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Best handset for MIDP hobbyist?

14 replies [Last post]
Anonymous

My full question is:

Can MIDP hobbyists develop full-featured MIDlets and run them on their
own handsets?

By "full-featured" I mean having the ability to capture snapshots,
play audio clips, and access the memory card and the network.
(Without, that is, being prompted for approval every time; ask-once is
enough.)

By "hobbyist" I mean someone who either cannot afford a signing
certificate, or cannot get one -- because after all they're only a
hobbyist.

Is there any handset, compatible with any carrier anywhere in the
world, that satisfies these conditions?

Is this situation expected to improve in the future?

Will CDC be more permissive, and therefore a better choice for mobile
Java hobbyists?

--
Joe Bowbeer

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wsnyder6
Offline
Joined: 2004-04-20
Points: 0

Motorola has a free development certificate program, I've started the process to get one, its been slow, but from what I understand, it will let you have full access to the phones features.

Joe Bowbeer

On 4/27/07, wsnyder6 wrote:
> Motorola has a free development certificate program, I've started the process to get one,
> its been slow, but from what I understand, it will let you have full access to the phones
> features.
>
> [Message sent by forum member 'wsnyder6' (wsnyder6)]
> http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=214667
>

Thanks.

Unless I misread you, you are referring to Motorola's Development
Certificate program:

http://developer.motorola.com/techresources/testingcertification/testing...

The Development Certificate is a certificate issued by Motorola that
is bound to a limited number of handsets (max. 10) on which the
developer can install signed MIDlets.

I've used this program for commercial development (thanks Motorola!).
I'd say it's close to what is needed for students and hobbyists, but
is not yet adequate.

As you say, the application process is time consuming, and it involves
several exchanges of information, including a mutual NDA. Motorola
says to allow at least 45 days from the submission of your application
to issuance of a Development Certificate.

For students and hobbyists, though, the main drawback of this program
is that it is not intended for them:

"Development Certificates are evaluated on the basis of [...] their
relevance to Motorola business goals."

Another interesting program offered by Motorola is the Handset Loaner program:

http://developer.motorola.com/techresources/loanerprogram/

This might be suitable *if* the loaned handsets were issued with
Development Certificates.

--
Joe Bowbeer

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cobrien
Offline
Joined: 2004-06-09
Points: 0

not so much the phone. Sprint is fairly developer-friendly, at least you can download and run your own MIDLets without any trouble. You can downoad a midlet (provided you've got a jad file) from anywhere. You get "ask-once" protection for network access. You do need to be signed for camera and location access, but to be honest I think this is a pretty good compromise between developer interest and evil-doer access out there. '

For a while I think they had a temporary signing key in the web development kid -- but you have to register your phone too or something -- I never tried.

See developer.sprint com for more details.

Joe Bowbeer

On 4/26/07, cobrien wrote:
>
> Sprint is fairly developer-friendly, at least you can download and run your
> own MIDlets without any trouble.
>

I agree that Sprint is developer-friendly. A developer who registers
at developer.sprint.com can activate up to 200 handsets for
development purposes.

However, a VeriSign certificate is required in order to develop a
full-featured MIDlet:

To access the restricted API's (such as MMAPI, WMA, File I/O, PIM,
Location API, etc.), a Java Class 3 signed certificate from VeriSign
is required, at a cost of $499.00 per year.

This puts it out of reach for most students and hobbyists. (Is a Class
3 certificate even available to individuals?)

> For a while I think they had a temporary signing key in the web development
> kit -- but you have to register your phone too or something -- I never tried.
>

I'm not aware of a temporary signing key that will function on a real handset.

The Sprint WTK 3.1 documentation says:

The ability to create a key pair and sign a MIDlet within the toolkit
environment is for testing purposes only. When you run your
application on an actual device, you must obtain a signing key pair
from a certificate authority recognized by the device.

--
Joe Bowbeer

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Chris Denman

Hi,

I believe the Samsung Z520 may suit your needs, well, it has `Always connect/Per session/Per access/Never` permissions settings for network/file access/multimedia recording etc.

