page. Nice!

    Unfortunately the forms are not translated - so you can not log in, you can not enter searches, and you can not post/reply. This will limit its usefulness for the types of searches you'd use a mobile phone for - an example here: What's the number for a taxi? Google will take you to a taxi locator web page, but you wont be able to tell the web page where you are so that it can give you a local taxi firm's number.

    Still, it's nice - better than most wap pages I've come across so far.

    ps: In trying to access the 'reply' page to respond to a comment through the phone it "crashed" and didn't reset until I received a text message (which by coincidence arrived as I was typing this sentence - I was planning to post then yank the battery - no need now!) The "crash" took the form of a message saying 'Connecting' and none of the phone's buttons responding.
  • I just attended a WAP seminar last week and the presented said that Google was completely unusuable on WAP devices because the information was presented so poorly.

    I haven't seen it in action myself -- can anyone confirm?
  • Yes, I remember when google was just a child. I started using google when it was still a science project then stopped using it for a while. How happy I got when I heard that they had gotten a real web site; and now they have gone so fast as to go past many of the other sites. I hope that google can put an end to those portals and allow us to go back to the old plain search engines. (I heard that altavista has a plain version; is that beacause of google?)

    Anyone remember what issue of new scientist that had a story about search engines in summer-autumn of 1998? I remember that they mentioned how google works, and I'd really like to read it again. (at least I think it was new scientist)
  • Unless I am mistaken, most of the wireless networks around here (here in Ohio anyway...) use HDML (Handheld Device Markup Language) rather than WAP. That goes for Sprint PCS's wireless internet phone browsers and also Verizon(SUCKS!) [Formerly Airtouch]. So what good does this do us?
    Populus Vult Decipi, Ergo Decipiatur. []
  • by Anonymous Coward
    How can *this* be insightful? This is also totally misleading post - *does* advertising, not in ridiculously obvious way though. Try this [] link to check that out. And who dares to claim that the guys ( who got priority for their link to display on top have not paid google? Now, I am all for google to succeed and make money, however, making statements like above is a sure way to have your mind rotten. yeagh, blame me for spelling/grammar now.
  • I still have to use metacrawler every once in a while though for phrases...

    Not long ago I noticed that sometimes when searching on google the pages are returned in different orders even though I used the same search terms. After investigating a bit I realized that I was using the same terms but in different orders. I emailed google to ask about this, and they said that the default search is a phrase search. If that doesn't work they then try and AND search.

    Further, if you check out googles search tips regarding phrase searching [] you will find that if you use quatation marks around your search terms you will be doing a phrase search.

    No more metacrawler

  • My Nokia 6110 crashes if I receive a new text message at exactly the same time I open the "received messages" folder. The screen goes blank and nothing happens for a while until the phone restarts itself.
  • its an optional filter. its not mandatory. in any event, it doesnt seem to be implemented yet..when i searched for linux video software several porno sites turned up.
  • I'm positive that Sprint and Verizon BOTH use HDML for their web-phones
    Populus Vult Decipi, Ergo Decipiatur. []
  • by Smack ( 977 ) on Sunday May 14, 2000 @06:21PM (#1073587) Homepage
    So Xift based their whole company's concept on something that google could get going in a month (from scratch)? Either this whole thing is nothing special or the Google guys are pretty damn smart/fast.

    ...Or maybe your insinuation that they stole the idea from Xift is just off-base and bitter on your part.
  • ha ha

    except you are confusing WAP with WOP.
  • How long before they do the new best thing and patent this process? I mean it would suck if anyone else started doing this too wouldn't it?


    ... paka chubaka

  • When or how can I get /. on my Plam via AvantGo? Productivity wise I think this could be the worst possibel thing to happen to me... if only my boss new! I could be reading /. while some idiot suit babbles on in one of a dozen or so corporate meetings I am forced to attend. Any help in furthering my /. addiction would be appriciated.
  • And it looked great. I had to bookmark it on my cellular phone.
    IBM is also creating their html -> wml transcoder and proxy combination. ( Link [])
    Let's see who will win this competion.

