The OMA ( http://www.openmobilealliance.org ) has defined a standard for manufacturers to add a specific Header to HTTP requests so that the remote server will receive an extra parameter with a URL to an RDF file which should describe the device features. Unfortunately the specification did not go too much in depth about the required information to be added to these RDF files. The minimum requirements are the brand and model, screen size and supported content types. Mobile devices, just like any other web browser already provided the Accept headers, so this was not a great new feature and of course the simple screen size is not enough to provide a good experience. Anyway this was already a step towards providing some extra information about the device. Visiting the OMA website you will notice that UAProf has evolved and version 2.0 is coming. This new version will provide more information about the devices.
OMA has left to the manufacturers the freedom to enrich the information provided to the remote sites through UAProf. Luckily some manufacturers decide to provide information about downloadable media, J2ME, Video download and streaming. These manufacturers have certainly understood the value of providing information about the device the user is currently using.
UAProf is not only limited in the contents it provides, often URL's are closed within private networks, accessible only if you have a partnership with the mobile carrier or the manufacturer.
UAProf may be copyrighted, this means that you might not have the right to make a local copy or cache, compelling servers to request UAProf files all the time.
UAProf, just like anything other thing, can have mistakes. Since UAProf files are stored in central servers, maintainers may update the file without notifying the developers. This means that if a new browser version is released and the UAProf URL is the same, you might get inaccurate data about the browser capabilities.
UAProf is generally stored in the X-Wap-Profile header. Headers might also include diff information regarding the URL published. Applying differences is an "exercise left to the developer".
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