Here's a few quick semi-related items in the world of mobile web geekery, that I thought you might like.

The big news today is that Sun is open-sourcing its Java implementations, meaning its JDK and JME including the compilers and virtual machines. I've noticed that those around the blogosphere are sometimes misleadingly reporting that "Java is now free", but Sun specifically states in their FAQ that neither the language or the APIs are affected (only the implementations). This is really a play to keep Java ME as the leading mobile application development platform. Sounds like they are worried about Adobe's FlashLite and XHTML+JavaScript starting to impact the mobile web development world.

Here's a story about how Netbeans 5.5 eases mobile development with its support of SVG. The author paints a really nice picture of how it's as simple as drag-drop, bind some graphics to code and away you go. I suspect the example was pretty contrived to get that big of a crowd reaction.

Alex Russell, of Dojo fame, decrees The Law of Notepad, which is his way of saying that mobile web development won't take off until it's simple enough for any lazy programmer to whip something together in a text editor and get it to run (even if it's not 100% perfectly conforming code, for instance).

I will freely admit that I have zero experience with mobile web development. I have yet to find myself in a situation where I actually needed my mobile for anything other than voice conversation and text messaging. I think I just find the environment too constraining, in terms of both input and sensory output, to be interesting. Maybe I'm holding out a naive hope that eventually the mobile web and the desktop web worlds will converge transparently from a development standpoint (the same XHTML+SVG+JavaScript+CSS or Java applet or Flash .swf will work equally well on my desktop browser or on my phone).

§289 · November 13, 2006 · QuickLinks, Software, Technology, Web · · [Print]

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