    But I don't understand why three is need to have all this html, wml and xml languages. Xml should be enough?
    I have seen some palm devices which has html and wml browsers on same machine. And WAP pages are not so nice looking...
    Any wap/wml developers reading /. ?
    [ Advertizing Banner Here ] dUb(at)lumi'dyndns'org
  • The UP.Link 4.0, however, does support transcoding HDML sites to WML, so any carrier using a UP.Link 4.0 can present HDML sites to UP.Browser 4.0 phones. I think the UP.Link 4.1 (which isn't out anywhere yet, and won't be for a while, but when it is) will support other WAP browsers besides's. is pushing HDML for the sake of allowing sites to be usable with their old phone browser; they're encouraging developers to, if possible, develop for both WML and HDML. Which isn't quite as hard as it sounds, if you separate content from presentation.

    Once all the carriers in the US are using UP.Link 4.0 or better, one can probably use WML and reach most phones, provided one uses only the common subset of functionality between WML and HDML (mostly this means no timers).


  • Just tried it on my sprint PCS phone with slashdot. Seems to work great. It is somewhat problematic getting to data on a site laid out with tables, however, as you usually have to sift through your sidebars before getting to the actual content.
  • Have you ever tried to use HTML content from a phone-sized browser? I have, via's HTML->HDML transcoder. "Inconvenient" doesn't begin to describe it - the time it would take you to do anything useful is sufficiently great that you'd probably be better off waiting till you could get to a real browser. Or using a non-Internet means of getting the information - there is a world outside the Web, you know.

  • Quite amusing. I did a search for patent and nobody is even talking about this. did you know that google has a patent on their search technology? So, if you do something similar then you are in breach of patent laws. um. this is Bad.
  • for those of you who don't know, []
    and []
    and maybe some others give you neat little custom google frontends (what a cute penguin).
  • You know, it's pretty easy to rag on WAP as not being good enough and not being fast enough and not doing pictures enough, but let's face facts here for a moment: NMP hasn't exactly been delivering anything to the consumer that could even _try_ to support HTML on its screen and battery or IP on current networks.

    So as soon as NMP gets off its butt and delivers something that doesn't tout snap-on covers as a great technical innovation, you might have a point. Until then you sound like someone who tells people how awful cars are because people should be using personal flying machines.

  • Apparently when converting to something viewable under WAP, japanese text gets munged. This was the case on every page I looked at on my Sony C305S (using IDO cdmaOne).
  • Simply put, I'd choose to get my data that provides it in the form I want it in. Inconvienient doesn't begin to state the issues in the format that HTML takes on when converted to WML. Not to mention the fact that there are issues such as, Oh, SMASHING the phone stack by throwing to much data at it.

    I can also choose to telnet to a machine by having a text box and display window inside of an HTML page that refreshes every 5 seconds. Sure, it'll work, but it's simply not suited for popular use.
  • In that constraint, this is an interesting (and maybe even useful) service

    I'd say the better solution would be to use and drive sites that *DO* provide the WML based content you want, instead of relying on such a cludge. Or, since they are taking off, start your own site. It's only like 19.95 to do now adays.. :-P

    Define "Web". Why should the Web be HTML only ?

    I should have been more specific. I was speaking of the HTML based WWW.

    and a temporary fix to the WML content shortage isn't going to hurt.

    I disagree that it can't hurt. If cludges like this are used to advertise the 'capabilities' of wireless networking, it leaves a VERY bad taste in ones mouth. One person buys the phone, and uses this. It looks terrible. He doesn't like it. He tells 5 friends, and so on..

    It's not perfect, but it's a handy thing until some better WML content comes along

    Then we get someone else along, becouse the longer a hack like this needs to exist, the worse the technology looks. And unfortionatly, a hack like this has *nothing* to do with WAP. It is, as you said, the lack of available pages that serve WAP content. I'd rather see not much QUALITY data, then a whole lotta hacked crap.

