IBM adds wireless help to its developer Web site

IBM Corp. has launched a new section on its online developers' Web site to help programmers research technology issues surrounding wireless computing and collaborate on development, the company said Wednesday.

The new "zone" in IBM's DeveloperWorks Web site joins five others that focus on such subjects as Web services and Linux and Java development. The two-year-old portal includes news, tips, downloads, access to open source projects and has been localized for users in China, Taiwan and Japan.

While IBM's development Web site is one in a vast pool of similar resources on the Internet, there is an increasing need for more tools to aid wireless developers, said Jay Dixit, an analyst with market research firm Evans Data Corp. Citing figures from an Evans Data survey of 500 wireless developers released in August, 49 percent of those polled said there aren't adequate resources available for wireless development. Meanwhile, the study suggested that more and more companies were increasing their wireless efforts.

"What we found is that even though the wireless industry has suffered in the recent economic environment, it turns out that wireless development has not slowed," Dixit said. "In our survey, were seeing the pace of wireless development is continuing to accelerate."

With companies building new applications to do such tasks as access corporate e-mail accounts from wireless devices or build LANs (Local Area Networks) to enable wireless computing, developers are in need of resources, Dixit said.

Rami Khater, a software engineer in Northern Virginia who works in the wireless space and has used the DeveloperWorks Web site agreed. "There is nothing harder than trying to convert a regular Web application into a WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) phone application," he said.

At first glance, Khater said, the news and tips on IBM's site would be helpful. Though he noted that he has typically relied on other help sites such as Deja.com, an online help desk recently acquired by Google Inc, and Microsoft Corp.'s Developers Network, or MSDN Web site.

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