Browsing on a Bandwidth Budget

FRAMINGHAM (01/21/2000) - Because of the severe communications and display limitations of handheld devices like smart phones and palmtop PCs, Internet access has to take a somewhat different tack to be even feasible, much less successful. Here's how WML contributes to that process:

With PC web browsing, a normal Web page with lots of content and color graphics takes a lot of bandwidth to transmit quickly and requires very good display capabilities on the receiving browser. What generates that big Web page is an HTML program that specifies all the elements, where and how they're displayed and what graphics are included. When we use that large HTML page as the basis for a WML page, eliminating most of the graphics and color and including only necessary information, fewer bytes of data are transmitted. This process of paring down a Web page is sometimes called Web clipping. You may have only a few lines of display, but with a well-designed WML card deck, that's enough to get stock quotes, airline information, buy a book, get a weather report or perform many other functions.

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