web browser for WAP WML pages
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wApua WML Browser

What is wApua?

wApua is a Wireless Markup Language (WML) browser which can access WML pages via HTTP, HTTPS or locally on the disk.

It is not able to access content over the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) for which WML was designed. But the primary purpose of wApua is not to be used on mobile phones but on Unix or Linux workstations to debug WAP WML pages without having to use a mobile phone or a potentially expensive mobile data connection.

wApua is written in the Perl programming language and uses libwww-perl and Perl/Tk.

For installation see the file INSTALL.


wApua was developed because of frustration about commercial WML browsers (WinWAP et al), that didn't fit my requirements. In addition to that, none of them was able to run under diverse Unices, especially SunOS and Solaris, which were used as work-stations and servers at university.

And those online WML to HTML converters are slow and not very useful for debugging WML pages.

So on some day in spring 2000 I thought about writing a WML browser in Tcl/Tk because some of my colleagues used that for simple-to-write graphical user interfaces. But I haven't seen any Tcl code before, because I wrote most of those simple-to-write things in the Perl programming langauge. Then I discovered Perl/Tk and only a few days later the first usable verison of wApua was ready for debugging http://wap.dagstuhl.de/, which was part of my student's job back then :-).

I worked with wApua for about three or four months. Then someone asked at the Heise WAP Forum for a WAP WML browser for Linux and I set up a little website with some information and download possiblities, and announced it on Freshmeat (now named Freecode and dead).

Features and Standards Support

wApua doesn't interpret all WML tags yet (e.g. no forms support), but it especially interprets some tags that WinWAP 2.2/2.3 interprets very rudimentary or even wrong, e.g. tables and the tag.

Given that WAP is more dead than Gopher and the wApua release intervals so far ranged from a few days to five years, the chances are very low that I'll ever add additional features.


wApua supports configuration via a configuration file ~/.wApua.rc.

See the source code of wApua/Config.pm for configuration possibilities (colors, fonts, home page, paths, etc.). Every hash-key used there, can also be used in you configuration file ~/.wApua.rc. In addition to that, every key (in the configuration file and Config.pm) beginning with HTTP_ is treated as HTTP header, which will be added to every request, that wApua makes. (There is one exception: HTTP_Accept_Images is the HTTP Accept header for retrieving images). See the file wApua.rc for examples and an alternative coloring scheme.

Starting wApua

  • If you start wApua without any options, wApua will start with the home page configured in Config.pm or .wApua.rc.

  • Starting wApua with wApua -f <config-file> will start wApua and read the configuration from <config-file>. If you want to suppress the reading of .wApua.rc, start wApua with wApua -f /dev/null. You may also start wApua with wApua -f - and it will read the configuration from STDIN.

  • Any other command line parameter will be regarded as (more or less) complete URL. If it's the name of an existing file, it will be loaded, otherwise wApua will look up if it's a hostname and after that being unsuccessful it will try to add some www. in front and some .com at the end... (Most heuristics done by URI::Heuristics.)


The latest versions and much more information about wApua can be found at the wApua Home Page and at Freshmeat.

You may also try wApua's WAP WML page with some WML browser... :-)

Copyright, License and Author

wApua is copyright 2001-2017 by Axel Beckert wapua@deuxchevaux.org and licensed under the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 2 or (at your option) any later version.