Chapter 5. Markups and Standards

Finally, we have arrived at the best part: coding! If you are reading this chapter but have skipped the previous ones, I encourage you to read them. Mobile web development is not just about coding; it is important to understand the full ecosystem, including what types of devices and browsers are available, and to be aware of mobile design and usability issues. That said, let’s take a look at the available markup languages and the relevant standards.

First, the Old Ones

Although you’re unlikely to use them in mobile web projects today, some familiarity with at least the basic concepts of the old markup languages can be useful. One day you may need to migrate an old mobile website or to work with older devices, and I wouldn’t be satisfied if I didn’t talk a little about them.

One of the first mobile web markup languages to be developed was HDML (Handheld Device Markup Language). Similar to HTML, it was developed by a company called Unwired Planet (the company that became Openwave and was later taken over by the Myriad Group). This markup language was never released as a standard, but it helped in the creation of WML.

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