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A WAP Primer

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A WAP Request

We are finally ready to look at the anatomy of a WAP request. Figure 6 shows the client, gateway, and server trio. The client hosts a WAE user agent (e.g., a WML micro browser) and makes an encoded request to the gateway using the WAP protocol. This request is analogous to a Web browser sending an HTTP request to a specific URL. The difference is that this request is directed to a proxy (the WAP gateway) that translates it into a standard HTTP Post or Get message directed to a target URL. When a server satisfies the request by supplying static or dynamically created WML content to the gateway over HTTP (as in a normal Web request), the gateway encodes the content and returns it to the client using the layered WAP protocol. It is the responsibility of the client device to decode and display the information. Note that some WAP gateways support automatic translation of HTML into WML, therefore allowing Web servers to provide normal Web content (although this translation is often next to useless due to layout differences between HTML and WML).

Figure 6

Anatomy of a WAP Request

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