It even lets you access (via the FileConnection API) the MIDlet's installation directory which opens up some interesting possibilities ;).

JSRs installed are: 30, 37, 75, 118, 120, 135, 139, 177, 184, 205 and, it doesn't seem that buggy.

Chris

________________________________

From: A mailing list for KVM discussion [mailto:KVM-INTEREST@JAVA.SUN.COM] On Behalf Of Jofre Palau
Sent: 26 April 2007 10:36
To: KVM-INTEREST@JAVA.SUN.COM
Subject: Re: Best handset for MIDP hobbyist?

You could use a "old" Symbian device (previous than Symbian 9), create your own CA, import it to your device and sign your MIDlets with it. For newer devices it´s not possible to import CAs enabled for Code Signing.
Regards
Jofre

On 4/26/07, Ian Strain wrote:

I doubt it very much that you'll get a phone that will allow you to
choose ask once for the security prompts. An app has to be signed before
that feature is enabled.

Joe Bowbeer wrote:
> My full question is:
>
> Can MIDP hobbyists develop full-featured MIDlets and run them on their
> own handsets?
>
> By "full-featured" I mean having the ability to capture snapshots,
> play audio clips, and access the memory card and the network.
> (Without, that is, being prompted for approval every time; ask-once is
> enough.)
>
> By "hobbyist" I mean someone who either cannot afford a signing
> certificate, or cannot get one -- because after all they're only a
> hobbyist.
>
> Is there any handset, compatible with any carrier anywhere in the
> world, that satisfies these conditions?
>
> Is this situation expected to improve in the future?
>
> Will CDC be more permissive, and therefore a better choice for mobile
> Java hobbyists?
>
> --
> Joe Bowbeer
>
> ===========================================================================
>
> To unsubscribe, send email to listserv@java.sun.com and include in the
> body
> of the message "signoff KVM-INTEREST". For general help, send email to
> listserv@java.sun.com and include in the body of the message "help".
>

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Java

Hello,

You received lots of very good responses already, but please let me
promote an alternative. Personnally, I think that Blackberries are the
best devices for tinkerers. Here is a few reasons.

From my own limited experience, the J2ME implementation is "clean" i.e.
it does not differ from the WTK's one and I haven't found serious
gotchas. It's also more than fast enough.

The MIDP implementation is usually quite up-to-date: Blackberries were
the first devices to support MIDP 2.0.

That's if you want to write pure MIDP applications. But if you are ready
to forgo MIDP compatibility, you can write Blackberry applications that
can actually use the whole Blackberry API, just like *every other
preinstalled app* on the device. If you only care about running stuff on
*your* device, then J2ME compatibility doesn't matter. You can write
applications that make phone calls, process SMS, ... On a Blackberry
device, a Java application is a first-class citizen, not some forgotten
aftertought lost in a menu somewhere behind a "Beware of the leopard"
warning sign.

In order to access the "sensitive" APIs (agenda, email, SMS..), you only
need to get a developer certificate from RIM, which cost $100 and is
quite simple to obtain. You don't need anything else to deploy your
applications to other RIM devices.

The Blackberry forums provided by RIM are OK. Not as good as some, but
better than most.

Now, of course there is a few drawbacks. First, the Blackberry service
is kinda expensive.

Second, even if you don't have to use the Blackberry IDE (which from my
point of view is a waste of RIM's resources), you still have to use the
JAR-JAD -> COD converter, which may be a bit difficult to work with
sometimes.

Finally, Blackberry devices are sometimes a bit behind the leading edge,
but not by much. Do not expect NFC readers anytime soon. But at least
every feature is accessible through the API: you aren't limited to the
APIs exposed by the MIDP implementation running on the device.

Now, it's been a year and half since I've last played with Blackberries,
so I hope that things didn't change too much.