  • The issue here isn't the WAP format really, but the conversation of two incompatible formats. HTML looks *HORRIBLE* converted to WML, due to WML's tag limitations. Many, *MANY* formatting tags simply do not exist in the WML specs. WML is built around a very strict idea of 'less is more'. While your Ericsson is plenty nice to display everything, that *SAME EXACT* content is also formatted in such a way to display on a 4x16 chacter screen, perhaps even without graphics capabilities..
  • Nice to see a webpage that is actually usefull for what its made for being pused to the public. I am tired of hearing about Yahoo, etc. All they are now is just a vehicle for overpriced stock.
  • With this functionality, I might actually get a wireless palm...
    I don't think anyone else has this kind of thing in place yet...
  • Everyone is missing the point. You cannot get a good web experience without three things... a real browser that works, a way of entering data/manipulating the browser screen, and a screen big enough to display everything. You are still describing a solution that solves only 1/3rd of the problem... most of us here would settle for 2/3rds. ;)

    I still believe the solution that will triumph in the end is likely to be a fully-functional, very small computer that runs a real browser and a real OS. It should be able to connect to the internet either over mobile phones or by using wireless. Once such a device comes out, expect the palms to either "bulk up" or become a niche market of diehard fans.

    As for the dream machine, the question in my mind is "which OS?" ... Linux or Win98? If it is a real PC, I'd suspect both.
  • We did a WAP demo at work for internal purposes, and ended up doing it in WML because more phones worldwide supported it. It ran just fine in the UP SDK 3.2, as well as the Nokia SDK. I assume that means it would work in all Up.Browser 3.1 versions. However, we haven't yet tested it on a real phone (the demo wasn't accessible via the internet). This was before UP.Link/Up.Browser 4.0 was available.
  • and more browers getting varied in performance, wouldn't it make more scence for these devices to use a more exact language like XML or something like that that would still be compatable with all the other browsers out there but not have to translate 'on the fly' first?
    If my facts are wrong then tell me. I don't mind.
  • This is great news for google! It has been my search engine of choice for a while, and they continue to innovate! I still have to use metacrawler every once in a while though for phrases...
  • I just got packet data service (includes WAP broswer) enabled on my Motorola i1000+ with NEXTEL service in the US.

    Using the default WAP broswer, with minimal HTTP content transator, included with the i1000+ phone, I was unable to read slashdot. However, going through google, I was able to read (but not login or post) with the same limitations described for the Nokia 7110e (i.e. lots of scrolling and hitting `more...' to get to the meat of the content).

    PS, the i1000+ hasn't crashed on me while trying to reply. ;-)
    Disclaimer: I do work for Motorola Labs.
  • by LionMan ( 18384 )
    I always knew Google was up to something . . . hehe that is probably the best search engine I use - no advertisements. Good to see good people doing good things.
  • Are there any WAP browsers for Palm V's ?

    It does seem like a bit of a gimmic to me, however I suppose if I had a mobile phone then it may be more useful.


  • That's just what I was thinking.

    Seriously, I now *rarely* go anywhere else to search, except for Deja for Usenet searches. The difference between before Google and now is like night and day for me. For such a big increase in efficiency and results, I figure they deserve a patent.

    You still have to use your noodle a bit for each search to get the best results. Notice that they do NOT match partial words. Only the full words. So if you've got a world in your expression or word-set that could be plural or something, make sure and try that as well. And occasionally what you're looking for won't be a site that is linked to by the most others, and so then I go to AltaVista.

  • by Col. Klink (retired) ( 11632 ) on Sunday May 14, 2000 @09:00AM (#1073612)
    In case you missed it (because it's not on the main page), there was also some troubling news about Google partnering with Surfwatch: id=00/05/13/201252 []

  • So, now guys can drive, drink coffee, talk on their cells, and search for "Petrified Natalie Portman" all at the same time. The roads are going to be really safe.

    Seriously, the on-the-fly translation is very cool.

    The PR states that it is still in beta, but [] returned 5 hits for 'farts', while google proper had about 15000. I would have figured that they would use the same database, so I don't really understand the difference.
  • This is neat, but I'm still waiting for a good, free WAP browser for my Palm III / pdqPhone. AvantGo and the pdqSuite are good for rendering real HTML, but being able to use WAP would allow access to even lighter weight sites.

    Joe Wells
    the no .sig .sig
  • In Finland we our economy is greatly depending on Nokia's success. Finns make good gadgets but no content. So we have WAP network here and phones but nobody has any use for it yet. So maybe this is really a turn for the better.

