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Openwave Courts Open Source Community

Courting the open source community, Openwave Systems Thursday released its Open Usability Interface to SourceForge.net under a Mozilla Public License.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based wireless communication infrastructure software maker said its server-side programming library and source code will serve as a base for mobile applications developers working with multiple networks and mobile devices.

In practice, developers code to the capabilities that each platform offers. Openwave boasts its library adapts better to each application user-interface being used for the particular device and gateway requesting the service.

"Developing mobile applications can be complex due to differences in browser presentation models and gateway deployments," said Openwave vice president of developer marketing Gina Centoni. "Open Usability Interface addresses these critical interoperability challenges by simplifying the development process. We are happy to contribute the code to the open source community, making it available to all developers who are building mobile applications for multiple devices."

Openwave released this library in beta version as the Openwave Usability Interface in November 2001, allowing developers to write one set of code and have content dynamically optimized at runtime for Openwave and Nokia browsers.

Now, as an open source project, Open Usability Interface offers developers a choice of programming front-ends including Java, WML-based tags, and XHTML-based tags built on JSP tag libraries, plus beta versions of PHP, ASP/COM and ASP .Net. the company says this gives developers flexibility and preserving developers' existing programming environments.

"This simplifies the development process with one template for all browsers. Now we can create applications that are optimized for multiple browsers and handsets, without requiring a lot of extra work," said Andrea Trasatti, a senior developer for Bware.

The Open Usability Interface also lets developers extend the libraries to support multiple mobile browsers and devices (beyond Openwave and Nokia), which minimizes the number of markup languages that need to be simultaneously supported and allows for a smoother transition to XHTML Mobile Profile and WAP 2.0.

Openwave has been showing many of its cards as of late. The company Tuesday opened its WAP Push Library - Java Edition 1.0, a new free site where mobile developers can get resources on push technology.

The company is expecting to gain more technology through the estimated $77 million acquisitions of Boulder, Colo.-based SignalSoft Corp. and San Francisco-based Ellipsus Systems.

No word yet on any Openwave plan to include code information related to the acquisitions at this time.