Analyzing mobile tools for Java proposal from Nokia
Nokia has released a proposal for creating a new project in Eclipse for mobile phone development tools. This move comes after Nokia entered in a partnership with Eclipse that I had talked about earlier.
While this is great news for the market, because it brings in much needed competition, I also think that the proposal is a catchup from both Eclipse and Nokia to the excellent work done by Netbeans and Sun with their Mobility Pack.
Two of the core features are a direct response to the features in the Mobility Pack, namely, UI design tools and application creation wizards. The UI design tool description is starkly similar to the Visual Mobile Designer in Netbeans.
Even the rest of the core features are present in Netbeans in some form or another: Debugging, Generic and Customisable build processes, Device and emulator framework, Obfuscation and Signing.
If you do a feature by feature comparison, this catchup will be evident: Here is the Eclipse + Nokia proposal and here is the feature list in Nokia Mobility pack 4.1 (I haven't looked at the 5.0 beta yet).
The only interesting and unique feature that I found in the Nokia proposal comes in the debugging environment:
"The goal of this item is to enhance the current Debugging environment so that it is possible to use mobile runtimes, either emulator or a real device. This task extends to launching the JVM and applications(s) on the local emulator or on the device itself, and allowing the developer to attach to that application under test"
Real device? It will allow you to debug on a real device from within the IDE? Now that would be cool. Can you do that with Netbeans?