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Bringing Java back to life on Palm - Sign up now!

Posted by terrencebarr on June 10, 2008 at 4:05 PM PDT

logo_palm.gifPalm OS has had a spotty relationship with Java. Way back in the ancient days Java ME was born when a few undeterred engineers at Sun Labs managed to squeeze Java into a Palm Pilot via the famous KVM ... the mother of all Java ME stacks. Yep, Palm was cutting-edge then.

Later, Palm's software division - after being bought and sold several times - partnered with IBM to provide a downloadable Java ME stack to Palm OS 4 and 5. That stack supported CLDC/MIDP and some optional JSRs but the quality and performance was spotty and the code appeared to get little or no maintenance. As of January 12, 2008, Palm has ceased to support Java altogether - which I guess makes sense for a company which has trouble even figuring out its own OS story. Anyway, despite all of Palm's OS troubles there remains lots of interest in up-to-date Java support for that platform - primarily due to the still very popular Treo devices.

Looks like it's time to start thinking seriously about a community effort to create a Palm OS port of phoneME! So Hinkmond Wong (blog), project owner of phoneME Advanced, has issued a 'Call for volunteers'.

For someone with experience building Palm OS apps and with support of the community phoneME experts it shouldn't be very hard to get the basics running. And you'll learn a lot on the way. As an added bonus once MIDP is up you can actually develop really slick Java desktop-like applications using LWUIT.

Sounds like a fun project. Reply to the thread to sign up for it!

-- Terrence

Comments

Hi Terrence, I'm replying the thread now :) In my oppinion, Palm OS is an important target to all JME developers!! Great blog! :) []s Neto Marin

Sigh... I did my first programming with J2ME in 1999, when Sun distributed the first alpha version on a Palm (forgot-the-model) at JavaOne... I still recall that I woke up very early in the morning to enqueue for the buy of the new model at a special price. I even tutored a M.D. thesis on it and lead a first commercial project in the following couple of years. Palm OS at the time sounded as a concrete hope for the future of palm computing, especially when they made the Treo. Too bad the thing has died so miserably.

I don't have any experience in direct Palm OS programming, but the idea is cool and for sure I'll give PhoneMe on Palm a try when it's avalable, even though the Treo 650 is serving the last year on duty. Then a 10-years old love will die :-(

What is the next step? I'd like to have it running on my http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_tx I suppose I need to brush up on my palm programming. Would this be CDC as well, or strictly CLDC?