PalmSource Expands Java Support With IBM WebSphere

PalmSource announced today it has licensed IBM's WebSphere MicroEnvironment (WME) Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) certified runtime environment and WebSphere Studio Device Developer (WSDD) toolset for integration into the Palm OS platform.

Providing open-standards-based software development environments such as WME is expected to create new market opportunities for the more than 275,000 Palm OS developers and is anticipated to broaden the reach of the Palm OS platform into the growing Java developer community. In addition to native Palm OS applications, WME provides Palm OS developers the tools needed to execute Java MIDlet applications designed to run on Palm Powered(TM) smart mobile devices.

PalmSource has also licensed the WME Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to enable existing and new Java applications to run on Palm Powered smart mobile devices. Additionally, users will be able to run existing Java applications originally built for MIDP-compliant devices, such as mobile phones and pagers, to run on Palm Powered smart mobile devices.

"The combination of PalmSource's strength as a leading mobile platform provider and IBM, a leader in Java development, attests to the growing importance of embedded Java solutions for smart mobile devices," said David Nagel, president and CEO of PalmSource, Inc. "We believe integrating IBM's WME will create a Java development environment that will foster growth in the development of Palm OS-based Java solutions."

Extending Palm OS support for Java will encourage adoption of the Palm OS platform among the Java developer community to create software applications that take advantage of the advanced functionality of Palm Powered smart mobile devices. With more than 3 million members, the Java development community will now be able to leverage existing tools and languages to create new Palm OS-based Java solutions. In addition, integrating IBM's WME is designed to accelerate time to market for Palm Powered smart mobile devices.

By supporting Java, Palm Powered smart mobile devices will also be able to leverage mobile operator networks worldwide that have standardized their mobile services offerings on Java, making Palm OS a connected platform for mobile wireless products. Java delivers new application power and cutting edge wireless connection benefits to mobile devices, whether it is a business application that wirelessly connects to your corporate data or your favorite game.

"Our latest effort with PalmSource underscores the importance of embedded Java in the device arena and enables the rich pool of Java developers to use existing skills and resources to bring their business applications to an increasingly mobile workforce," said Bruce Morse, Director, Business Development, IBM Pervasive Computing "IBM is committed to working with leading mobile operating system providers to extend computing to a range of devices."

PalmSource selected IBM WME because it delivers a fast, powerful and flexible J2ME runtime environment and is compliant with the latest standards defined by the Java Community Process (JCP). It is anticipated that IBM WME will enable the support of the industry standards for the Connected Limited Device Configuration (CLDC) 1.0 and 1.1 and Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP) 1.0 and 2.0 in compliance with the Sun Technology Compatibility Kits (TCK), which will allow Palm Powered smart mobile devices to seamlessly execute J2ME-compliant MIDlet Suite applications. PalmSource intends to offer Palm OS licensees the WME JVM and runtime licenses on Palm OS Garnet and Palm OS Cobalt later this summer.

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Not impressed yet

sremick @ 2/11/2004 5:07:34 PM #
I already have the beta J2ME VM that is native ARM on my T3 and so far I haven't been impressed. I've come across some midlets that worked (the generic ones) but they've been worse than running original Palm Pilot 160x160 B&W apps... there's so much more out there these days that's native-Palm and far better than this stuff. The cool stuff tends to be coded specific for certain cell phones and won't work.

RE: Not impressed yet
yerrago @ 2/11/2004 11:49:13 PM #
I agree. Somehow Java being sluggish even for a fast desktop PC doesn't make for a convincing argument for Java on any ARM processor-equipped PDA, smartphone, or anything.

RE: Not impressed yet
sremick @ 2/12/2004 2:07:01 PM #
Actually, I didn't find the J2ME to be slow at all. I installed a graphics demo and it was quite speedy (3D spinning wireframes and stuff).

