Oct 31, 2007

10 über cool eSWT features for MIDP developers

Together with some of the people working on S60's java platforms, we came up with a list of the coolest eSWT features we believe the MIDP developers will appreciate most. Because I wanted to limit it to ten items, and did not want to write a book for a blog post, it is not a complete list of eSWT features. It is a list for MIDP crowd extracted from a discussion with MIDP crowd.

Here is the list in no particular order.

  • Advanced widgets such as Table, Tree, Browser and ListBox: So far MIDP developers were creating their custom widgets to get the same advanced functionality. I am sure not having to create custom widgets for will be appreciated.
  • Layout Managers: eSWT comes with desktop java layout managers that will ensure the application scales to different screen sizes.
  • Inline text editors: MIDP is not stuck with the full screen text anymore. Text can be positioned anywhere with full benefits of the platform supported text editing facilities including edit modes and T9.
  • Pop-up windows: Using eSWT Shells it is possible to create info pop-ups and even your own custom dialogs.
  • Access to native dialogs such as FileDialog, DirectoryDialog, ColorDialog and others: Now java applications can use the same dialogs as the native applications of the platform.
  • Clipboard access: This is pretty obvious but amazing you can copy data to and from platform`s system clipboard.
  • Saving images to files: Create images on memory, change them and save them to a file. This makes taking screenshots on your mobile java applications a breeze.
  • Menus and Commands done right: It is possible to have multiple levels of menus or commands. You can use images on them or have check, radio style menus.
  • Query device capabilities: Use eSWT's MobileDevice to discover input or screen capabilities of device, even get notifications of changes such as a Bluetooth keyboard added and adjust application behavior
  • Events, and many of them: Mobile java applications can get notifications of everything happening in your UI, keys, mouse, selections, traverses, and many other.

And a bonus feature,

  • Open source implementation: Got a problem have a look at the code, better create a patch to fix it. Discuss your problem or a missing feature with the implementation team
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Oct 27, 2007

eRCP 1.0.3 released

eRCP 1.0.3 release is available for download. This is a maintenance release with several critical bug fixes. This is a release that was eagerly sought by some of eRCP`s corporate adopters.

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Oct 24, 2007

eRCP, We would use it again!

I have found out about this presentation by accident. It is an experience report on using eRCP. Also highlights some of the eRCP and eSWT features. I am always glad to receive any kind of feedback on eRCP but this one gets very pleasing on the last slide where it says "We would use it again!".

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Oct 23, 2007

Java Mobile & Embedded Developer Days

There will be conference focused on mobile and embedded java at the Sun Santa Clara Campus auditorium. The call for papers is open until October 31 and I hope to see eclipse and especially DSDP projects represented there.

I, with my colleagues in Nokia, plan to submit something for eSWT and eRCP but I feel that on a Sun hosted conference with Sun dominated committee the chances are not great.

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Oct 8, 2007

eSWT for S60, First Contact

Forum Nokia has released a plug-in to S60 3rd edition FP2 MIDP beta SDK, that will enable the development of eSWT based midlets using the SDK. eSWT support will be part of the final MIDP SDK.

This is very significant because for the first time that eSWT implementation for S60 is made available for developers. If you are a MIDP developer, please do check out the extended capabilities of the eSWT toolkit. If you are an eclipse veteran, I am sure that you will enjoy working with the all familiar SWT concepts and APIs when developing for mobile.

In order to get started, you may want to check out my older posts about the information available for eSWT and the midlet how to document. If you seek help on eSWT issues eRCP newsgroup is the place to ask questions. If you discover bugs, eclipse bugzilla now lists S60 as one of the target operating systems.

We are now starting to push the S60 implementation to eclipse CVS and the development of the implementation will continue in the open. If you are a Symbian developer or want to learn about Symbian who wants to contribute to the project, do not hesitate to contact the project mailing list.

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Oct 4, 2007

Going to Eclipse Summit, demos in my pocket, literally.

I am speaking about eSWT at the Eclipse Summit Europe on October 11 at Ludwigsburg, Germany. A good portion of the talk is a demo of eSWT on different Nokia devices and windows desktop. As an added bonus, I will show how the same UI can be made available as an AJAX application using RAP.
Prior to my session, eRCP commiter Uriel Liu will have a talk that will introduce the project and its current state.
This is my first time attending the eclipse summit but eclipse events are always a great opportunity to learn about the cool stuff and meet people. I expect this one to be no different.
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Oct 3, 2007

Visual Editor for eSWT

I have not used a visual editor since the Visual Age for Java days but like many others involved in eRCP project I was curious about the first visual editor to include eSWT support.

This is an initial screenshot from the eRCP GUI builder from Instantiations. eRCP GUI builder will be part of their window builder family of products. It will support both eRCP and MIDP based eSWT applications. Eric Clayberg from Instantiations noted that eRCP Designer will be available for beta testing soon.

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