Posted by editor
on October 25, 2007 at 7:34 AM PDT
Repeat after Gosling: ME is not going away! Also:
Java Today: ME "drama", plenty of life left in ME, and JSR-292 meeting summary
Weblogs: Gosling clarifies ME/SE comments, Carla connects jMaki widgets, and Sean calls for individuals on MSA Advanced EG
Forum Posts: Wanting multiple ejb.jars, getting a list of file associations, and master-detail tree table views
Repeat after Gosling: ME is not going away!
OK, back on Monday, we featured the CNet story speculating about the possibly of SE eventually becoming the platform of choice for mobile devices. It didn't help that CNet went with the provocative title Sun starts bidding adieu to mobile-specific Java? I talked about the article in Monday's editor's blog , talking about both the potential for such a development and wondering if it was really that practical or valuable: "Simplicity is one thing, but given that SE will surely use up a lot more of the device's memory and CPU, it is fair to ask what developers will get from SE on the device that they can't achieve with ME." In other words, SE has more stuff, but how much of it is relevant in a mobile/embedded context, and how valuable is it?
A lot of people apparently didn't take the grain of salt and assumed CNet was right in its apparent assertion that Sun seemed content to set aside the lynchpin of a billion dollar industry . So that makes today Correction Day.
To get the story straight from the creator's mouth, check out James Gosling's latest blog: JavaME is *not* dead! He continues:
It's growing up. Sheesh. Some folks are far too eager to misinterpret statements and put words in my mouth . The early versions of JavaME were very simple and limited, a direct reflection of the fact that early phones themselves were simple and limited: we had to work with what we had. But as time has passed, and cell phones have become more powerful and capable, JavaME has grown up too. Cell phones are becoming the new desktop. We've been saying this for years. Over time, it's pretty clear that Java ME and Java SE will converge and become largely indistinguishable.
That last sentence is a pretty interesting prediction, but not that implausible. Consider a definition that Kim Topley makes in J2ME in a Nutshell: "J2ME VMs are usually defined in terms of those parts of the Java Virtual Machine Specification and the Java Language Specification that they are not obliged to implement." So, whereas today Java ME is "Java SE minus
double, runtime class-loading, etc.", maybe the improvement of devices allows for an ME that is "Java SE minus nothing". It still be valuable to have a specific mobile edition, to support user interaction models that make more sense on portable devices than the AWT's assumption of a keyboard and mouse, or to support APIs that are largely meant for mobile use (Bluetooth, for example), but still, Gosling is offering a way to think of the likely evolution of the platform that's more useful than the journo-skewed "Sun to ditch ME" meme.
The "ME is not going away" point is backed up by several items in the Java Today section.
The official Sun breaking news blog, On The Record, tries to ratchet down the SE-to-replace-ME chatter in a clarification titled Java ME - Oh the Drama! "It seems that some of the discussions around convergence & what will happen in the future caused people to think Sun is (insert your favorite descriptor here - bidding adieu, killing off, abandoning, waving goodbye) Java ME. Not happening! Java ME and Java SE are not mutually exclusive - they are complementary platforms - as James Gosling posts on his blog."
And an InternetNews.com article covers Sun's clarifications that there's Plenty of Life Left In Java ME .
"In a recent update to its Java roadmap, Sun Microsystems pretty much omitted any discussion about Java Micro Edition (ME), which would seem to be a bad sign for the embedded language. However, the company insists there is plenty of life in technology and it won't be abandoned any time soon. James Gosling today updated his blog to state rather unequivocally that Java ME is not going anywhere."
Meanwhile, in a forward-looking bit of SE news,
John Rose has a posted a JSR-292 Meeting Summary , compiling notes from last week's "kickoff" meeting of the expert group considering designs for an
invokedynamic VM instruction. "To make the current Proof of Concept design public, we need to pass the "red face test". That is, the design shows a direction that we as an EG think is worth explaining and improving. Since this is not a voting milestone, the EDR [Early Draft Review] spec. can be incomplete and have unresolved issues." The notes also suggest that JSR-292 may changes beyond adding
invokedynamic, and will likely launch an OpenJDK open source sub-project to develop the Reference Implementation.
Returning to today's Weblogs , Carla