Thursday Apr 30, 2009

Two kinds of Java ME on TV


What with the doubling of disc sales, better quality players (and even ones that will rent the movie for you...), increased availability and rumored inclusion on the Mac, its easy to think of the only Java apps you'll see on your TV will be the ones that come on a BluRay disc. (And you can create them in the recently released all-in-one Java ME SDK)

But not so !

This excellent article on the Java programming environment for TV set-top boxes is a reminder that other kind may be interactive TV apps that arrive down the wire from your cable operator as you watch a show. The OCAP Java API for settop boxes encompasses bound applications that are closely tied to the TV channel you're looking at: Sports scores and team records, integrated on-screen celebrity gossip, to unbound ones that have nothing to do with any particular TV channel: live gaming, TV listings...  And it has much in common with the Blu-J APIs for Blu-Ray apps have much in common: the CDC profile as a base, the Xlet component model and lifecycle and so on.

Another Java string to your bow in an economy that values them ?

Thursday Feb 26, 2009

Java ME, Java SE, JavaFX from the horse's mouth


As you probably know, there's a growing number of regular podcasters on various aspects of the Java Platforms. A great way to stay on top of what's going on in the Java world, and hear a few stories you might not see written down.

Like the latest episode of the Java Mobility Podcast, where Terrence and Roger do a great in depth interview on the new Java ME SDK, in early access. You probably know that it's the single, unified successor to today's two SDKs, one for CLDC and one for CDC app development. So it brings together all the APIs, tools and emulators for development for apps on anything from a mass-market phone to a Blu-ray disc. Simpler is definitely better, and this new consolidated SDK also includes a new, optimised CLDC runtime, a new runtime profiling tool (based on the one used in VisualVM), on-device debugging, and LWUIT support.

On the JavaFX front, the JavaPosse interview of the JavaFX team at Devoxx (including the back story on how the launch-day glitches on javafx.com got fixed), and Josh's recent, detailed interview all about JavaFX 1.1 on the RIA weekly with Cote.

And just for fun, try the recent This Ain't your Dad's Java cast (here, or here) our highly caffienated uber-geeks-turned marketing-execs-gone-wild talk on a variety of topics, including Swing versus JavaFX, Java SE 6u12, and the inside story on the winding road to release for JavaFX Mobile.

Thursday Feb 19, 2009

Java ME: Burning a Blu-ray disc


Despite the current economic climate, nearly 10 million Blu-ray disc players were sold in the US in 2008 (a third in the last quarter), and consumers bought 2.5 times as many Blu-ray discs as the year before. As this article points out, the price premium of Blu-ray discs (despite discounting) may be holding back further growth. Or perhaps its because many of the titles available to date do little to explore the potential of the platform over plain DVD.

The potential of the version of the Java programming platform, BD-J, on every player. BD-J is composed of the CDC Java ME profile (which is a subset of the Java SE APIs) plus the Personal Basis Profile, plus a subset of the MHP and the JavaTV API for the TV specifics. Or just get the BD-J API docs all in one go here. So if you already know the Java language and the core APIs, you're going to feel right at home (or sitting comfortably, at least).

This new video guide shows you how to take a Java application (get source), built for Blu-ray, emulate it running on your PC, and then burn a test disc so you can run the app on a real Blu-ray player (like the PS3). It's is an excellent guide as to how to get started with Blu-ray app development.

Monday Nov 03, 2008

Java ME: The next billion users


One of a couple of interesting new articles remind many of us that we are a bit spoiled when our biggest worries are how long it takes to download movies over our broadband connection, and whether $179 for a handset is a luxury we can afford.

If you're an application developer wondering how to reach the next billion users you might look towards Africa (rather than rather than sit in your living room wondering...), where the number of Java enabled phones is projected to overtake that of North America in 2010.

This article describes what kinds of things they care about. Less scarcity of rollover minutes than scarcity of electrical power. Less whether the 3G is spotty on the drive to work, than being able to use SMS as a data bearer when GPRS or other data connections are not working.

The other article (part 1 and part 2) is a hands on description on how to use SIP in Java ME. SIP is for setting up all kinds of multi-party sessions and is supported in Java ME. It's good for anything from simple chat applications, as shown in the GoSIP sample in the Sun Wireless Toolkit, to VoIP applications where multiple users can conference in.

Friday Oct 24, 2008

Java ME Roundup


The Planetarium's had such a busy week with the Java SE 6u10 release event, we'll do a little roundup of news from the Java ME world.

As yet more people jump on the Blu-ray bandwagon (e.g. Microsoft, woman-kind), the Java TV guys wrote up, despite the ridiculous non-technical difficulty of doing so, how to get all the API docs in one place. (Or just use NetBeans).

And while some gave unorthodox advice for using the desktop JDK to develop Java ME apps on Linux, Sony-Ericsson was busy releasing their own tailor-made SDK for Java ME apps targetted at their phones.

Most prefer the more orthodox method of using the Sun Wireless Toolkit on Linux or Windows, for building things like a mapping application that uses your current location via a bluetooth enabled GPS reciever as described in this two part article - part 1 and part 2.

And Google popped out a Java ME Gmail client to make happy Blackberrys.

Friday Oct 03, 2008

Java and Blu-ray - Wanna play ?


Given the recent price cuts in both Blu-ray discs and players, the steep growth predictions for sales of the players over the next couple of years seem more likely to be fulfilled. And every single one of them has Java on it !

The Java ME based-BDJ programming environment they carry lets developers add interactive content at key moments in the programming: from the moment of disc insertion, through the initial setup time, inbetween any frame they like in the content, and even to catching events generated by the remote control.

For Java developers, the bread and butter underpinning this exotic framework for creating the ultimate mashup, is no more than a subset of the familiar Java SE APIs, in the form of two of the Java ME building block called Personal Basis Profile (PBP).

Wanna play ? Check out the second most active project in the Mobile and Embedded Community, read this recent introductory article, or watch Bill's interview.
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A blog all about Java in all its flavors on all client platforms from smartcards to desktops and everything inbetween.

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