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
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.