Skip to main content

Walk This Way

Posted by editor on February 27, 2007 at 7:36 AM PST

Limits on mobile apps?

My editorial standards are such that I'm not willing to put on the front page stories that seem to be based entirely on rumor, second-hand information, innuendo and insult... but that doesn't mean I won't blog about them if they're interesting and have at least a kernel of truth to them. In this case, it's a post on GearLog, also noted by Slashdot, that T-Mobile in the U.S. has changed policy and blocked network access to third-party mobile applications. This means that top-tier, world class Java ME apps like Opera Mini, Google Maps for Mobile, and GMail Mobile no longer have any meaningful functionality for T-Mobile customers. Even if you're paying six bucks a month for the data plan.

I was kind of wondering why Google Maps didn't work for me when I tried it on Friday, or why Opera Mini was kicking up network errors on Saturday.

Well, in my case, I guess I'll be canceling my data plan later today (I'm not going to pay T-Mobile just to use the crappy built-in WAP browser), and looking to change carriers once my contract ends. But it would be interesting to know if there is any other kind of pressure that could be brought to bear, as many ME apps are rendered useless without network access. Maybe the device manufacturers, or Sun itself, could put in an angry phone call or two to T-Mobile management?

Are you an ME enthusiast caught by this apparent change of policies at T-Mobile? What do you think could or should be done about it?

Speaking of mobile apps,
Motorola is sponsoring a contest for Java ME game developers, and the grand prize is a publishing contract. As noted in Java Today,
the MOTODEV Game Developer Challenge calls on developers to submit "a hot new unpublished title for the ultra-slim MOTOKRZR K1 running the Java software platform." The deadline is August 10, 2007, and games will be judged on "uniqueness, fun factor, design, operation and innovation in visual arts and audio."

Among the most significant new JDK 6 features are improvements to Swing and related client-side Java APIs. In Artima's Chet Haase Interview: The State of Swing, Sun Java Client Group architect Chet Haase discusses how performance gains, new APIs, and closer integration with the native desktop help developers write more appealing and better performing Swing applications.

dev2dev recently published an article by Drew Varner offering some Guidelines for Writing JSR-168 Portlets.
"JSR-168 is a collection of Java APIs for portlet developers. There are a number of reasons to design JSR-168 portlets that adhere to the specification. Portability is an obvious benefit. Code written according to the specification will be easier to move to among portal servers. The majority of Java-based portal servers support JSR-168 portlets"

The latest Feature Article,
ColdFusion for JSP Developers, makes the case for a somewhat surprising and atypical EE webapp integration. Still, ColdFusion has been around long enough, and in different forms, that it's easy to not see it for what it is. In this article, Kola Oyedeji looks at how this long-lived scripting language has been adapted to integrate into the world of Java EE.