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If I Had $1,000,000

Posted by editor on June 17, 2008 at 6:03 AM PDT

...then I might be able to get my app on a phone.

At the Mobile and Embedded Developer Days, we heard a lot about different roadblocks that make it difficult, sometimes impossible, to develop Java ME applications and deploy them to real-world devices. On the one hand, there are the many incompatibilities between devices, or even between the capabilities of the same device running on different carriers' networks. Beyond that, there is an even greater challenge presented by the seeming unwillingness of handset makers and carriers to allow third-party applications on their devices and networks. As I recall someone grumbling on a forum years ago, the carriers "can't stand the thought of someone making a buck on their network if they don't get 99 cents of it."

However, a day of reckoning may be at hand. Surely some of this has to do with rival devices and platforms, like Android and the iPhone, the latter of which has logged 250,000 downloads of its SDK and 25,000 applications to its paid developer program, all in less than three months. But there's another form of pressure being applied to the carriers' lock-down of their mobile networks.

As Terrence Barr reports in his blog,
VC's vs. Carriers: Wake-Up Call, "the Wireless Industry Partnership (WIP) reports that they are coming across a very strong message reinforced by personal conversations and developer feedback: Bay area VCs won't invest where carriers are indicated as the major business or revenue model.

This 3rd party innovation is, to a big extent, represented by the companies funded by venture capitalists. It is the kind of stuff carriers desperately need to attract to their platforms in order to remain relevant. Yet VC's have obviously found it so painful to come to mutually acceptable business terms with carriers that they have given up and are now looking for ways to work around them. Not that the difficulty in working with carriers is anything new - this is a long-time complaint from small and mid-size developers (in particular, the use of API permissions to enforce particular business terms) - but now it is finally making headlines and the ripple effects are being felt to the very front of the food chain.

So, if the carriers continue to demand 99 cents of every dollar, and won't even talk to the small and innovative developers, to say nothing of the open source community, then maybe the carriers will end up with nothing, as the innovators work around them by using the web, SMS (ala Twitter), and new platforms.

It couldn't, and wouldn't, happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

Speaking of getting your apps on to phones, in the Java Today section,
the Mobile & Embedded Community points out a potentially interesting Forum Nokia Webinar, June 18th, on Signing Java ME applications and Signing them in Java Verified. "This is your chance to get to the bottom of Java ME application signing and to hear about the new opportunities Java Verified is bringing in the area of application. For more information and the registration link, visit the Forum Nokia Training site."

The Aquarium points out an interesting new Java profiling tool in BTrace showing promise. "Btrace is essentially a new and portable DTrace -- a safe (read, not write), low-overhead, probe-based dynamic tracing tool. Btrace offers Java annotations to define what could be considered as troubleshooting interceptors ("probe points").
While BTrace applies to any Java application development, in the case of GlassFish, BTrace can be used to observe specific parts of the system or better yet, correlate events between it various parts. Athijegannathan has a recent post about a BTrace script tracking SQL statements (courtesy of a BTrace user) while Binod shares his experience of SailFin troubleshooting with BTrace."

Pivot is an open-source framework for building high-quality, cross-platform applications that are easily deployable both via the web and to the desktop. It began as an R&D effort at VMware and is now being made available to the community as an option for developers who want to build rich client applications in Java. Pivot applications are written using a combination of Java and XML and can be run either as an applet or as a standalone (optionally offline) desktop application.

In today's Weblogs, Mark A. Carlson takes a look at XAM Java Binding.
"One of the interfaces that Project Royal Jelly will be using is a brand new industry standard. The eXtensible Access Method (XAM) is new kind of storage interface for storage devices that can handle a special type of data, called "Fixed Content"."

Also, Sekhar Vajjhala has step-by-step instructions for
Migrating WebLogic's JSP SimpleTag example to GlassFish.
"I migrated WebLogic's JSP SimpleTag from WebLogic Samples to GlassFish. This is next in my series of examples describing migration to GlassFish from different application servers. Here is my experience with the migration - migration to MySql, resource injection and virtual directory mapping."

Multiple announcements top today's Forums section, starting with maxz1's
Swing Explorer version 1.2 released (With Eclipse plug-in).
"I'm proud to announce a new release of Swing Explorer. For those who still do not know - it is a tool for developers facilitating the debugging of Swing applications. The most important feature in this release is an Eclipse plug-in for Swing Explorer. Now it is much easier to launch it from Eclipse IDE. Additionally there is source code navigation support from Swing Explorer to Eclipse. The release can be downloaded from here. More information about installing and using of the Eclipse plug-in can be found here. Enjoy it! NetBeans support is coming soon!"

Meanwhile, Julien Ponge announces
Glassfish installer: now with more Windows integration.
"I am pleased to announce that the Glassfish installer has been updated with more Windows-specific integration. Indeed, shortcuts to asadmin, the update center and the uninstaller are now created in the start menu hierarchy. Also, the Windows Add / Remove Software settings box will also display an icon for the Glassfish installation."

Finally, the feedback continues about "branding" the Consumer JRE. In
Re: Comments on J6 Update N, fatbatman writes,
"I strongly agree with all of Thierry's points. Particularly 3, Java just doesn't have a good reputation for web apps at the moment so nobody wants to advertise the fact they're offering it to their users. It reminds me of an unpopular child that make as much noise as possible to get attention, the end result being people like the child even less than before."

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...then I might be able to get my app on a phone.