WURFL - The Wireless Universal Resource File
May 8th, 2005
Almost everyone who has ever developed applications for wireless devices was faced with the problem of the different device capabilities. Some devices support WAP 1.0 only, some do XHTML, some support MMS, some don’t, etc. A serious wireless application should be able to recognize the capabilities of the device which is accessing the service and tailor the service accordingly. But how do you achieve this?
WURFL is a wonderful open source project which provides an XML configuration file which contains information about capabilities and features of most of the wireless devices that are in use today. The information it provides is supplied by many wireless developers from around the world and is more accurate than the UAProf database which is mainly based on information provided by the manufacturers.
There are also ready to use open source libraries for mainstream languages such as Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, Perl and .Net, that parse the WURFL file and provide an easy-to-use interface for checking device capabilities.
WURFL is used by many operators around the world and has became a de-facto standard in its field. It is great to see an open source project make such a huge impact in an area packed with proprietary issues.