J2ME Moves Forward

One of the beautiful characteristics of Java has also been one of its biggest weaknesses – Java, as an ‘open’ technology, is not controlled singularly by any big company, not even Sun. Java technology is steered, instead, by a community of Java developers and stakeholders. BREW, in contrast, has been completely developed and controlled by Qualcomm. Back in the Java space, the lack of a ‘dictator’ has meant multi-year delays in the clarification of a J2ME ecosystem for the mobile world. Unlike BREW, in J2ME there hasn’t been a standard way of aggregating content, billing, provisioning, and remunerating cash throughout the value chain. Finally, it seems that Sun is stepping up to the plate and clarifying ways a J2ME ecosystem can be implemented. The new Sun offerings, which had been announced at JavaOne this year, include content aggregation and developer tools including testing. Most people in the Java space applaud this action, but we mostly wonder why it took Sun so long to take it. ‘Open’ environments may be democratic, but they may also benefit from a strong leader who lays out a framework which others can choose to take or leave.

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