May 27, 2009

Nokia Ovi store and Java verified confusions

Nokia has launched is application store called Ovi store yesterday. Store seems to carry a lot of good content even today. I was browsing some of the content yesterday and I have even marked one or two applications which I am planning to purchase on the next convenient time (read when I can play with them). I guess this the whole idea about application stores.

I believe Ovi store is the first application store to carry Java ME applications. Therefore, if you are a Java ME developer the chances are you are interested on publishing your application to Ovi store. It seems like there had been a confusion among the Java developers about the acceptance criteria for the Java ME applications. Frankly, I have read the guidelines provided and I was confused as well. So I asked the guy who knows the guy to clarify. Here is what I have been told.

Java ME applications are accepted to the Ovi store only if they are able to meet Java Verified criteria. If your application is tested and verified by the Java Verified program, Ovi store will accept it. This does not mean that going through the Java Verified testing is the only option. You can also submit any VeriSign signed Java ME midlet to Ovi store. You still need to make sure that it meets the Java Verified criteria because it will be tested by the Ovi store before being accepted. Before anyone asks, I do not have any information if there are additional costs involved with Ovi store testing and also do not know about the time it takes for testing.

I hope this clears the confusion a bit. I somehow think that I would lean towards going through the Java Verified process if I was allowed to publish to Ovi. But I have no experience with the Java Verified so the comments are open for opinions on that.

Of course, this post would not be complete without hooking it to the eSWT. You can also publish eSWT based midlets to Ovi store. eSWT is supported by all these Nokia devices. And if your eSWT application makes it big, remember we love (chocolate)doughnuts over here in eSWTland.

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May 19, 2009

eSWT features on Eclipse MTJ RC1

Eclipse MTJ project has done the MTJ 1.0 RC1 release yesterday. MTJ team has been working on bringing in new features and completing the initial set of APIs. RC1 release marks the feature freeze for the MTJ 1.0 release and this is a good time to test MTJ and report any bugs.

A couple of new eSWT features are also included in this release that makes me smile. The “New Midlet Wizard“ now includes an option for creating a Hello World eSWT midlet. When this option is selected the wizard will create a simple midlet that uses eSWT.

eswt_midlet_template

There is also code assist template support for eSWT’s mobile extension widgets when using the java editor. This feature extends the SWT templates to include the eSWT specific widgets.

eswtCodeTemplate

I hope, you have as much fun using the new features as I had when developing them. Please keep the bug reports and enhancement requests coming.

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May 18, 2009

Follow @GorkemErcan

Yeap, you guessed it, I was a late comer but like most of the free world, and Oprah. I am on Twitter. Come follow me on Twitter!  @GorkemErcan
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May 10, 2009

Barcode scanner RCP application example is on GitHub

A few weeks ago, I have blogged about a RCP application of mine that demonstrates barcode recognition with a webcam. I have developed the application using Java Media Framework(JMF) and zxing library together, you can read the details from my earlier post. Anyway some people reacted to the post and wanted to have a copy of the code. I finally got the time to share the code on github. Code is basically an example that demonstrates how it works. I am not sure at this time if I will enhance the application and to what direction however I am open to suggestions. One idea is to create a eRCP/RCP and possibly RAP single sourcing example application.

Also I should note that this is the first time I did something useful on GitHub and I must say I am impressed.

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May 5, 2009

Is Java ME staging a comeback?

It has been said that Java on mobile phones is on its way out. Frankly, the odds were not on the favor of Java ME on a rapidly changing industry. Java ME is old, carries a lot of excess for the sake of compatibility, innovation is slow, it is not as feature rich and fragmented and so on... Lately, I have started to observe a tune change from a hating old lover to a sorry one.  Curiously, change is not happening because there had been great changes on Java ME.

Unfortunately, opinions are changing because alternates to Java ME are not able to provide a solution or years away from presenting a credible solution. Today, Java is the only technology that provides a working solution for cross platform mobile applications. I think industry is also starting to realize the fact that despite all its faults, Java was able to provide some solution. It is discovering, as it becomes familiar with the new technologies, behind all the shine and promises, the same or worse problems of the Java exists.

I am basing this suggestion to several of my observations. I have seen an increase in the number of Java ME developers using eSWT. This is significant because eSWT is relatively new and developers are usually choosing to use it for new and more capable applications. Another observation comes from my conversations with ISVs. Although numbers vary, one ISV told that about 75% of the new work they got was on Java so far this year. Also, Java ME remains the first client choice for server based applications, such as the one I have blogged about earlier or the mobile maps applications from Ericsson.

As I have said earlier this is not happening because the existing problems are solved. Alternate technologies are good technologies as well, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with them. Eventually, they will be able to fulfill their promise. This comeback however may provide Java technology providers a signal that it is worth to make the investment to solve the remaining problems and enhance further the mobile Java. So what do you think? Will/should the industry respond to the call or just let time do its thing?

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