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Posted by editor on January 30, 2006 at 5:57 AM PST

A breakthrough J2ME app?

Perhaps more than anyone else right now, Google has the ability to legitimize a technology. Would we even be talking about AJAX if Google hadn't put it front and center with GMail and Google Local ( Google Maps)? It helps that these apps are incredibly useful and remarkably well-made. Still, just imagine how different things might be if they'd been done as applets or Java Web Start applications.

Well, maybe lightning will strike twice. Over the weekend, O'Reilly Java Editor Mike Loukides sent an e-mail to the editor's list saying that "Google Local is now available as a J2ME app for your mobile phone," and linking to a tour page that shows the J2ME midlet providing directions, a map of local search results, and even satellite imagery.

Given the splash that Google Maps first made a few years ago, it seems reasonable that a mobile version will be at least as well received, if not moreso: now you can get maps when you need them, when you're on the road and need to find something. That this uses J2ME can only reflect well on the platform, even though it is initially only available in the US and then only from certain providers (not including your editor's, unfortunately).

Putting a real app in users' hands, a useful one, may do a lot more for legitimizing and popularizing J2ME than flashy demos and the 255th variant of Tetris / Columns / Dr. Mario. The proof will be if anyone can now go to their boss and get a J2ME project approved by saying "hey, it's good enough for Google, so it should be good enough for us."

J2ME as the next AJAX? Wouldn't that be nice?

Also in Projects and

Amy Fowler's blog offers an Invitation to weigh in on the future of javadoc: "Javadoc's structure really hasn't changed at all in the last 10 years because it serves quite well as the Java platform's API reference. The questions we are trying to answer for JSR260 are should it evolve? and how?" She invites readers to answer these questions in a short (nine question) SDN Javadoc Survey.

In today's Forums,
vbkraemer discovers that
Equinox runs on GlassFish:
"I was able to deploy and execute the Equinox 1.5 on GlassFish. Equinox is a 'A lightweight version of AppFuse'. What is AppFuse? According to its web site, AppFuse is 'A robust starter web application to ease Java webapp development'. Equinox is based on Spring MVC and Hibernate, so don't believe the dire pronouncements that you may have heard around the 'net (or even other forum threads). GlassFish can run Spring and Hibernate application. There were some hiccups along the way, related to security."

Re: What is expected from Java, hithacker writes:
"Swing is really much much powerful then winforms. But where we make a mistake is in the lack of real world examples, which microsoft do 100 times better then us. What is expected from sun is to provide real world examples of swing's usage. I really wonder why guys like romain, joshua are not giving their attention to provide useful demos of swing."

In this week's Spotlight we're re-pointing to the major update on the JDK release schedule. "Ray Gans' blog entry Where We Are with the JDK also spells out the JDK team's plans going forward. Mustang (Java SE 6) is expected to go beta in February, with another beta in Summer, with a final release this Autumn. Meanwhile, the Dolphin (Java SE 7) project is expected to open this Spring, releasing its snapshots in parallel with Mustang. While the window is closing to Mustang fixes, it's now time to start thinking about features and start discussing them on the Java SE Forum."

Kohsuke Kawaguchi announces a New version of com4j in today's Weblogs.
"I posted a new version of com4j, a Java/COM integration library using Tiger features. This version can nicely handle Microsoft Office."

When Applets are not WORA, Fernando Lozano writes:
"During the end of 2005 I had a customer who could not run a Java Applet on his desktops, despite having the latest update from Sun. And the desktops ran the fastest-growing OS and browser in the market today."

Finally, Robert Stephenson looks at
New Learning Content from Down Under:
"The Learning Federation in Australia has a new crop of excellent educational games for grades P-10."

In Also in
Java Today

Brett McLaughlin's two-part series "In Tune with Tapestry" (part 1, part 2) offers a thorough introduction to this popular web-application framework. The first part covers installation and running sample applications, while the second discusses planning a Tapestry application, building it out, and creating Tapestry components. "By carefully thinking through your components before you write them, you can end up with a reusable toolbox of components, rather than having to write lots of disparate applications that don't share components."

Take your eyes off the screen, pull your hands from the keyboard, and
don't go anywhere near your bookshelf. You can learn more about Java just
by listening. Podcasts about Java are popping up around the web, each one
offering a unique style and format. The ONJava article The Java
Podcasters, Part 1
talks with Dick Wall of the Java Posse and Michael
Levin of Swampcast about their shows, how they're made, and what they hope
to accomplish.

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A breakthrough J2ME app?