    By the way the chairman of Nokia is almost like Micro$oft's lawyers. A small newspaper aimed at young people wrote (pardon me for my bad translation) "Jorma Ollila's (the chairman) shoulders are suprisingly small" (Ollila has more power in Finland than our goverment and president together...) So Ollila informs the mag that this is clearly an error... It's fun to live in a country lead by a corporation that is lot like Microsoft.

    (By the way I hope Nokia will send Slashdot some mail copying their example Microsoft...)

  • seems to be getting more and more features. I remember when i was just like "Enter Search" and you'd get your fast as hell results. Then catagories showed up, then multi languages showed up. I just hope doesn't turn into with Yahoo! Games, Yahoo! ISP, Yahoo! Credit cards. I really like and I'd hate to see it become a big bloated site with banner ads and such.

  • Metacrawler [] now searches . But it seems that []Microsoft []'s homepage has dropped off the top 30 on the more evil than Satan himself [] scale.
  • by pneuma_66 ( 1830 )
    Actually there are ads on google, just not banner ads. i was surprised when i saw them too, just do a search for palm, or visit this link om/search?q=palm&num=10&meta=hl%3Den%26lr%3D []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 14, 2000 @09:52AM (#1073619)
    Most of the time I find google more than sufficient, although for difficult searches I include &num=100 at the end of the URL. One place I consistantly find google fall down is when I search for something too specific. Google bases it search on a 1.4 million odd word dictionary, but when the "word" you are searching for is not in there, you have to go elsewhere. eg, if I know the exact name of a file I am looking for, 99.9% of the time I have to use another search engine (which btw, happily return what I am looking for).

    I followed the YRO link to here [], but this quote interests me:

    ``Many Google users prefer not to have mature-themed sites such as pornography included in their search results,'' said Sergey Brin, co-founder and president of Google. ``Our agreement with SurfWatch allows Google to continue to provide our users with the best possible search experience.''

    How exactly are they going to do this without hindering the search experience for the rest of us? Does surfwatch software have some interface to google or something? Maybe a URL switch that their software adds that makes sure google (and its cache) is not used to bypass surfwatch?

  • (Pppst.. Buddy..)

    WML *IS* XML. Unfortionatly, HTML != XML, hence, the 'translaction' to WML. There is also the fact that the WML namespace was written around the idea of high latency within communications, and the lack of many 'advanced' features available on a desktop machine..

    Imagine the slashdot fron page with all data, etc, being rendered on a screen 5x20. ;-P Welcome to WAP.. Now, you *CAN* serve up this content, but you need to present it in an 'ENTIRELY' different way.

    Anyway, I started ranting didn't I..

    Short sided version.. WML *IS* perfectly valid XML.
  • I could rant (once again) about how WAP sucks, but I think this page says it quite well.

    If only the telecom industry had focused on giving us GPRS instead of inventing yet another crappy 'standard'. HTML is platform agnostic anyway, but then they are catering "web designers" so...

  •'s WAP gateway already does all of this translation for you, seamlessly.

    Uh, my phone doesn't have that option... (Sprint PCS) Do you have a URL for it?

  • Really? Where do you live? It's not possible in Europe... And I have latest firmware (4.84) and many things are still not fixed (not few months), like this []!!!
  • But these are all features designed to improve searching, so I don't see what the problem is. It's not like they are making "Google Games" or "MyGoogleMail" -- they are just making enhancements to searching.
  • At least one way is by providing services to commercial content providers. [] for example.

    More info is availabe at Google of course. Try this: ams.html []

    Essentially, people pay for the right to frame customized Google results.

  • hey /. stop being so damn stupid wen it comes to wireless stuff. everyone and their goddam uncle had some sort of HTML -> WML/HDML converter, spyglass, oracle, ibm,, 60 startups and a infinate number of monkeys coding in a room somewhere in silicon valley. and every one of them transcodes like shit. cauze downcasting rich content to a 4x12 character screen is not something any software and do generically and well.

  • I live in the UK, using the Orange mobile phone service. No idea what the firmware is.