Regards,
David

Joe Bowbeer wrote:
> My full question is:
>
> Can MIDP hobbyists develop full-featured MIDlets and run them on their
> own handsets?
>
> By "full-featured" I mean having the ability to capture snapshots,
> play audio clips, and access the memory card and the network.
> (Without, that is, being prompted for approval every time; ask-once is
> enough.)
>
> By "hobbyist" I mean someone who either cannot afford a signing
> certificate, or cannot get one -- because after all they're only a
> hobbyist.
>
> Is there any handset, compatible with any carrier anywhere in the
> world, that satisfies these conditions?
>
> Is this situation expected to improve in the future?
>
> Will CDC be more permissive, and therefore a better choice for mobile
> Java hobbyists?
>
> --
> Joe Bowbeer
>
> ===========================================================================
> To unsubscribe, send email to listserv@java.sun.com and include in the body
> of the message "signoff KVM-INTEREST". For general help, send email to
> listserv@java.sun.com and include in the body of the message "help".

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Fly Home

As a software engineer who ports j2me midlets so that they work on different devices i would recommend only a sony ericsson. You can visit their website to find out a phone that has all the api's that you are looking for. Also i would avoid samsung handsets as they seem to have quite a few um quirks. Also depending on how serious you are you could also get a few cheap older phones (ie a nokia, or motorola), especially if you won't your application to work on more than one handset.
Also as far as the signing goes as far as i know it will not stop you midlet working on the handset and at most will always ask an annoying question that's all so it's not really necessary for a hobbyist.
----- Original Message ----
From: Chris Denman
To: KVM-INTEREST@JAVA.SUN.COM
Sent: Thursday, 26 April, 2007 7:42:46 PM
Subject: Re: Best handset for MIDP hobbyist?

Hi,

I believe the Samsung Z520 may suit your
needs, well, it has `Always connect/Per session/Per access/Never` permissions
settings for network/file access/multimedia recording etc.

It even lets you access (via the
FileConnection API) the MIDlet’s installation directory which opens up
some interesting possibilities ;).

JSRs installed are: 30, 37, 75, 118, 120, 135,
139, 177, 184, 205 and, it doesn’t seem that buggy.

Chris

From:
A mailing list for KVM discussion
[mailto:KVM-INTEREST@JAVA.SUN.COM] On Behalf
Of Jofre Palau

Sent: 26 April 2007 10:36

To: KVM-INTEREST@JAVA.SUN.COM

Subject: Re: Best handset for MIDP
hobbyist?

You could use a
"old" Symbian device (previous than Symbian 9), create your own CA,
import it to your device and sign your MIDlets with it. For newer devices it´s
not possible to import CAs enabled for Code Signing.

Regards

Jofre

On 4/26/07, Ian
Strain
wrote:

I doubt it very much that you'll get a phone that will allow you to

choose ask once for the security prompts. An app has to be signed before

that feature is enabled.

Joe Bowbeer wrote:

> My full question is:

>

> Can MIDP hobbyists develop full-featured MIDlets and run them on their

> own handsets?

>

> By "full-featured" I mean having the ability to capture
snapshots,

> play audio clips, and access the memory card and the network.

> (Without, that is, being prompted for approval every time; ask-once is

> enough.)

>

> By "hobbyist" I mean someone who either cannot afford a signing

> certificate, or cannot get one -- because after all they're only a

> hobbyist.

>

> Is there any handset, compatible with any carrier anywhere in the

> world, that satisfies these conditions?

>

> Is this situation expected to improve in the future?

>

> Will CDC be more permissive, and therefore a better choice for mobile

> Java hobbyists?

>

> --

> Joe Bowbeer

>

>
===========================================================================

>

> To unsubscribe, send email to listserv@java.sun.com
and include in the

> body

> of the message "signoff KVM-INTEREST". For general
help, send email to

> listserv@java.sun.com and
include in the body of the message "help".

