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December 02, 2007


Laurent Szyster


Windows does not love Android more than Sun and its mob of proprietary vendor. If only for one reason: it provides a credible alternative to WindowsCE, something that JavaME obviously failed to incarnate.

Android enables Java developers to target a mobile Linux plate-form with a full stack of API that leverage the best breed of open source C libraries to deliver optimal performances.

It should give Microsoft some nightmares, because mobile computers are the future of personal computing.

Now, the fact that Android's API has been developed outside the JCP is a good thing.

Because up until now the mob of proprietary Java vendor have abused the standardization process to come up with what we programmers refer to as "Worse Than Failure" (J2EE and JavaME is a perfect example of the kind shit usually produced by "industry standard" bodies).

Dalvik's VM is the best thing that could have ever happened to Java the language: a virtual machine that does not gobble RAM, starts up fast, binds efficiently to C libraries, collect garbage in a sane way, etc. Here too Google's engineers were smart enough to break away from the vendor mob and provide the community with a way out of the dead end that the JVM specs have become.

Richard Monson-Haefel

Hi Laurent,

You make some excellent points. I also like Android - its a nice platform, but that doesn't change the fact that its non-compliant with the JCP's specifications for Java ME and Java SE. It's probably a good thing for the industry, but not a good thing for the JCP. Hopefully, this will help the JCP correct its own errors regarding Java ME.

Also lets not forget the Mobile System Architecture (MSA), which has potential in its own right. Its a tighter specification than previous Java ME stacks (i.e. GEN-1 and JTWI)and offers a lot of functionality. MSA is just starting to gain traction, but right now only a handful of device models support it. This will change if Nokia adopts it as promised in the S60 3rd Edition, Feature 2 release.

Anyway, lots of things to think about.

Dalibor Topic

Today, Java industry's most important competitive weapon against Microsoft is the Free software reference implementation.


Hi Dick.

The main problem I have with your articles is you seem to want to define Java as living and dieing based solely on its use in cell phones. The reality is that there are many, many more implementations and uses of Java in more conventional PC style environments. Those environments will continue to foster growth in the Java space.

Give cell phones another 2 or 3 years, with fuel cell technology providing power, and you will see Java continuing to phase out ME, Android continuing to converge on SE, and .Net continuing to be proprietary.

The winner will be whatever the developers are willing to download, install and use. Right now, developers seems to want to use environments where the language constructs remains consistent, the IDEs work across multiple O/Ss, startup cost is low (or even free), and they can use other tools, libraries, etc. that they are already familiar with.

Based on that, I'm not sure there will ever be only one solution in use, but I'm betting any that are in use will be pretty damn good.

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