To provide WAP content from your home page, you need no additional downloads or installations; pure PHP does the trick (again). However, to test your WAP pages, some additional software is required. In the WAP world, the same problems exist as in the Web world: different browsers, different results. Fortunately, you do not need each available WAP handy on the market to get suitable test results. Most manufacturers of mobile phones offer simulator software that has the same software core as the WAP browser within a mobile phone, so you can test on your development machine. All these products run under Windows, and some of them are Java-based, so it might be possible to trick them into working on other platforms, too. It is a good idea to install most of them in order to be able to test your WAP content for as many client browsers as possible.
Nokia Mobile Internet Toolkit
The Finnish company Nokia is market leader for mobile phones. It is logical to primarily test all WAP content with the simulator Nokia provides. This simulator is part of the software package Nokia Mobile Internet Toolkit and is available free of charge at http://www.forum.nokia.com/wapforum/main/1,6566,1_1_12,00.htm. However, to access this page, you have to register (also free) with Nokia. Then the Windows installation package may be downloaded. Additionally, the provided URL offers simulators for specific Nokia devices. The Nokia Mobile Internet Toolkit distribution contains only one (fictitious) Nokia mobile phone; others are available as additional downloads and must be installed separately from and after the toolkit.
After successful installation, the simulator opens in a two-window view (see Figure 19.1). On the left side is the main window of the toolkit, where you can open new files and configure the software. The right-side window is the phone simulator itself, showing the currently loaded WAP page. You can change which phone is used by using the menu command Settings, Select Device.
Figure 19.1. The Nokia Mobile Internet Toolkit.
To use the Nokia Mobile Internet Toolkit, you need a Java Runtime Environment (JRE), version 1.3 or later. The current installation package contains JRE 1.3.1; however, more recent versions are available at http://java.sun.com/jre. You should install a recent JRE first and then the Nokia Mobile Internet Toolkit.
Sony Ericsson gives the developer two choices to test mobile applications on mobile phone simulators. Either simulator for a specific phone (P800, T68i) can be downloaded at http://www.ericsson.com/mobilityworld/sub/open/technologies/wap/tools/sem_wap_emulators. For maximum available functionality when developing, however, the software suite WapIDE is the better choice. This package includes simulators for several Ericsson phones and an application designer that helps you to create mobile applications. WapIDE is available at http://www.ericsson.com/mobilityworld/sub/open/technologies/wap/tools/wapide321 and can be seen in Figure 19.2. This simulator also requires both a Java Runtime Environment 1.3 or later and a registration (free) with Ericsson.
Figure 19.2. The Ericsson WapIDE.
One very active, yet not widely known member of the WAP Forum, is Phone.com, now known as Openwave. Its WAP browser is used in a number of mobile phones. Of course, you will have to test your pages in this browser! It comes in two flavors. You can download and install the browser only, called Openwave Client SDK. It is available at http://developer.phone.com/omdt/download_client_sdk.html. Alternatively, you can download a complete package consisting of the SDK and additional documentation and tools. This collection of software is called Openwave Mobile Developer Toolkit and is available at http://developer.phone.com/omdt/download_toolkit.html. Both software products neither require a Java engine nor a registration with the developer.
Motorola Wireless IDE/SDK
The fourth software recommended for testing comes from Motorola and is available at http://www.motorola.com/MSP/tools/. First, download and install the Motorola Wireless IDE, a development environment. Then scroll further down the page and look for the Mobile ADK (MADK). This extends the IDE to support WML and WMLScript. Figure 19.3 shows the simulator.
Figure 19.3. The Motorola MADK Simulator.
Several other viewers are available. Most notable is the Norwegian Web browser Opera (http://www.opera.com/), which offers experimental support for WML since version 4. However, using this program for testing WML pages is generally not recommended. Whereas end users might test WAP content using Opera (without having to go online with their mobile phone), a developer is interested in the WAP content being compatible to all major browser types. Opera is very forgiving when it comes to syntax errors in WML code; other browsers are not that cooperative. Also, Opera has problems with some of the features with WML. Therefore, use the previously mentioned browsers as much as possible.