>

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[att1.html]

Joe Bowbeer

On 4/26/07, Fly Home wrote:
>
> As a software engineer who ports j2me midlets so that they work on different
> devices i would recommend only a sony ericsson. You can visit their website
> to find out a phone that has all the api's that you are looking for. Also i
> would avoid samsung handsets as they seem to have quite a few um quirks.
> Also depending on how serious you are you could also get a few cheap older
> phones (ie a nokia, or motorola), especially if you won't your application
> to work on more than one handset.
> Also as far as the signing goes as far as i know it will not stop you midlet
> working on the handset and at most will always ask an annoying question
> that's all so it's not really necessary for a hobbyist.

Thanks for the recommendation.

I've been developing portable MIDlets (and iMode Applications) since
2001 and have a lot of experience with different handsets and carriers
in several different countries. I also like Sony Ericsson handsets...

My question is motivated by an interest in getting more students and
hobbyists involved. The potential of Java ME is not being exploited.
We need to get more people involved in order to push the envelope.

I don't agree that "ask every time" is a viable option, even for a
hobbyist. This is just too painful for most applications.

--
Joe Bowbeer

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C. Enrique Ortiz

At the same time, you do want to have the students understand and
experience the real details when it comes to deploying apps, this
including the good, the bad, and the ugly, including signing and
prompts. So the solution goes back to making the process cheaper, even
if these special kind of certificates are (more) short-lived; this
option would be nice especially for developers that are students or just
plain aficionados, etc.

ceo

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Joe Bowbeer

On 4/26/07, C. Enrique Ortiz wrote:
> At the same time, you do want to have the students understand and
> experience the real details when it comes to deploying apps, this
> including the good, the bad, and the ugly, including signing and
> prompts. So the solution goes back to making the process cheaper, even
> if these special kind of certificates are (more) short-lived; this
> option would be nice especially for developers that are students or just
> plain aficionados, etc.
>
> ceo
>

I agree.

As every experienced Java ME developer knows, installing and running
the app on a real handset is a crucial step.

Imagine that you're trying to teach a class on mobile application
development at a university (or conference) -- or just trying to
enable a few students to develop a full-featured MIDlet for their
class project. I don't think this is possible now. Most of the
interesting features are restricted, and signing certificates are
either too expensive or impossible for these students to obtain. A
bogus exercise with emulators is the best you can offer, right?

Similarly, everyone who's had experience signing MIDlets knows that
the behavior of the MIDlet can change in surprising ways after it is
signed. So testing the *signed* MIDlet is also a crucial step. It
occurs to me that access to developer certificates would enhance
JavaVerified, too -- because it would enable developers to fully test
their apps before submitting for verification.

On a small tangent, I ran across this report from someone who was all
fired up by the mobile track at JavaOne last year, but became
completely frustrated fairly early in the trek:

http://weblogs.java.net/blog/joconner/archive/2006/05/state_of_java_m.html

I say this is a "tangent" because he was completely frustrated before
he even hit the signing wall. (But the signing issue is touched on in
the blog comments...)

We need to make this easier! Will JavaOne 2007 offer any relief?

--
Joe Bowbeer

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Robin Chaddock

You should realy go into a mobile phone shop and ask that question......
if only for the enjoyment of seeing their vacant expressions =)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joe Bowbeer"
To:
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2007 12:23 AM
Subject: Best handset for MIDP hobbyist?

> My full question is:
>
> Can MIDP hobbyists develop full-featured MIDlets and run them on their
> own handsets?
>
> By "full-featured" I mean having the ability to capture snapshots,
> play audio clips, and access the memory card and the network.
> (Without, that is, being prompted for approval every time; ask-once is
> enough.)
>
> By "hobbyist" I mean someone who either cannot afford a signing
> certificate, or cannot get one -- because after all they're only a
> hobbyist.
>
> Is there any handset, compatible with any carrier anywhere in the
> world, that satisfies these conditions?
>
> Is this situation expected to improve in the future?
>
> Will CDC be more permissive, and therefore a better choice for mobile
> Java hobbyists?
>
> --
> Joe Bowbeer
>
> ===========================================================================
> To unsubscribe, send email to listserv@java.sun.com and include in the
> body
> of the message "signoff KVM-INTEREST". For general help, send email to
> listserv@java.sun.com and include in the body of the message "help".
>

===========================================================================
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jwenting
Offline
Joined: 2003-12-02
Points: 0

> You should realy go into a mobile phone shop and ask
> that question......
> if only for the enjoyment of seeing their vacant
> expressions =)
>
>

Indeed. They're baffled if you ask them how to use the phone for calling someone. To many of the kids in phone shops that's a completely foreign concept these days...