  • One possibility is that the 7110 crashes in the way that you describe when a WML deck is loaded containing a non-ASCII symbol. An example is the copyright symbol at the bottom of every Slashdot page. As long as you don't keep browsing until you reach the end of a page of Slashdot (it'd take forever using the Google translator anyway) then you should be safe from this problem.
  • Try WAPMAN. It's not free but nearly so (and it has a trial period). Works pretty well in its latest release and forms and stuff are an order of magnitude easier to use than on small-screen, numeric keypad mobile phones.


  • The major wap phone in the UK at the moment is the Nokia 7110. This has a maximum limit on the size of compressed WML pages of just under 2k. This also applies to the Nokia WAP gateway. This places a major limit on the useability of WAP for anything other than small, funky apps. Certainly a decent rendering of Slashdot is beyond it. In any case, the 7110 is crap at WML, ignoring most of the text formatting tags and is very prone to crashing (Hmm, maybe a previous poster's comparison to Microsoft stands up even more so). Unfortunately though, as I say, it's the major WAP phone in the UK so we're going to be living with its legacy for a while yet.


    Read the Mortals and Angels article in new scientist? Now check out the screensaver at []

  • Try going to the Older Stuff/search [] page. The default display is all topics by all authors in all sections.

  • by Money__ ( 87045 ) on Sunday May 14, 2000 @09:06AM (#1073632)

    From the article: " Unlike other search engines that index only web pages that are available in WML, Google brings more than 500 million web pages to the palm of a user's hand. When a wireless user requests a traditional HTML page, Google's innovative technology translates the requested HTML document on the fly into WML."

    Given the recent concerns about redistribution of copyright materials [], how does this contrast with the MS concern?

    Could it not be said that:

    "Unlike other discussion groups that only index technical specifications, brings more of the real spec into the palm of a programers hand. When a Slashdot user requests a traditional ZIP technical specification, Slashdots' innovative users translate the requested ZIP document on the fly into TXT."

  • now I can finally read the wml version of slashdot.

    <br><BR><BR>'s wml never seems to work.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Nearly all of the new WAP phones sold in the UK are WAP enabled now, consequently I got interested in this. I've been playing around with WAP for the last few days, I've set up a WAP site which grabs headlines from a dozen news sites (slashdot included), I've also got a translator and spell checker working. Anyway, if you wanna check it out : try [] in a WAP browser

    It's quite a good technology to work with, it's somewhat limited when on my Nokia 7110 phone though, due to the small screen and the 14.4kbps limit on GSM. I believe GPRS is being rolled out in a couple of months, so you will be able to get constant 100kbps access without having to dialin, all we need now it a decent colour display.

    It's clever how they've got HTML -> WML on-the-fly, however things would be much easier if sites adopted xHTML, it can degrade much more gracefully than standard html.
  • This ones cool :*) I want to see more of this kindm cause WAP sucks at the current state of development.

    congrat. thoric ,)
  • This sounds like it really has some promise, but I really can't help from being skeptical.

    I mean, I don't really have a Palm, so I can't really speak for myself, but how good are pages being viewed as WML via WAP going to look?

    I mean, can it view graphics also? I hope it looks better than viewing webpages with lynx on a WYSE terminal.
  • Umm, returned the first 5 hits for 'farts'. Try hitting the "Next 5"-Link.

  • It's close, but not exactly doing a phrase search first. It prefers phrase matches but it also considers the ranking of the page, so a really important page with an AND match might show up before a medium importance page with a phrase match.
  • For those of you that don't have WAP phones yet, I have a script that sends SlashDot headlines to a regular GSM phone, via the SMS system. Most of Europe uses GSM, but if I remember correctly the US doesn't. Check the link in my sig for more info...
  • And who dares to claim that the guys ( who got priority for their link to display on top have not paid google?

    Does this mean that Microsoft (which is listed first in such searches as "more evil than Satan himself") has paid google advertising fees?

  • Yeah, it does graphics. Special WAP bitmaps. It looks surprisingly good.. you can get 20ish x 4 on the screen at once on most phones, so it isn't pathetic..
  • The article you're thinking of is in Scientific American []. It's primarily about CLEVER, a project at IBM that tries to identify "hubs" (pages with links to good information) and "authorities" (pages with good information), but it also mentions Google. It'd be interesting to see CLEVER available on the web.. the last time I looked, it was only for internal IBM use.

