Welcome!

Java Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Charles Jolley, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Sematext Blog

Related Topics: Java, Wireless

Java: Article

Focus on Java Mobility

Addressing Java ME-specific matters

For several months now a subset of the JCP's Executive Committees has been meeting as the Java ME Working Group to address Java ME-specific matters. In this column I'll focus on Java ME and on some of the issues that the Working Group has been discussing. (To follow our activities, check out our bulletin board at jcp.org.)

Fragmentation
Not surprisingly, the fragmentation problem is high on our list. In the Java ME space - much more so than in Java SE or Java EE - differences between implementations make it difficult to Write Once Run Anywhere. Developing an application that will run on many different cellphones requires very careful programming and extensive testing.

There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, the Java ME specifications are much more modular than those for Java SE and Java EE, allowing many combinations and permutations of APIs. Even where two devices implement the same APIs, the implementations may differ for a variety of reasons: because the specifications are imprecise (either deliberately or through omission), because of different capabilities between devices, or simply because of bugs in the implementations.

Umbrella specifications such as JSR 249: Mobile Service Architecture (MSA) 2 address specification problems by reducing optionality and tightening requirements, but this is not sufficient. More comrehensive testing - above and beyond that performed by the TCKs - is also required.

Recognizing this fact, a new organization was recently formed by Orange, Sony Ericsson, Sun Microsystems, and Vodafone. JATAF (Java Application Terminal Alignment Framework) seeks to gather information about differences in Java ME implementations (whether or not these differences are caused by bugs), and to develop an open-source test suite that can be used by device manufactures and others to identify and hopefully eliminate these differences.

This effort can only succeed with the active participation of all Java ME developers. If you work with Java ME, please participate. Join the JATAF project at java.net, and report on your experiences with Java ME implementations. Implementation differences will be addressed by the development of tests and the clarification of specifications. Collectively we can all help to improve the quality of the platform.

Feature Phones and Smartphones
Another concern expressed by members of the ME Working Group was the widespread perception that Java ME is primarily a technology for low-end cellphones. While it's true that many (2 billion!) such phones are powered by Java ME, this is by no means all that the platform can do. Two JSRs that are expected to make their final releases soon intend to change this perception.

The Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP) 3.0 specification adds new capabilities such as concurrency, inter-application communications, background processing, shared libraries, events, and improved user-interface components to enable the creation of Java applications that meet and exceed the capabilities of the most advanced smartphones..

Although JSR 249: MSA 2, addresses the fragmentation issue as discussed above, an equally important goal is to define a complete stack of APIs that will provide all of the functionality necessary to create fully-featured applications. The specification actually defines three profiles, for entry-level, mid-level, and high-end devices. Component JSRs include APIs for messaging, Bluetooth, contactless communication, user-interface development and deployment, graphics and multimedia, cryptography, and web services.

Cellphones implementing these two specifications will indeed be state of the art.

Beyond Phones
While Java's role in powering cellphones is widely recognized, we should not forget that the name Java ME stands for Java Mobile and Embedded. In addition to cellphones, Java can be found in printers and network devices, in vending machines and automobiles, and in consumer devices such as TV sets, set-top boxes, the Livescribe smartpen, and Amazon's Kindle. One of the most interesting and potentially influential uses of Java ME is in Blu-ray disc players.

Now that Blu-ray has won the standards battle with HD-DVD we can expect to see all optical-disc players migrate to the new standard within a few years. While the advatages that Blu-ray offers in storage capacity and high definition are well known, it's less widely understood that all Blu-ray disc players incorporate a fully programmable Java Virtual Machine with network connectivity. The Blue-ray disc Java (BD-J) specification is built on a combination of Java ME and Java-based TV sepecifications. BD-J provides a complete environment for the development of interactive and network-based video content. We don't yet know where this will lead, but the possibilities are endless. (Neal Young's Archives project is beginning to exploring this territory.)

Finally, a completely different application for Java ME is provided by Sentilla, who provide energy-management solutions for data centers by gathering data from tiny Java ME-based sensors that measure energy consumption and environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. This is a more focused approach than they originally adopted ("sensors everywhere") but it does suggest the way things will be done in the future. When it's possible to embed a Java VM with wireless communication capabilities in a device the size of a quarter then all sorts of possibilities open up.

For more news about Java ME and the variety of ways in which it is being used, visit the Mobile & Embedded Community at java.net.

Recent JSR Changes
JSR 316
, the Java EE 6 platform specification, is almost complete. The Proposed Final Draft specification was published in October, and the spec leads hope to go to Final Ballot before the end of the year. Releasing a platform specification always requires careful choreography of the component JSRs, since all must be brought to completion simultaneously. One component of Java EE 6 that required particular attention is JSR 330: Dependency Injection for Java, which made its Final Release in October. Since this JSR was approved only in May, it holds the record for the fastest passage through the process. Congratulations to Google and SpringSource, the Spec Leads, and thanks to the members of the Java EE 6 team and to the Expert Group of JSR 299: Web Beans for their efforts in coordinating the two JSRs.

Congratulations are also due to Star Spec Lead David Nuescheler of Day Software, whose JSR 283: Content Repository for Java Technology recently made its Final Release. This update to JSR 170 defines an abstract model and a Java API for data storage and related services commonly used by content-oriented applications such as content-management systems and other applications that manage a mixture of structured and unstructured information.

For full details of other JSR chanages please see the jcp-announcements bulletin board on the new jcp.org web site, which replaces the previous JCP-interest mailing list. (Sneak preview: we'll soon be introducing RSS feeds at jcp.org, so you'll be able to have the latest news delivered to your mailbox.)

Wrapping Up
By the time you read this article the annual elections for the Executive Committees will be complete. Any changes in membership will be effective on 17 November 2009, and the first meeting of the new Executive Committees will be on 8 December. Finally, within the next few weeks we plan to roll out a new version of the jcp.org website. We haven't quite decided on the final feature-list, but please vist the site, and register if you haven't already done so.

Until next time...

More Stories By Patrick Curran

Patrick Curran is chair of the JCP and director of the JCP Program at Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...