Java Reference
In-Depth Information
There are an enormous number of Java ME applications already out
there - far exceeding the number of native Symbian C++ applications
ever built. The number of Java developers for the mobile environment
is also increasing and is undoubtedly bigger than the army of Symbian
C++ developers.
Having said all this in praise of Java ME, do keep in mind that there are
times when you need to go native, times when you need the maximum
speed, real-time performance, fine-grained control or bare-metal access
to native services that are not exposed in Java. When you need low-
level power, tight integration with the operating system, or advanced
features that are not scoped by Java, then your best option is probably
Symbian C++. For example, Symbian OS native services allow you to
develop hooks into the TCP/IP stack and plug extensions to the Symbian
OS Messaging component. Java ME is simply not designed for such
requirements. For a further comparison of native Symbian C++ and Java
ME on Symbian devices, please see [Mason and Korolev 2008].
1.7 Java's Place in the Sun
There can be no discussion of Java ME without a section about mobile
games. This is such a booming and exciting industry that Symbian has
already published an entire topic just on mobile game development
[Stichbury 2008].
Almost as soon as the first Java-enabled handsets reached the public,
the mobile games explosion was under way. While MIDP 1.0 was a
fantastic start, it was the release of MIDP 2.0 with its Game API that
really made the difference. Suddenly, there was a GameCanvas class,
support for basic sounds via tone generation, support for sprites and
collision detection, the ability to take over the entire screen and efficient
mechanisms for representing large animated backgrounds and detecting
multiple keystrokes during the main game loop.
It was pretty clear that mobile games were out-selling every other
type of application across all platforms and the pace was accelerating. A
new type of gamer emerged who was very different from the traditional
hard-core console jockeys. They didn't sit in darkened rooms eating pizza
and pretending to be someone else online - instead people played games
on their mobiles while waiting for a bus, walking around or just sitting in
a park. In a major research project for N-Gage, 20 one of the key findings
was that mobile games were played almost as much on the move and
when waiting as when at home.
In this market, games needed to be designed to be played in short
bursts, to be paused and re-started without warning, to deal with sudden
20 'Evolution of Mobile Gaming', available from Forum Nokia ( ).
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