NetBeans Mobility Pack with Java ME Guidelines Unveiled at Orange Camp

Are developers a few steps closer to making fragmentation in mobile devices a challenge of the past? Sun Microsystems and Orange, the mobile telecommunications giant, are hard at work to help make that a reality.

The quest to reduce fragmentation in mobile devices and the partnership between Sun and Orange received yet another boost at the latterís fifth biannual Partner Camp when Sun and Orange engineers introduced the much anticipated Developer Guidelines and Best Practices and the NetBeans Mobility Pack for Orange to a receptive audience.

The three-day conference, held in late October in Cadiz, Spain, brought together Java engineers and developers, and executives looking to network and exchange ideas about products, trends and solutions for the mobile communications industry. The event also offered a first showing of the Developer Guidelines and Best Practices, a joint project by Sun and Orange engineers to provide Java ME developers with tools to create applications that are compatible across a range of mobile devices and operators, a goal outlined last May at JavaOne when the two companies publicly announced their partnership.

Creating several hundred versions of one Java application to run on different types of mobile devices is an expensive and inefficient process for developers. The Developer Guidelines and Best Practices examine some of the causes of fragmentation and suggest steps for writing applications that require fewer versions to run on several handsets. The guidelines and practices are available as part of the NetBeans Mobility Pack which allows developers to create, test and debug applications for mobile devices. The guidelines and practices can also be downloaded from and the Orange Partner site.

NetBeans engineer Adam Sotona participated in a presentation, led by Orange, on de-fragmentation. The panel of engineers discussed highlights from the guidelines and Sotona gave a demonstration of the guidelines using NetBeans Mobility Pack with plug-ins for Orange. According to Sotona, many ME developers incorrectly classified fragmentation as a problem best left to mobile operators to solve. With the guidelines, developers now had the tools and incentive to take an active role in finding solutions.

But the work to reduce fragmentation is far from finished. Sotona and other engineers on the project hope to expand on the guidelines and best practices with help from the Java ME community. The ongoing goal is to find solutions to existing and new fragmentation problems and improve on current solutions whenever possible.

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