Do-it-yourself WAP 2.0: 1.2: History of the Russian-language WAP [1 part].

    All previous and future parts are available here.
    As an appendix to this chapter: Interviews with people not without whose participation WAP has become what it is

    History of the Russian-language WAP


    As one of the historians said, in my eloquent retelling: “Any story is subjective by definition. Only historical facts are objective, and their interpretation that makes up history is the subjective opinion of a historian. ”I’ll add that I tried to be as less subjective as possible - before writing this article I talked with the administrators of several popular WAP resources, read a few subjective articles, one of which said that wap has no future, and the other is diametrically opposite, but with explicit advertising of one of the resources - you can find all these articles using Google, we’ll try I look at WAP in different ways. So let's get started.

    Of course, to say that WAP in Russia (and other CIS countries) appeared suddenly from the floundering bay is not worth it - the first WAP (and then also WAP 1.0) sites appeared back in 1998-1999. Naturally, these were WAP sites of mobile operators. Access to the WAP was then carried out only by CSD (if you go to extremes, it is very similar to the Dial-up standard), it is natural that a minute of such pleasure was quite expensive, but what can I say about the 20th century - an advertising brochure, preserved by chance, the tariff "MTS JEANS" for 2004 promised us a minute of work on the Internet at a cost of at least 11 cents, that is, at that time - about 198 rubles per hour.
    Thus, it was CSD prices that slowed down the development of WAP: in fact, only oilmen from Tomsk could use it, and the engine of progress was that young people could not and would not (and would not want to) for the money to create and develop a Russian-language WAP.

    The boom of the development of ru-WAP

    The boom in the development of WAP in many countries appeared after the introduction of GPRS technology: now the Internet did not clog the "telephone line", and data began to be transmitted in "packet" mode. In 2001, in Russia the “Big Two” (MTS, Beeline) began to introduce test (read free) GPRS, the only obstacle was that the phones themselves that supported this technology were not cheap, but still people began to gather on the operator’s portals - each had its own chats, unpretentious forums. Then mobile versions of large WEB-portals, for example Yandex, appeared, but they performed the role of a news translator, essentially realizing only the minimum of WAP capabilities and not presenting any interaction to users, and WAP operator resources of some interest and a large number (by that standards) services were closed to the outside world. People talked

    The eye of administrators of future popular and not-so-wap-sites fell on the popular site-builders in foreign WAP-sites: , . Everything would be fine, but these sites were English-speaking - read about Unicode and did not even hear (we will talk about encodings later, now I just note that Unicode, in particular UTF-8 encoding, is a standard in WAP, and due to the fact that the first elements of the table UTF-8s correspond to ASCII elements, then English-language sites displayed perfectly on any browser, but non-ASCII text was already a problem - if the pages on the designers were stored in the correct encoding (which is very rare), then it came back with "cracker" and in the result of the first amateur (private) Russian speaking Private sites had to communicate with the visitor through transliteration.

    Over time, more and more wap-saytostroiteley became acquainted (someone - reading the specification, and who by trial and error) with WML markup language and post your creation on free hosting such . Over time, due to a number of reasons (for example, blocking Vimpelcom’s ip subnets on (Beeline trademark)), websites began to be moved to various kinds of designers, but already supporting the Russian language, the first of these was the wap constructor that appeared in 2003 . , unfortunately who has passed their position by 2005 and give a real "Giants» - , and WEN.RU .

    The history of is closely connected with the history of one very popular site . The author of this site was one of the chat users on the MTS portal - Muryk (Alexander Muradov). At that time, an interesting constructor was just “found” - (which I already mentioned in passing). It is interesting in that you can create sites from a computer - in a special application-designer you can quickly “rip” a site from a dozen pages and place it on some hosting or designer, well, or click the button and place the site on , like Myruk and dozens of other newborn WAP site administrators entered. Myruk devoted a lot of time to his brainchild (originally - and later decided to improve the life of both himself and the users - to make a full-fledged "engine" for the site, which Mans and Dizzy did, but later they stopped helping Alexander because he did not share (and did not start sharing) profit with them that the site began to bring. Mans and Dizzy decided to create their own portal - this is how appeared , and eventually fell in ratings.

    At this time, “non-design” sites began to appear, giving at least some kind of interactive user experience: this is how the chat , very popular in 2003-2005, appeared . In addition to sites “about everything”, sites began to appear, the main theme of which is some kind of phone model or brand. So appeared and now popular: WAP version of the site siemens-club.ruand . The first appeared at the beginning of 2003, as you might guess, is dedicated to the phones of Siemens who had already “thrown off their skates”, and the second was founded on December 31, 2003, and its name stands for “Sony Ericsson Club”.

    Regarding Siemens-Club, then its initially technical forum always occupied a special place in WAP: in addition to sections devoted to siemens phones, the forum “Everything for the phone” and its sub-forum “WAP resources” stood out clearly. This sub-forum can be called the “Forge of Ru WAP talents”: there, people together understood how WAP was tripled, “built” their own sites and learned the basics of programming for WAP. The moderator of the section was and is unnamed777, who wrote FaQ on the basics of PHP for his favorite forum, according to which many studied (and not only from the sc forum) and to which they "sent" to receive an answer to the question.

    As I said, in the period from 2004 to 2005 the first "multifunctional" Russian-language WAP designers appeared: , , We will talk about them in detail a little later, for now we only say that their appearance greatly influenced the development of RuWAP: a fairly large number of Russian-language WAP sites began to appear. In general, the influence of designers is very ambiguous: on the one hand, there are quite a lot of interesting resources that are easy enough to support using only the phone; on the other hand, there appeared a lot of clone sites, and over time, thousands of sites consisting of one page on which there was nothing but links to paid content. In any case, Russian-language WAP designers have enabled a large number of people to hobbies, which some have grown into something more.

    I really like the opinion of the administration of, which I will fully quote: "If you have reached a level where the capabilities of the constructor alone are already completely lacking, you can safely create a site on a full-fledged hosting, and we will consider our mission of introducing you to wap accomplished." This position is the best, and if we consider the role of designers as “joining the wap”, then most of the designers regularly performed and fulfill their mission, for which they are thankful (I will use the “official position”: I will say thanks to - he and the forum are. helped me at the initial stage, which means that thanks to these two resources, I have grown to the point that I can write this book).

    The introduction of GPRS in Russia was in the form of a wave - by introducing and testing GPRS in one region, traffic fees were introduced and temporary free GPRS came to another region, repeating the experience of the previous one, for example, Beeline first introduced a tolerable monthly fee of $ 3, and later at the end 2004 - fee for GPRS-WAP traffic. Prices have not changed much since then. For the sake of economy, “knowledgeable people” began to create “alternative ip”, that is, to raise their own WAP-gates. Data transmission was carried out via GPRS-Internet, the price of which is several times lower. At the moment, the need for WAP gates is gradually disappearing, as more and more mobile browsers support a direct connection via GPRS-Internet.

    P.S. Writing this chapter was not such an easy task and I decided to divide it into two parts, in the second part I will try to talk about the “formation” of domestic designers, hosting, in general terms about the development of profitable “affiliate programs” for site administrators, and the current state of affairs .

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