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Technology -- Why do you mock me?

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Joined: 2008-01-14

Hi All:

I'm new to developing on mobile devices and I'm flip-flopping between technologies. When I started thinking of creating an app for my phone I decided I'd go with J2ME, then I came across the SVG GUI Makeover demo (great demo btw) using SVG + Mobile Ajax. I thought, "Ya! I want my app to look great". But low and behold now I've stumbled across JavaFX Mobile! -_- ' Now by this time my heads about to burst and I've gotten literally nowhere with my app.

I want to build a fully interactive (datefields, textboxes, etc.) graphic rich app ... where should I begin?!? Opinions, pros, cons, anything!


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Joined: 2004-03-04


sorry for the slow reply - Thanks Shawn for providing some answers.

You're right in that the UI story for Java ME is confusing. Sun is partly to blame for that but also recognize that the use cases and requirements in the mobile and embedded space vary a lot so it is very difficult to define a common and consistent user model.

As Shawn says if you are looking to deploy an Java ME app today on 80% of the market then straight MIDP is your basic choice. SVG is now appearing in devices and is very cool but certainly limits your market (of course, you can always build a MIDP version along with a SVG version of your app). FX Mobile is still some time away from coming to market in numbers so that doesn't help you right now.

But actually, your best choice are UI libraries that sit on top of MIDP and that you simply link to your app and deploy to devices. Something like J2MEPolish ( combines the best of both worlds ... a rich environment but available immediately.

For a very interesting alternative to J2MEPolish please watch the announcements at JavaOne. There will be some exciting news there ... I can't say much about it just yet ;-)

-- Terrence
Senior Technologist and Community Ambassador

Joined: 2003-06-15

They question you must ask is "when do you want it to work on a real phone'.
If you want it ASAP and on a lot of phones, then your only option is JavaME MIDP2.0 & JTWI.
FYI... I read on engadget or gizmodo that Sun might even have a JavaME VM for the iPhone (assume iTouch too), later this year. (these are usually reference implementations, and as such can't be distributed, which is a real pain)

If you want it soon and on a few SonyEricsson phones then SVG is available albeit small numbers. Warning using SVG can actually bloat your code more and not less as advertised. This happens when you do high res detailed graphics with gradients and other techniques vs. graphic images in jpg or png form.

As for JavaFX Mobile....when SVG has only started hitting the market this year, and that spec has been out over 2 years. JFX mobile has not released a version for use or development. So you can imagine how long you might end up waiting for it to hit retail shelfs.

One other solution for Java on cellphones that you didn't mention is Android. I've heard rumors that it may support JavaME MIDlets (don't hold me to that, again only rumors) but it will have a lot of power and the JDK is nice, and is expected to have phone with it this year. (again not a large number but getting close to the numbers of models supporting SVG)

Hope that helps.