[CoMoDev] Another way to do Java on PDAs

  • From: David Beers <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <comodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 13:03:20 -0600

Let's say you like Java and you want to "write-once, run everywhere" but your 
definition of "everywhere" is limited to Palm and Pocket PC (plus maybe you'd 
like to demo it in a web browser or freestanding on a Windows desktop).  In 
that case, it's *possible* that J2ME isn't the best way to go.  Instead, there 
are some people out on SourceForge who have written a whole Java class library 
and VM that is especially for PDAs.  It's called SuperWaba, it doesn't even try 
to be J2ME compliant, and here's an interesting comparison with J2ME: 

Some apparently nice things about SuperWaba (this coming from someone who has 
never tried it!):

* The UI problems are much easier if you know you're working with PDA-like 
devices.  Look at the screenshots at the bottom of this page and notice that 
apps come out looking like Palm apps on the Palm, like PPC apps on the PPC: 

* You can use any Java programming environment you like.  No need to buy 
Websphere Micro Edition just to be able to support the IBM J9 VM that Palm has 

* The SuperWaba VM is scarcely more than a third the size of IBM's 900kb bad 
boy, yet it seems to do more of the stuff I'd think you'd want to do: there's a 
fuller range of UI controls, support for floating point variables, plus good 
support for PDA-centric accessories like barcode scanners and GPS receivers.

* It's free

Downsides of SuperWaba?  Well, obviously you need to convince people to install 
the SuperWaba VM.  Maybe a slight bump in the road if you're selling consumer 
applications, but not a problem for custom business apps.  A potentially larger 
downside is hinted at by the relatively low traffic and few responses on the 
SuperWaba English language newsgroup:


On the other hand, if your Portuguese is reasonably good you may find more help 
than you ever bargained for on the super-high-traffic Portuguese forum.  And 
the French forum looks pretty active too.  Who knew there were actually 
programmers in Brazil and France? ;-)

But seriously, it looks like this platform is in serious need of some English 
speaking evangelists!


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