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Sun's New Wireless Toolkit Keeps Up with the Mobile Joneses

As devices grow more capable, so too must our development and emulation testing environments grow. Find out how this first of two anticipated beta releases of the newly renamed Wireless Toolkit from Sun addresses many J2ME developer needs as well as adding support for new APIs.


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s the holiday season wraps up, many of you might have received new cell phones, PDAs, or other electronic gadgets. Many are probably equipped with J2ME. The ever-increasing capabilities in these small devices never cease to amaze. The boundaries that used to classify these consumer electronic devices also continue to fade. Are smartphones more PDA than phone or vice versa?

The J2ME development world endeavors to keep up with the increasing capabilities in the electronic consumer device. Sun’s latest tool help for J2ME developers is the new version of the J2ME Wireless Toolkit (WTK), which has been renamed to the Java Wireless Toolkit. The new name is in order "to standardize Sun's Java ME products to be consistent with the rest of Sun's products" according to E-ming Saung, Sun Microsystems' Java ME Product Manager.

Along with a number of bug fixes and enhancements, version 2.3 of WTK also provides J2ME developers with a means to develop and test MIDlet applications using three new J2ME APIs. Namely, version 2.3 of the Java Wireless Toolkit supports the Location API for J2ME, Security, and Trust Services API for J2ME (SATSA), and the J2ME Content Handler API (CHAPI). Table 1 lists the appropriate JSRs that define these APIs.



Table 1. JSR Reference: Three new Java Specification Requests (JSR) are now supported in the Wireless Toolkit, version 2.3.

J2ME API

JSR #

URL

Location API for J2ME

JSR 179

http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=179

Security and Trust Services API for J2ME (SATSA)

JSR 177

http://java.sun.com/products/satsa/

J2ME Content Handler API (CHAPI)

JSR 211

http://java.sun.com/products/chapi


Currently available in beta form, Sun now boasts that more than 1.5 million copies of the WTK have been downloaded by J2ME developers. Again, according to Saung, a second beta is expected with support for even more APIs around JavaOne 2006 (May) with a new final release scheduled shortly thereafter. Why two betas for this release? The number of APIs being added to the WTK is a big factor in the release of the two betas this year. According to Saung, "the rationale behind two beta releases is that we wanted to include support for quite a few new JSRs in the toolkit (about 10 new JSRs from WTK 2.2) to make sure developers have access to all the latest Java ME APIs. The simplest way for us for us to do this is by releasing two betas with good quality, and have one final release with excellent quality. These betas are good enough for developers to use from day-to-day; we just like to guarantee an even higher level of quality in our final release."

The current WTK 2.3 beta is only available for Windows platforms. Let's explore what is in this 2.3 beta release.



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