Leveraging the thousands of Java ME apps on the market and run those on tablets... (RIM PLaybook, WebOS)

fernando cassia fcassia at gmail.com
Thu Feb 17 04:53:15 UTC 2011

Hi there,

I´m a long-time Java SE advocate on the desktop (both Windows and 
Linux).  I also used to be a Palm OS fan on the mobile side, and have 
been running Java mobile apps (J2ME) on my ancient PalmOS mobile for 
years, software which wasn´t even designed to run on the PalmOS, all 
thanks to the IBM J9 Java VM for Palm OS.

Having said that, I´ve been looking at the tablet marketplace with 
interest, but haven´t found any that I find outstanding from the point 
of view of OS openness. Ideally, a tablet to be attractive for me would 
have to:

1. Allow porting Linux apps to it (if not run Linux natively). I guess 
I´ll have to wait for a MeeGo based tablet?.
2. Have some form of Java VM available (wheter Oracle licensed or full 
OpenJDK or PhoneME ported and running within it).

With the thousands of Java ME apps already available on the market, it 
boggles the mind as to why no tablet OS developer is taking advantage of 
this and offering the possibility to run Java ME midlets as "widgets" on 
the larger tablet OS screen. Or why isn´t Oracle pushing the Java VM to 
tablet devices.

If Windows Vista and 7 have desktop widgets, why can´t be Java ME apps 
run as widgets on a tablet OS ?!?...

So.... I was partly attracted to RIM´s Playbook as it mentioned "future" 
Java compatibility.... possibly to run Blackberry mobile apps designed 
for the  RIM phones Java ME....  but nothing has been delivered so far 
AFAIK on SDKs etc.

HP´s WebOS tablets won´t likely include a built-in Java VM and it´s 
unclear how easy it would be to develop one.

So, this is the main question:

How difficult would it be to port PhoneME and OpenJDK to the Playbook´s 
QNX OS foundation?.
What about HP´s WebOS?.
I guess the "community" can take care of running OpenJDK and PhoneME 
(open source J2ME) on MeeGo as it´s the most open of all the previously 
mentioned OSs...


PS: If I were Oracle, I´d port PhoneME and OpenJDK to both WebOS and 
RIM´s QNX Playbook OS, then do a major relaunch of the Sun "Java App 
Store", featuring Ellison showing sample .JAR /.JAD J2ME apps downloaded 
from the web running as widgets on those tablet OS... you know, give 
away the open source Java runtime, and  make money as middle man selling 
Java apps to end users from the "Java App Store"...

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