IN THIS CHAPTER
In Chapters 1, "Wireless Hardware" and 2, "Wireless Network Protocols," we introduced wireless hardware and the 802.11 standard used in WLANs. Now that we've covered the infrastructure basics, let's briefly examine the wireless programming languages that facilitate communication on this infrastructure.
Although basic wireless communication seems simple on the surface, the programming can be complex. Programmers must optimize everything for a device with minimal memory and processing power. Whether it is for ordering pizza, checking movie times and prices, or sending SMS messages, the code can be quite involved. In addition, the information must be accessible from a wide range of devices, such as cell phones, Blackberry units, and iPAQs. Each of these devices has its own proprietary hardware and software applications protocols.
Programmers attacked this complex task with alacrity, and languages quickly evolved. Although the outcome is not completely standardized, the contestants have been narrowed down to a few stable and very useful languages. This chapter will examine the main types of programming and formatting found in handheld wireless devices. Currently the list includes the following: