Thursday, January 21, 2010

Java ME SDK 3.0 review

Last week I spent some time on Java ME SDK 3.0. One of my application need to support both landscape mode and portrait mode, currently J2ME wireless toolkit does not support the feature of changing the screen orientation, I heard that Sun's new JavaME SDK V3.0 emulator support changing the screen orientation, so I installed it and hope it will help my work. but unfortunately I feel disappointed.

Issue of integration with NetBeans IDE
After installing it successfully on my windows machine, I tried to add the SDK into My NetBeans 6.1 IDE, and then later I realize that the all the tools and Prefrence setting of the SDK 3.0 are disabled in my NetBeans IDE. which means you can not profile, clear database, change emulator settings inside the NetBeans IDE.
At first I thought maybe due to my NetBeans version is old, so I installed the Netbeans 6.8, which integrates the Java ME SDK 3.0, but I found the same thing; and I also tried the NetBeans 6.5.1, it is still not working. I also found this thread in a forum about the same issue I found in NetBeans 6.7. I don't know when Sun will fix this issue, but I do know that if this issue is not fixed, then few developer will use the new SDK, since so many mobile developers are tied with the NetBeans IDE.

Lack of the options to launch the emulator
For the emulator, I need a scenario that my application launched in a landscape mode, but I did not find there is any setting in the SDK allow you to do that, it always start as portrait mode.While Nokia S60 3rd SDK already supports this feature. Sun should provide this feature both in GUI menu settings and command line.

Failed to debug
I tried to debug my application by setting a break point using the SDK 3.0,I tried twice, but no luck.

No document to describe how to customize the emulator
 Compare to WTK 2.5.x, the SDK 3 changed a lot for the emulator file structures, I realize it becomes much more complicated than before. For WTK 2.5.x, it is really easy to customize the emulator, I now how to change screen size, how to enable touch screen; but for SDK 3, I don't where I can start,I hope Sun could provide an official document to describe the architecure of the new emulator. I found this article about customizing the emulator in SDK 3 in Java ME SDK team blogit might be useful.

Based on the reasons of above, I don't think the current version of the JavaME SDK can help me for my application development, so I have to change back to WTK 2.5, and use Nokia's S60 emulator, even if it is slow,but at least it works. It seems Sun has a long way to improve its new mobile SDK.

This artcile is based on windows version, I haven't touch the Mac version and Linux version yet.
Related links:
  1. Java ME SDK integration in NetBeans 6.7 
  2. How to create a custom device 

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