Java lobby lowers Android and iPhone defenses
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Carriers and handset makers are rallying to make it cheaper and easier to deliver applications on phones using the "official" brand of Java on mobile.
The Unified Test Initiative, an industry group that certifies Java ME applications as safe and reliable, is streamlining its verification program.
From next month, qualifying Java ME developers won't need to certify every single application they produce but instead will see a sample of their apps undergo regular audits.
UTI's so-called Trusted Status program will be unveiled at Oracle's JavaOne in San Francisco, California.
Ahead of that, UTI's canvassing Java ME coders for input on the planned program. Specifically, UTI wants to know what criteria should be used to accept developers, the percentage of apps that should pass to earn the trusted status, and whether apps should be evaluated by type of failure. Deadlines for submissions is September 6. You can read more, here.
The group is looking for 90 per cent first-time pass rate all of the time, with developers losing their status when every application tested falls below the established criteria.
"The goal is to ensure that developers of all sizes are coming to the table prepared -- meaning, that quality is baked-in before they begin the testing process," the spokesperson told The Reg.
The change is intended to increase the number of Java ME apps in play. Currently, all apps must be certified at one of three testing houses, with developers paying a starting price of 75 euros ($92.91) to test and verify a "simple" application - a sharp reduction on the earlier price.
The price cut announce in June was the first change in the UTI's Java ME verification process in the face of the growing popularity of Google's Android, which runs a subset of Java Standard Edition (Java SE).
Another challenge to Java ME has come in the shape of the iPhone, which now stands at 25 per cent of the US smart phone market after just three years. More growth is anticipated as Apple's widely expected to sign a deal putting the iPhone on Verizon's network, unleashing a wave of customers new to the phone or tired of AT&T's spotty network.
"By making the Java Verified accreditation more accessible to developers, the number of Java Verified-approved apps out there should increase," UTI said in a document explaining the changes.
Sun Microsystems used to boast there exists two billion Java handsets running Java ME, while Oracle's launched a patent law suit against Google on Android as Oracle pushes Java ME as the only version of Java for mobile devices. UTI was recently freed from Oracle's control.
UTI's members are AT&T, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Oracle, Orange, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and Vodafone who between them have seen varying degrees of competitive pressure from Android and Apple, and that have large existing install bases of phones running Java ME. ®
Dead in the water as usual...
Too little, too late. The usual suspects (i.e. vodafone and the manufacturers) arguing the toss for _literally_ years. meanwhile implementing their own ideas and finally panicking when they realise the world has moved on and adopted other more unified platforms, and attempting to provide some of the same user experience quality concepts on their tired, labyrinthe, bloated, crap platforms.
I spent years working at Panasonic (about a year of it testing a J2ME platform implemented into a Comneon platform). We didn't use the TCK because it was ludicrously expensive. I see the developers who try their best to wrangle something useful out of J2ME are likewise shafted for cash on a regular basis.
"baking in" quality of the apps is a little pointless as well, as pointed out above the J2ME virtual machine implementations vary so damn widely thanks to operator and manufacturer whims that the inevitable endpoint is lowest common denominator cack.
One can only hope Android doesn't go the same way with the proliferation of platforms. Meanwhile, I'll stick with iOS.
Look upon the old guard, still standing to attention with cobwebs growing on their certification logos.... and despair.
Dalvik is working just fine for me.
Java Verified is about app quality...
Russ with Java Verified here. Some of these comments stray far from the story at hand. Thousands of Java ME applications are submitted to Java Verified each year because many industry app stores and others require the Java Verified seal of approval to prove apps actually work. And this is what Java Verified is all about -- ensuring quality Java ME applications through testing. We aren’t one company or one vendor. Rather, we are an independent organization within UTI consisting of industry reps from across the Java ME ecosystem working together to meet the single common goal of delivering more quality Java ME applications to market.
And while our focus is on ensuring application quality, we also listen to Java ME developers and the industry when it comes to how to do things better. Developers have told us they want it to be easier and cheaper to obtain the Java Verified mark of quality for simple applications. So in June, we launched Simple App Testing. Developers – big and small -- also tell us they want more options for reducing testing costs. And this is what Gavin’s Trusted Status story is about. Trusted Status is being shaped largely based on developer feedback taking place at www.javaverified.com/blog. Yes, there are Java ME challenges and fragmentation is one of them – and there are groups working to address this critical issue. But Java Verified is doing our part to ensure every Java ME developer has opportunities to more easily deliver proven quality apps to market faster and at an affordable price.