Feeds

Why Java on DoCoMo could be very SlowCoMo

Calling Spectrum programmers...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

In a few weeks the giant Japanese telco DoCoMo will begin to ship its next generation of i-Mode Java-enabled phones. We mentioned this in passing recently, prompting an unexpectedly large postbag to The Register.

Rightly, many of you smart people told us that these 503i devices really do represent the first mass market platform for Java, after years of effort by Sun trying to it the unlikeliest consumer appliances. Trouble is, this won't be Java as we know it. Or at least not just yet.

These phones run KJava, the latest and certainly smallest variant of Java that Sun has specified. Given the sheer number of small-footprint Javas which Sun has released - and it flings them out with the indiscriminating enthusiasm of a clay-pigeon machine - that's quite something.

But DoCoMo has gone to particular trouble to make sure that the user expectations are kept under control. The Java applets will be limited to 10k in size, with 5k of memory available as scratch. KJava runs on one thread in this environment, and doesn't map natively to the embedded OS' threading model.

When we heard this the first time round we were sceptical, but a second source confirms this, adding that this isn't because of any particular limitations in KJava - which has been designed with scaling in mind- but rather for technical reasons. DoCoMo doesn't want millions of its users trading large applets.

So it looks like veterans of early 80s micros could find their finely honed programming skills back in use. Only this time, you won't need to run off a cassette tape.

The initial applications are likely to be games, and instant messaging, and Sony has apparently worked out a trick to display information from the handset onto a TV via its games consoles.

And what will the Japanese do with these? This was best described in the following gem we culled from one of the more obscure Asian business wires, and which has a weird poetry in its own right:-

"For example, users might want to raise virtual pets or other animated characters using their phones, and then later use a TV to show their friends what they've done, or else to let the characters fight each other."

It may be 10k... but all human life is in there. ®

Related stories

DoCoMo shows Microsoft wireless gizmo
AOL turning Japanese with DoCoMo
DoCoMo crash knocks media back towards WAP

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.