Java Reference
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As we now see, the many advantages of integrating LCDUI with native
peers and native rendering primitives gives a strong case for this approach.
The LCDUI implementation approach of having a core framework for
common functionality and two additional DLLs that contain all code that
requires customization means that the Symbian OS licensees can make
highly localized changes and benefit from the already implemented core
functionality. At the same time, the usage of native peers by the LCDUI
widgets DLL greatly reduces the porting effort required for licensee
The widgets DLL makes Java applications look, react, and accept
input in the same way as their native counterparts, which enhances
the user experience and makes Java applications indistinguishable from
native C++ applications. All input methods are inherited from the native
widgets; everything is allowed, from T9, cycling FEPs, and handwriting
recognition to support for the input of non-keyboard characters (Chinese,
for example), support for pointer and keyboard input, and more. All text-
based widgets inherit the support for bi-directional text, word wrapping
for locales, capitalization, mixed direction mode, and so on.
Because of the integration with APPARC, Java applications can run
as native applications in their own window group, can be presented as
individual applications in the task list, can be brought to the foreground
if already running, can change screen orientation, and more.
The alternative approach we present is that of the Java ME subsystem
providing its own set of predefined graphical elements (for example, a
softkey, a systemmenu, a ticker, or a progress bar) that can be customized
to create a distinct look and feel which closely matches the native widgets
on a device. Symbian OS licensees integrating Symbian OS onto their
phone could use the default supplied skin or they could customize it
for their own look and feel. For example, a set of images and graphical
properties are defined to create the look and feel of a TextField or a
softkey. Expert visual designers customize the images and properties to
match the native look and feel.
This approach is definitely a good option and a fit-for-purpose solution
in many other mobile platforms. However, what fits one deployment
model does not fit another. Symbian OS is designed from the ground
up to be modular and customizable. Symbian OS devices get their look
and feel from the UI platform, extending the underlying Symbian OS
frameworks. In this deployment model, UI customization is a mandatory
step in the Symbian OS integration; duplicating the effort for the Java
ME subsystem would incur great expense and require significant effort to
implement what is already implemented elsewhere. Such an approach,
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