Java Reference
In-Depth Information
that question you need to do a cost-benefit analysis which covers areas
such as the available skills in your organization, functional feasibility in
Java, development effort in Java compared to other options, performance
considerations, and cross-platform requirements, all framed by the profile
of your application.
Let's take a quick look into how the 'leading Java platform' strategy
translates into technical support. The Symbian implementation of the Java
ME technology platform is best of breed, so we'll run through some of the
benefits that Java ME enjoys under Symbian OS.
The most common criticism leveled at Java ME (or any version of Java) is
that it doesn't execute as fast as native code because it's an interpreted
language (in principle, the JVM interprets Java bytecodes at run time). This
is mentioned so often, you'd think that everyone was writing real-time
satellite control systems instead of games for mobile phones. Java runs
much faster than it used to: the KVM was placed in the Java museum
long ago. Symbian replaced the KVM with CLDC-HI HotSpot, in which
the application bytecode is compiled to the ARM instruction set on the
fly. As a result, Java applications received a major performance boost
that was not only measurable by objective benchmarks but also by the
user - which is the real benchmark in most mobile applications.
On most feature phones, the memory assigned to Java is fixed when the
device is created, which causes a wide variety of challenges for advanced
application development on these platforms. Symbian OS does not place
arbitrary constraints on available memory, storage space, number of
threads, number of connections, or JAR size. Within the bounds of
available resources, there are no limits - the heap can grow and shrink
as required.
Probably the greatest benefit of working with Java ME on Symbian OS is
the consistency and variety of JSRs. The problems of JSR fragmentation are
largely a thing of the past. The set of optional JSRs supported has grown
with each new version of the operating system and the latest smartphones
expose some of the very latest in technology directly to MIDlets.
With this wide variety comes both implementation consistency and the
ability to leverage the best of the operating system. For example, releases
of Symbian OS v8.0 and later support the full Mobile Media API (JSR-135)
and provide native support for OpenGL ES 1.0 (an abstraction layer for
the Mobile 3D Graphics API (JSR-184), meaning that your MIDlets auto-
matically benefit from hardware acceleration on the handset). Symbian
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