WAP Pictogram Specification as Emoji Source

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at wanadoo.fr
Sat Jan 7 05:43:03 CST 2017

Technically it is is operational within operators. Old mobile phones still
have an advantage that has completely been forgotten with smartphone, it is
their very long battery lifetime, and there are still mobile phones sold
today that are NOT smartphones, have NO Internet connectivity (only
GSM/EDGE and SMS) and that will remain in charge for about 2 weeks, when my
smartphone gets out of charge in less than 24 hours (or several times a
So no complex layered networking protocol stacks, no advanced typography
and a minimalist display. WAP is still supported on the EDGE/GPRS interface
(used also with the Internet protocol under 2G networks which works almost
everywhere when 3G/4G/5G signals cannot be received).
However don't expect using this for feature rich interaction including for
sending cute "WAP pictograms" that these devices will anyway not be able to
decipher and render. I bet that WAP pictograms was an early specification
for test that was in fact never needed, because the target audience goal
was better achieved with Internet protocols and encoding standards, but
also no one really wanted to administer a registry for the names (see the
death of pict.com: no one paying for it, specification redundant with
classic URIs on the web for referencing images), or standardizing the

The existing standard with normalized glyphs and semantics however exist,
notably for traffic signs (on streets/roads, railways, rivers/canals,
seas...), or in various industry standards (including for food, chemical
products, or cleaning instructions for textiles, or additional glyphs for
recycling, hazards or pollution). We are far from being complete in Unicode
there, even if the supporting standards are effective, sometimes even
mandatory, and very used. The problem for them is that these standards are
not necessarily international, and incompatible with each other but still
regulated and required and you cannot unify the glyphs specified by one of
these standards with those from a competing standard (or with those glyphs
already implemented in the UCS). And for now Unicode has resisted the idea
of standardizing sets of symbols for specific standards, and notably if the
glyphs are too strictly defined (not allowing variations/derivations
without breaking the intended regulated semantics).

2017-01-07 5:12 GMT+01:00 Martin J. Dürst <duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp>:

> On 2017/01/07 08:21, Christoph Päper wrote:
>> I just discovered the WAP Pictogram specification (WAP-213-WAPInterPic),
>> last published in April 2001 and updated in November 2001.
> I haven’t found any reference or vendor-specific images, by the way, and
>> if it wasn’t just used as an example domain anyway, pict.com seems now
>> defunct.
> Isn't WAP overall pretty much defunct these days?
> (Well, many including me predicted as much pretty much when it first
> showed up.)
> Regards,   Martin.
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