Jason R Briggs

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In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, we covered the basic features of the various MIDP APIs. We looked at creating and packaging a MIDlet, creating a user interface, and some basic graphics operations. We also discovered how to store data with the record management system and how to communicate over the network. This time around, we're going to talk about MIDP in the enterprise sense (which has nothing to do with "Star Trek"), and put together a basic example that shows how a MIDlet fits into the big picture. As mentioned before, and it bears repeating, a J2ME developer will undoubtedly not be spending all of his or her time developing on the client side. J2ME applications, particularly MIDlets, will involve a degree of interaction with the server - and unless you're working on an exceptionally large system with a very big team, it seems likely you'll be the developer ... (more)

A Perfect World

I was reading a forum discussion recently that argued that J2ME was a mess. The general consensus (admittedly there weren't that many messages) seemed to be that this conclusion was correct. My automatic response was "What a complete load of bollocks" (which I think means I've been living in England far too long). However, upon reflection, I still don't entirely agree, but I don't disagree either. I am officially in-betwixt camps. Neutral. Unbiased (yeah, right). If you mistakenly view J2ME as the sum of all Java technologies for embedded and mobile devices, then yes, it can be ... (more)

A Star Alternative

A few months ago Alan mentioned that he had finally shifted to Star Office. As someone who has been using the software suite since Sun took it over, I applaud his decision to move away from that other office package. However, the shift doesn’t come without a few challenges that can be quite annoying when you first make the move. Challenges such as SO5.2 trying to take over your entire desktop (a feature that, luckily, can be bypassed, although not entirely), and that drawings in a Word document are occasionally decimated when imported into SO. Certain default shortcuts are diffe... (more)

The Longer-Life Pen

I've been thinking a PhD student should consider doing a thesis on the life expectancy of a pen after it's purchased. I've come up with an approximate calculation for mine: LE (Life Expectancy) =DWU (Date of Wanting to Use)-1; in other words, a pen will go missing the day before you really need to use it. There's definitely a paper there somewhere waiting to be written. This might (or might not) lead you to wonder why someone involved in Java for mobile devices is relying on primitive, tree-killing technology like pens and paper; the short answer to this is that I am still embarra... (more)

Java Games Development - Part 1

I recently had a hankering to play an older (not ancient) PC game that I used to enjoy. Since I've moved my entire desktop over to Linux (for almost a year ago now) that meant stealing my wife's Windows laptop and trying to install the game on that. Two FDISKs and one Windows reinstall later the laptop's HDD is still woefully short of a game, and I'm back at square one. This isn't an isolated case ­ there's a whole backlist of games that in an occasional retro mood I've felt like having another go atSeven to the point of attempting to get some of them working in various DOS/Window... (more)