    - Amit
  • by mischief ( 6270 ) on Monday May 15, 2000 @12:11AM (#1073643) Homepage Journal
    If you want to see what Google's WAP service looks like, there's a really cool emulator at: [].

  • But goggle does have clever search engine
    technology. It is _not_ obvious. It was
    not thought of for several years by a whole
    lot of companies trying to index the web.

    Hence, IMHO, it does deserve a patent.

    Its not a dumb one like 'one-click' it is a
    clever idea that deserves to be protected.

  • The major wap phone in the UK at the moment is the Nokia 7110. This has a maximum limit on the size of compressed WML pages of just under 2k. This also applies to the Nokia WAP gateway. This places a major limit on the useability of WAP for anything other than small, funky apps. Certainly a decent rendering of Slashdot is beyond it. In any case, the 7110 is crap at WML, ignoring most of the text formatting tags and is very prone to crashing (Hmm, maybe a previous poster's comparison to Microsoft stands up even more so). Unfortunately though, as I say, it's the major WAP phone in the UK so we're going to be living with its legacy for a while yet.


    Read the Mortals and Angels article in new scientist? Now check out the screensaver here [] (It's open source too)

  • I don't know about that. I have a wap device, an Ericsson MC218. It's a pda with a 640x240 screen, so it's probably enough for wml since its good enough for viewing html pages. Although I've never used its wap browser, I'd imagine it should be somewhat faster than browsing regular html. (Oh yeah, my cellphone has a 9.6kbps modem. :-) )
  • This is quite simply the biggest waste I've ever seen.

    Far from the silliest idea. It's a kludge - I doubt anyone would disagree. The current situation is though that there are starting to be reasonable numbers of WAP devices in circulation and there's still little content for them. In that constraint, this is an interesting (and maybe even useful) service.

    WAP devices where *NOT BUILT* to browse the web.

    Define "Web". Why should the Web be HTML only ? The Web ought to (and will) encompass a range of content formats, serving a range of devices. Of course WAP devices are built to surf the Web (what else are they for ?), and a temporary fix to the WML content shortage isn't going to hurt.

    WML is syntax specific for maximum usage on small screens.

    Now we're getting into the details. IMHE, WML isn't a bad syntax for placing Slashdot-sized web pages onto devices with smaller screens. What's the real killer is the tiny WAP deck size limit. Now that is really over-optimised for phone-size screens, to the point where the protocol can't even work usefully on a PDA. I have personally been bitten badly by this, enough to make me sink projects and change my career direction for several months.

    practical usage? Practically zilch./em>

    I think you're too hard on it. It's not perfect, but it's a handy thing until some better WML content comes along.

  • I think what he meant is that the _cache_ in Google is storing "full" (not quite) web-pages and redistributing it. That's how I've always seen on it though. It's probably illegal, but I still think it is morally right d;-)

    - Steeltoe
  • Taken the complaints many people have that an HTML page can not always be rendered very nicely into WML, I tried to find out search engines that searched exclusively for WML pages. I found at least four different engines []. Two of them seem to be more or less bogus (Waply and WapWarp). The best one seems to be FAST Wap Search []. Are the any other good WAP search engines out there?
  • Everybody can test this portal by using one of these wap toolkits:
    Ericsson []
    Motorola []
    Nokia [] []
  • ummm... If you click on 'more' it brings you another five matches, and if you click on 'more' again it brings you another five matches...

    There is a pattern here. :)

  • Sorry about that one... I am not in a good state of mind
  • This is quite simply the biggest waste I've ever seen. WAP devices where *NOT BUILT* to browse the web. WML is syntax specific for maximum usage on small screens. Attempting to convert typical HTML pages on the fly to WML is 'quaint' at best. Neat idea, but practical usage? Practically zilch. Better to build a WAP search engine to search for WAP content..

"Call immediately. Time is running out. We both need to do something monstrous before we die." -- Message from Ralph Steadman to Hunter Thompson