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IBM admits lack of HTMLstandard limits Websphere

IBM has admitted that the power of its transcoding software is limited because there is no rigidly defined standard for HTML -...

IBM has admitted that the power of its transcoding software is limited because there is no rigidly defined standard for HTML - which could hamper firms looking to enter the Wap market, writes Caroline Davis.

Big Blue claims its Websphere Transcoding Publisher "dynamically translates Web information - including text and images - to a format readable on a variety of Internet appliances".

But IBM technology consultant David Conway-Jones says that companies wanting to generate wireless markup language (WML) for Wap access from an existing Web site, will only be able to do so if the HTML is "well-formed". HTML 4 is currently the closest thing there is to well-formed HTML.

GartnerGroup analyst Nick Jones voiced concerns about the viability of the transcoder. He is sceptical that it could recreate the user experience on another device simply by converting code from the original.

Conway-Jones admits this could be a problem, but adds, "In the top two or three layers, style is more important. But, when you get into the deeper layers where the data is, transcoding can play a part."

This was first published in April 2000

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