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Sun to scrap mobile Java; iPhone effect?

updated 04:40 pm EDT, Fri October 19, 2007

Sun Scrapping Phone Java

Sun is pushing its software development towards a single, monolithic version of Java that could have a significant effect on the future of cellphones, according to comments by company VP James Gosling at a press event. Though Sun has previously split its development of the near-universal platform into desktop and mobile versions, the company has confirmed that it would like to move every device to the full Standard Edition. The change would allow more advanced handhelds to take advantage of more features and would eliminate the compatibility problems that plague Java Mobile Edition, Sun says. Java ME is typically limited by default and requires extensions for more features, which prevents developers from safely writing for one mobile OS and knowing it will work for another.

The JavaFX Mobile platform demonstrated what Sun could do in this regard, according to CNET. The software is optimized for the small footprint needed for portable devices but includes nearly all the foundation of Java Standard Edition. Gosling noted that Sun was "pushing" Java ME towards the Standard version, though executive software VP Rich Green warned it could take as much as ten years to completely move Java to a desktop version.

Such moves may have long-term implications for the iPhone platform as well as other more advanced phones, many of which are now increasingly turning to desktop-like software as hardware performance improves. Apple chief Steve Jobs downplayed current forms Java as a "ball and chain" that would not be necessary in an age of Javascript and other, less demanding web code. However the iPhone's CPU also incorporates hardware Java support and could potentially run multiple Java programs that could be more readily ported to or from different phone plaforms.

by MacNN Staff




  1. csimon2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Already out

    This product has been out since the beginning of the year in at least 2GB form. Having used one, while it is cool that the player is really self-contained, the coolness wears off pretty quickly once you try to use the terrible remote and view the even worse picture quality.

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