Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Java ME Updates with S60 3rd FP2

I just read over the "What’s new in S60 3rdEdition, Feature Pack 2 devices" document from Nokia today. Lots of miscellaneous improvements and optimizations for Java development. Unfortunately, while many of the features are cool and powerful they are also mostly S60 specific so they can only be used on that platform. The two highlights for me:

  • Support for the embedded Standard Widget Toolkit (eSWT). eSWT is a UI toolkit for Java and is a subset of the desktop SWT (which is what Eclipse uses). Although I haven't used either it is presumably a much more powerful toolkit than LCDUI. One cool aspect of eSWT is that it runs in pretty much any java environment including the desktop.
  • Support for updating the VM on the S60 devices. Until now users needed to upgrade the entire OS to get a new VM but now it will possible to update it separately. In theory this should mean more frequent bug fixes / updates.
I did have to roll my eyes a bit when I saw the three supported "security policies" for S60 devices.
  • MSA policy (according to MSA specification)
  • S60 Java policy (more “relaxed”than MSA)
  • AT&T policy (for AT&T, operator)
It seems that almost every carrier in the world can live with one of the first two.

Lastly, I found one line in the document especially intriguing. One slide 6, titled "Virtual machine and operating system", it says:
Java Native Interface (JNI): MIDlets can invoke native services.
While JNI would be great I'm assuming for the moment that this is not something that is generally exposed. We'll see though.

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