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Getting started on a mac

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Joined: 2007-11-16

I'm trying to write a J2ME app (of course) so I'm trying to get set up. My main computer is a Mac OSX 10.4. I also have (or will have) a linux box and (as a last resort) Vista. What are my options for IDE, what is considered the best? etc. I'm very familiar with Eclipse and Emacs, less so with other IDEs.

the app is pretty vanilla java, with some use of USB and TCP/IP. No complicated graphics or UI.

Thanks a lot


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Joined: 2006-05-01

I do my JavaME development on my Mac without the use of virtualization. It's a pain in the butt, but it's possible if you're persistent.

The only JavaME emulator that will run natively on Mac OS X is mPowerPlayer. You can download the free SDK from From there, I use J2ME Polish (free from to manage my build process, and to launch the mPowerPlayer emulator.

I generally develop in IntelliJ IDEA, which provides no special support for J2ME Polish, but which does launch the Ant builds quite happily. Due to a bug in the current release of IntelliJ IDEA, I'm currently using NetBeans to do the same. If you decide you like NetBeans, there's a rather nice J2ME Polish module for it that provides WYSIWYG screen design and code completion for preprocessing directives. Installing it under Mac OS X is very tricky, but I've documented the process here:

I have to admit, if I were developing JavaME software professionally, I would just launch a Windows virtual machine and do my development work there. mPowerPlayer works well enough, but it's certainly not the most complete/stable/bug-free emulator platform, and I have definitely wasted an hour here or there chasing bugs that turned out to be limitations of the emulator.

That said, if you are just tinkering with JavaME in your spare time like I am, and you prefer to work in Mac OS X, then the above tools should provide everything you need to get started.

Joined: 2004-03-04


Sorry for the low reply. This one slipped through ...

For development and testing you'll need a Java ME emulator which emulates a particular platform and the APIs it implements. If you are focusing on MIDP then your best and most complete option is an emulator based on Sun's Wireless Toolki (WTK). However, WTK currently has native code and runs only on Windows and Linux, not on Mac. If you want to use the Mac I suggest running WTK on Windows or Linux in a virtualization environment (VMware, Parallels). I do this frequently and it works fine.

I am not very familiar with Eclipse but it is certainly a popular tool. I believe it uses the WTK underneath for emulation as well so the same platform restrictions apply (Windows, Linux). Also, I hear that NetBeans Mobility it quite a bit ahead of Eclipse in terms of functionality and ease-of-use. You may want to give NetBeans a try.

More on tools here:

Hope this helps,

-- Terrence