Of course there are very few phones that will work anywhere in the world.
Not only are there areas with no coverage at all (except satcom, and I doubt OP was inquiring about those), but there are countries using systems that aren't compatible with GSM so even triple band phones won't work there.
And in the US where there is GSM the coverage in many places is so poor it might as well not exist (as I found out in 2004, during a 3 week trip I had coverage for maybe 2 days, even in places like Idaho Falls GSM coverage was spotty at best).

Ian Strain

I doubt it very much that you'll get a phone that will allow you to
choose ask once for the security prompts. An app has to be signed before
that feature is enabled.

Joe Bowbeer wrote:
> My full question is:
>
> Can MIDP hobbyists develop full-featured MIDlets and run them on their
> own handsets?
>
> By "full-featured" I mean having the ability to capture snapshots,
> play audio clips, and access the memory card and the network.
> (Without, that is, being prompted for approval every time; ask-once is
> enough.)
>
> By "hobbyist" I mean someone who either cannot afford a signing
> certificate, or cannot get one -- because after all they're only a
> hobbyist.
>
> Is there any handset, compatible with any carrier anywhere in the
> world, that satisfies these conditions?
>
> Is this situation expected to improve in the future?
>
> Will CDC be more permissive, and therefore a better choice for mobile
> Java hobbyists?
>
> --
> Joe Bowbeer
>
> ===========================================================================
>
> To unsubscribe, send email to listserv@java.sun.com and include in the
> body
> of the message "signoff KVM-INTEREST". For general help, send email to
> listserv@java.sun.com and include in the body of the message "help".
>

===========================================================================
To unsubscribe, send email to listserv@java.sun.com and include in the body
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Jofre Palau

You could use a "old" Symbian device (previous than Symbian 9), create your
own CA, import it to your device and sign your MIDlets with it. For newer
devices it´s not possible to import CAs enabled for Code Signing.
Regards
Jofre

On 4/26/07, Ian Strain wrote:
>
> I doubt it very much that you'll get a phone that will allow you to
> choose ask once for the security prompts. An app has to be signed before
> that feature is enabled.
>
> Joe Bowbeer wrote:
> > My full question is:
> >
> > Can MIDP hobbyists develop full-featured MIDlets and run them on their
> > own handsets?
> >
> > By "full-featured" I mean having the ability to capture snapshots,
> > play audio clips, and access the memory card and the network.
> > (Without, that is, being prompted for approval every time; ask-once is
> > enough.)
> >
> > By "hobbyist" I mean someone who either cannot afford a signing
> > certificate, or cannot get one -- because after all they're only a
> > hobbyist.
> >
> > Is there any handset, compatible with any carrier anywhere in the
> > world, that satisfies these conditions?
> >
> > Is this situation expected to improve in the future?
> >
> > Will CDC be more permissive, and therefore a better choice for mobile
> > Java hobbyists?
> >
> > --
> > Joe Bowbeer
> >
> >
> ===========================================================================
> >
> > To unsubscribe, send email to listserv@java.sun.com and include in the
> > body
> > of the message "signoff KVM-INTEREST". For general help, send email to
> > listserv@java.sun.com and include in the body of the message "help".
> >
>
>
> ===========================================================================
> To unsubscribe, send email to listserv@java.sun.com and include in the
> body
> of the message "signoff KVM-INTEREST". For general help, send email to
> listserv@java.sun.com and include in the body of the message "help".
>

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