I just wasn't impressed in the available midlets. All the generic ones were monocrome and had the graphics quality of the original Atari. Why would I want to fuss with a game like that when I can download something like Warfare that's made for Palm?

The J2ME seems to be focused on mobile phones, with them only being available via paid download directly from your carrier. You see lots of cool midlets at places like but they won't work on your Palm+J2ME. In fact, many are only for specific phones (I've managed to obtain the .JAR files for some and try them).

Not sure what the point of coding to an open cross-platform language like J2ME when your resulting midlet will only work on the Nokia 60 or whatever.

RE: Not impressed yet
ganoe @ 2/12/2004 3:15:15 PM #
> I already have the beta J2ME VM that is native ARM on
> my T3 and so far I haven't been impressed.

See the thread below on CLDC vs. CDC. As long as all that Palm keeps offering is a Java implementation designed for phones, all that you are going to get is apps designed for phones.

rsc1000 @ 2/12/2004 5:09:01 PM #
>>I already have the beta J2ME VM that is native ARM on my T3 and so far I haven't been impressed.

Umm - im pretty sure that the runtime is NOT native ARM. They have been careful to state this and that a native ARM version is coming. The VM that comes with (or the download ) the t3 is 68K running Pace. Considering this - its quite speedy. Especially when compared to the Java implementation i say running on PPC just 2 years ago (havent checked to see new version opf Java for PPC - anybody know about IBMs J2ME on PPCs?).

Anyway - read this from palmOnes site on the J2ME info page (under the heading 'Runtime Pricing and Availability'):

My beef is that the demos they are using to showcase this dont utilize the extended screen api AND just dont run that well (check out some donloadable j2me demos like sketch or tabledemo- a bunch of bugs there.

Java on the Palm

Quickster @ 2/11/2004 7:43:42 PM #
Does anyone really care about this stuff? Java for the Palm has been available now for a couple of years and so far has gone no further than these news blurbs.

RE: Java on the Palm
rsc1000 @ 2/12/2004 5:17:21 PM #
I care and no there has nopt been a 'real' version of Java for Palm. SuperWaba is not real Java (not Sun certified, and well - not very good), and the only VM from Sun was not a release version. I believe they referred to it a 'proof of concept' and is in no way supported. The IBM j2me is much better and based on a newer j2me standard. It runs in PACE right now but the new native ARM version should be considerably better performance-wise.

RE: Java on the Palm
ganoe @ 2/12/2004 7:10:22 PM #
> the only VM from Sun was not a release version.
> I believe they referred to it a 'proof of concept'
> and is in no way supported. The IBM j2me is much
> better and based on a newer j2me standard.

I think you are talking about Sun's old KVM which was a proof of concept VM. Sun also did a J2ME CLDC MIDP 1.0 implementation for Palm.

That's not to say that IBM's current implementation isn't better or much better supported, but CLDC and MIDP has been available on the Palm for a couple of years.

RE: Java on the Palm
rsc1000 @ 2/13/2004 4:08:11 PM #
Cool. I stand cortrected. thanx for the link.

CLDC versus CDC

DaM @ 2/12/2004 9:05:47 AM #
CLDC are for small, girly cell phones!
Why not give us the CDC (Connected Device Configuration)-edition? I think the Sharp Zaurus runs one, as well as Pocket-PC's.
When you have a 64 MB PDA itís silly only to be able to run 64 KB Java-programs. Actually, I think the CDC-edition would be a great platform for many business-applications, whereas CLDC-applications typically are small, silly replicas of old arcade games.

RE: CLDC versus CDC
ganoe @ 2/12/2004 3:08:25 PM #
I agree. Palm, please wake me up when CDC Personal Profile is available for Palm OS 6, Cobalt, whatever you want to call it.

Just how many more years are we going to be listening to these announcements for MIDP??? It was available on the Palm probably 2 years ago at least, and lately we seem to be getting a monthly re-announcement. If I wanted Java for a phone, I could've bought a phone with it a year ago.



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