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EclipseME—Another IDE Option for J2ME Development

This summer, the 1.0 release of a new plug-in, namely EclipseME, affords J2ME developers another free IDE option built on top of this very popular and powerful platform.

ood news for mobile application developers: The open source IDEs for J2ME are starting to come into their own. In a recent article on DevX, I reported that Sun's NetBeans Mobility Pack is worth investigation. The 4.1 release of the Mobility Pack still has room to grow, but it is starting to show signs of being a real productivity booster for Java ME developers. This month I'll look at EclipseME version 1.1 (http://eclipseme.org), an Eclipse plug-in that assists in the development of J2ME MIDlets. EclipseME 1.0 was just released this summer, and the dot release followed at the end of August.

EclipseME—An Eclipse Plug-in
I am a fan of open source technology. Sometimes I am a fan, not because the open source products are superior, but because I believe they help keep software development costs under control by offering alternatives to high-priced software. But it's not quite that simple: At the end of the day, the best measure of my success as a software engineer is my productivity. If open source technologies aren't able to advance my productivity, I simply won't use them.

For example, when it comes to IDEs it would be hard to separate me from my WebSphere Studio Application Developer (WSAD) for real J2EE project work. I won't try to tell you that WSAD is the best IDE on the planet, but it works for me, which means it keeps me productive. Because Eclipse and WSAD have common ancestry, I am also a big fan of the base Eclipse IDE. But when it comes to Eclipse plug-ins it's been a mixed bag. Especially in the J2EE area, a vast number of plug-ins with a variety of issues has frustrated me to the point of giving up on more than one occasion. This is a common complaint when it comes to Eclipse development.

What You Need
In order to get EclipseME up and running you will need the following:

Naturally, I feared these same types of plug-in fiascos with EclipseME. But I am happy to report that the EclipseME plug-in integrates easily with Eclipse and appears very stable. Before getting into the pluses and minuses of EclipseME, I'll take a look at installation and the basics of getting up and running.

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