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This will be my last outing as J2ME Editor for JDJ. It's been an interesting 22 issues, with big changes within both the Java and the J2ME spaces. Over the past two years, the number of JSRs related in some way to J2ME has increased (almost exponentially), an assortment of competitors have emerged challenging the dominance of both the Java language and the various editions of the platform, and new technologies have come...and just as quickly gone.

The number of J2ME devices, specifically MIDP, has increased as expected, but there still seems to be a lack of brand awareness among the nontechnical public. Java's steaming coffee cup might be instantly recognizable to those reading this magazine, but there's a major "Huh?" factor if someone outside the technical community sees it on a phone. Maybe it makes sense to differentiate the various configuration/profile combinations by giving them their own individual brands (and a better name than MIDP would be a good start), and marketing material to go along with them would be helpful. John and Jane Q. Public aren't going to know what the hell MIDP is unless there's a nice glossy brochure included in the box with their phone, perhaps with a few color screenshots of games, instructions on how to download more, where to find other applications, etc., etc., etc.

I recently took a moment to look at back issues of JDJ and pick out some of my favorite articles from the past two years.

Tom Sloper's "Freedom Through Constraints" (Vol. 6, issue 9) stands out near the top of my list. Tom has been a designer and producer of games since the Dark Ages, and gave his unique perspective on designing games for restrictive environments ≠ MIDP in a nutshell. Some of the fundamental ideas presented in that article are worth considering if, as a MIDP developer, you find you also have to wear the designer's hat.

"Architecting Mobile/Wireless" by James White (Vol. 7, issue 4) was another good primer for those entering the wireless development space and included such topics as managing user expectations, device familiarity, and requirements gathering; all useful stuff if you're just getting started.

Rounding out my top three, and more recent in the back list, was Bill Ray's series "Whole House Audio from the Palm of Your Hand" (Vol. 7, issues 6, 9, and 10), a dissertation in the best tradition of mad scientists, Radio Shack, and DIY.

Taking over the reins of the J2ME section is Glen Cordrey, who has appeared before within the pages of this venerable tome. He is a senior architect ≠ funnily enough, involved in the very technology this section is about ≠ has spoken at JavaOne, authored Nextel's J2ME Developer's Guide, and is a member of the MIDP Next Generation Expert Group ≠ the ideal candidate to carry JDJ's J2ME coverage forward. I wish him the best of luck.

One final note: rumors that I am leaving JDJ to write an exposť about the secret sordid lives of a development magazine's editorial staff are completely unfounded. First, I'm not leaving (I'm just going to wear a contributing editor's hat instead), and second, it's not an exposť...

...it's a groundbreaking fusion of epic poetry and gangsta rap, translated into Old English by an underpaid postgrad and performed live by a Scottish troupe of double-jointed acrobats with a penchant for g-strings and gumboots.

Author Bio
As well as being a contributing editor for Java Developer's Journal, Jason R. Briggs is a Java programmer and development manager for a wireless technology company, based in Auckland, New Zealand. [email protected]

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