PalmSource Gets Java


One of the interesting news bits to come out of PalmSource's Developer Conference is the fact that they're now going to be including IBM's Java in the next versions of the OS (Garnet and Cobalt). Pretty amazing. I didn't have time to blog this a couple days ago when Ken left me a comment here (actually I don't have much time now), but I figured it would be big news... obviously not since I haven't seen anything about it since! (Thanks Ken!) I guess the news is getting buried because of the dual-OS fiasco.

PalmSource announced they have licensed IBM's WebSphere MicroEnvironment (WME) J2ME runtime and WebSphere Studio Device Developer toolset for integration into the Palm OS. This is very interesting, and must have been a recent development, as you can see in the above picture that there's no mention of Java at all. Nice to know Palm is getting on the J2ME program. I'm still amazed after all that work on the PDA Profile commitee with Sun, Palm has gone with IBM. I'd love to know what the hell happened with that relationship... remember JavaOne in 1999 when the Palm came out with the first KVM available?

This is a major milestone in PalmOS development. Ever since I bought my first Palm 5 years ago, I've wanted to do development on it in Java. It's an obvious fit and in 1999 it seemed that "any day now" we'd be able to crank out some neat apps with the KVM. It never happened.

I need to find out some more about the IBM J2ME runtime so I can play - it's probably the J9 thing that comes with WebSphere Device Developer. The item talks about CLDC1.0/1.1 and MIDP, which is too bad. I wish Palm had taken the chance and gone with something more powerful like Personal Profile. The press release also says "PalmSource intends to offer Palm OS licensees the WME JVM and runtime licenses on Palm OS Garnet and Palm OS Cobalt later this summer," which if true would be great.

One question I have is whether they'll figure out how to do OTA installation because from what I understand about the J2ME support on the Tungsten's, you have to go through a PC-based conversion from a .jar to a .prc files in order to run the app. That's not acceptable on a phone.

Maybe I should go buy a Palm device again just to relive the glory days... I really do love the PalmOS UI and platform. It's too bad PalmSource is being run by such a moron.


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