Friday, September 22, 2006

Windows and Linux Avoided a Big Java Mistake

As we wind down toward releasing our first dedicated Windows Mobile Skip client, I reflected on how easy it was to port the core logic from a Windows desktop test implementation. I compared this to a time when I wanted to port a modest J2SE library (which did not require any "fancy" APIs) to J2ME. And to another time when I needed a similar port for a Linux library.

It seems silly if not dumb to have to say this, but the fact that the Windows APIs for mobile are so similar to the full-on Win32 APIs (including the .net compact framework) makes it a no-brainer to convert many apps to run on mobile. Ditto with Linux, which of course represents an even purer case since "mobile Linux" is generally just another distro on another hardware platform.

So with Windows libraries, we can build, make a couple of changes, and off we go. Linux rules for porting, for obvious reasons, and ./configure; make; make install gets us "mobile."

Then there's J2SE to J2ME. Ouch. What were these guys thinking? Yes, things like this. And this.

But the bet was against Moore's law, and I believe it was not a smart bet for the platform. If Java has a future on devices, it'll be J2SE aka "Java SE Embedded"

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