Goodbye WTK, hello Java ME SDK!
For years the Sun Java Wireless Toolkit for CLDC (WTK) has been the reference tool for developing mobile applications and emulating mobile platforms on the desktop. Among it's strengths was that it was compact, easy-to-use, came with a number of built-in useful tools such as memory monitoring and profiling, and most importantly, it featured a complete and up-to-date range of implementations of pretty much all finalized optional JSRs including full-set MSA (Mobile Services Architecture).
However, it also suffered from a few weaknesses. Its internal architecture had grown complex over the years and it was hard to add entirely new functionality or port the WTK to different desktop platforms such as Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS. Also, WTK originally focused MIDP/CLDC development and so coders wanting to develop for other platforms such as CDC or Blu-ray had to use a different tool (the Sun Java Toolkit for CDC). Finally, the underlying Java ME emulation was based on the old KVM stack which was not designed to be high-performance and which also was not true to actual device implementations.
So it was time for a radical update. Say goodbye to WTK and hello to the Java ME SDK!
The Java ME SDK is now available as an Early Access version for Windows XP and Vista (Linux and Mac users ... don't fret - stay tuned). The Java ME SDK is a complete redesign with all the goodness that made WTK so popular but with a new architecture underneath and a host of new features. Some highlights:
- New tool framework based on Netbeans Platform
- CLDC/MIDP, CDC/FP/PBP/AGUI and BD-J integrated into one SDK
- New CLDC HotSpot Virtual Machine based on phoneME
- Optimized MSA 1.1 stack with extensions
- Lightweight UI Toolkit (LWUIT) integration
- Integration with 3rd party emulators and Windows Mobile devices
- On-device deployment and on-device debugging
- Profiling support
- Device search database integrated in SDK
What does this mean for developers?
The Java ME SDK is a much improved tool all-around. It is based on the very capable Netbeans framework so it is more easily extensible and more portable than before. It incorporates all major Java ME platforms (mass-market mobile phones, smart phones, and Blu-ray) into a single tool. The Java ME emulation is now much accurate as phoneME (and it's commercial counterparts) is used in millions of devices today. The popular Lightweight UI Toolkit (LWUIT) is now pre-integrated into the Java ME SDK as an additional option for rich UI development. There is a bundled Windows Mobile Java ME stack that allows developers to deploy and test directly on Windows Mobile from the comfort of the SDK. And much more.
Please download it and try it out. We look forward to including your feedback into the final product.
Also, check out Tomas Brandalik's blog for more info.