Friday, July 06, 2007

J2ME Woes

Have I ever mentioned I hate mobile phones? Yes, that's right. It's helped revolutionize our lives, I'm sure, but it's been a source of misery for the lot of developers who has the fortune (or mis-fortune) to attempt development of "write once, run everywhere" (i.e. the motto of Java programming). Not to mention I have been using so many test phones that I am nearly schizophrenic when it comes to phone keypads and most certainly paranoid when calls from unknown numbers (unknown, because the more recent contacts were not in the SIM card) arrived...

Before going further, it must be said that this is a late afternoon rant after a few days of being entirely submerged in the exasperating world of standard-less mobile devices. The landscape of software development for mobile devices today, looks a little like pre-DOS era of personal computers. Sloppy & non-compliant implementations of JVM on the mobile litter the mobile market.

Some J2ME Polish bugs encountered, either fixed or evaded:

losesFullScreen: an issue that affects Samsung SGH-D500, in which the screen rendered on the phone is cut-off at the top & the bottom. The catch is, using J2ME Polish, one has less control over the direct Canvas implementation. Hence even my Forms ended up getting cut.
Status: UNFIXED, left to the manufacturers to fix their device, or better, the mercy of God!

SoftKeyMappedToFire: an issue that affects the navigation keys of many Samsung devices--sometimes pressing the soft key results in the default command being selected. If the default command for that item is not defined, good luck to you :) Anything from screen freezing to a Samsung version of BSOD is likely.

MIDP2LayoutView: Pressing any key on any affected screen throws an ArrayIndexOutOfBounds exception. Initially I tried what the mailing list suggests, that is, to override J2ME Polish' MIDP2LayoutView class, but ran into further trouble trying to reference this class from the secondary compilation of StyleSheet. I gave up on this, threw "midp2" view out of the window.

There, here's a fulfilment of my quota at being Good Samaritan this week! (in view that most of this blog's visitors don't come here to read my spiritual blurbs but to read HOWTOs and battle stories about J2ME & Linux) If there's any bright lining in the dark cloud of J2ME woes, it'd be this maxim I've since taken personally: "Write once, pray it will work everywhere."


puella said...

Oh, I know all about how one's mood can plummet at the end of the day...nice to read about your techie stuff though!

Antonia said...

Puella, thanks; it's good to know someone appreciates these technical ramblings ;)

Because of this blog's name (and also some cross-posting in technical forums), majority of visitors came here looking to read about some bugs I've encountered/fixed and some open-source stuffs I've worked on...

Hope you're doing well!