Beginning Java ME Platform - PDF

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Beginning Java ME Platform by Ray Rischpater

When I set out to write this book, I was often surprised by the comments I received from friends and colleagues. Many asked me if some other platform, such as Android or the iPhone, would render Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME) obsolete (and nonexistent, some posited) by the time the book is published. Still others pointed to the growing convergence between different lines of Java as rendering the need for separate information about Java ME obsolete. And a few remarked scathingly that the market for Java books was saturated, so investing the time to write another was an exercise in futility. You, too, may ask these questions as you decide whether or not to read this book. Perhaps you’re interested in Java ME as a specific platform on which to deploy an existing product, or perhaps you’re just curious as to whether you should include Java ME skills in your professional portfolio.


The Java ME platform is a highly successful one. Billions—yes, that’s with a b—of devices that run Java ME are in the hands of consumers right now. Still more are on the way, including mobile phones, set-top boxes, and other devices you can’t even imagine that are now in development. Java ME is deeply entrenched in the market, and yet through the Java Community Process (JCP), it evolves rapidly to address challenges raised by existing and new competing platforms, including Qualcomm BREW, Android, and the Apple iPhone.


The cross-pollination between Java ME, Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE), and Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) is well recognized and will continue. Members of the JCP work carefully to introduce APIs that can be shared across these Java platforms, and many Java ME APIs are subsets of APIs proposed or developed for Java SE. In some cases, the opposite is true: Java ME APIs are being introduced into Java SE, such as the Java ME framework for communications and networking. As devices become more capable, you will see more convergence between the various Java lines, but the specific constraints on mobile devices—including ubiquitous network access, a small form factor, and scarce power, memory, and processor resources—will drive the need for specific accommodations within the Java platform. Java ME and the JCP provide a framework for vendors to make those accommodations.


There are many excellent books about Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME)—the predecessor to Java ME—and several good books about facets of Java ME as well. However, the Java ME platform evolves and advances at a truly awe-inspiring rate, and this fact and the sheer size of Java ME make it difficult to find a good book for beginners that provides a broad foundation on which to build Java ME competency. In this book, I’ve worked to balance the presentation of the two profiles that comprise Java ME, because I believe that for you to be successful, you need to understand both. At the same time, I’ve made explicit choices about the required and optional Java ME APIs I present, because I believe that in building this foundation, you need to understand some basic principles that arise again and again in the Java ME world, but you don’t necessarily need to be able to recall from memory every method from every optional Java ME class. Given the time you have, I believe it is important for you to master the platform fundamentals, so that you’re better equipped to specialize in the areas that interest you later. In short, what I don’t present here may be as important to you as what I do present.


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