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  1. #1
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    Petition against Java Verified

    I was quite excited to hear of Nokia's launch of the Ovi store to provide a service along the lines of app store and android market.

    BUT once I reached this forum I found to my shock an offical statement from a Nokia rep saying that all Java apps will need to have gone through the "Java Verfied" process.

    I can only suppose that this is an attempt to make Java apps as unlikely as possible in the new Ovi store as I can assure you that no small ISVs will go through the expensive and convoluted "JV" process.

    In addition I'm suprised at members like Lucien defending the whole signing process even for Symbian apps, even for free apps. For something marketed as "self service" what on earth does Nokia justify its 30% cut with? In all the competing app stores/markets, the provider of the store takes on the burden of checking for compliance the submitted apps as part of that 30% fee! But here Nokia expects developers to completely shoulder that burden before they can even submit their apps of the Ovi Store and then after that expects to take the same percentage fee. This kind of policy is exactly why many developers are willing to make the roll of the dice that passes for the apps stores "approval process".

    I hope I'm not being unreasonable in asking any Nokia reps here to explain how they think that the JV only policy can be justified?

    In summary I have very high hopes for the Ovi store, but as a Java developer with several apps under development (both free and paid) unless someone within the Ovi store area takes note of this plea and removes these onerous restrictions, I can't see anyway I'l be able to participate. And it really won't be much of store if the sheves are empty of the kind of compelling, innovative apps that are driving he success of the opposition.

    thanks for listening,

    Maks,

  2. #2
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    Re: Petition against Java Verified

    Agreed......

  3. #3
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    Re: Petition against Java Verified

    Agreed...

    We have reached the point where JavaME has matured, both APIs and implementation, platform set is well defined and documented (S40, S60), tools are great... and we finally have possibility to monetize on the app store for devices with widest market penetration.

    Yet, we have to go with same old 3rd-party process that charges per device per test... process mostly unavailable for the very same developers that made success of competing app stores.

    If the issue with Java application is "no warning messages are acceptable", then allow us to self-sign with free or low-cost Nokia-rooted Certificate.

  4. #4
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    Re: Petition against Java Verified

    Good about Java Verified:
    -Independent testing of your application. This is important to small developers who would not necessarily have a decent QA process available.
    -The "signature" is valid for ten years. Comparing to some code signing certificates where the "signature" cannot be valid for longer than the signing keys are. Example: A year valid certificate purchased ten months ago can only give signatures which are valid for two months.
    -No error messages at installation
    -The application can have All ways allowed privileges when set by the user

    Bad about Java Verified:
    -The process should be made more straight forward -> we are working on that
    -There should be decent help of how to use the process -> we are working on that
    -There should be a way for the developer to test the application as signed before the application is submitted -> coming up
    -There should be a way for the portal to automatically check if the application will work after being signed -> evaluating options
    -As Java ME devices are very fragmented, there should be away to reduce cost of Java Verified -> on its way as soon as we get the next version of the criteria out. I've been calculating cost reductions up to 65% with applications to Nokia devices.

    Cheers,

    Risto

  5. #5
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    Re: Petition against Java Verified

    Hi Rippe,
    are you involved in the JavaVerified organization?

    For me, in particular, this "upgrade" to the process would be the most important:
    -There should be a way for the developer to test the application as signed before the application is submitted -> coming up

    Cheers,
    AW

    Quote Originally Posted by rippe View Post
    Good about Java Verified:
    -Independent testing of your application. This is important to small developers who would not necessarily have a decent QA process available.
    -The "signature" is valid for ten years. Comparing to some code signing certificates where the "signature" cannot be valid for longer than the signing keys are. Example: A year valid certificate purchased ten months ago can only give signatures which are valid for two months.
    -No error messages at installation
    -The application can have All ways allowed privileges when set by the user

    Bad about Java Verified:
    -The process should be made more straight forward -> we are working on that
    -There should be decent help of how to use the process -> we are working on that
    -There should be a way for the developer to test the application as signed before the application is submitted -> coming up
    -There should be a way for the portal to automatically check if the application will work after being signed -> evaluating options
    -As Java ME devices are very fragmented, there should be away to reduce cost of Java Verified -> on its way as soon as we get the next version of the criteria out. I've been calculating cost reductions up to 65% with applications to Nokia devices.

    Cheers,

    Risto

  6. #6
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    Re: Petition against Java Verified

    Hi Risto,

    Thanks for your reply. You make good points about the benefits of the Java Verified testing process. My complaint is not against the process itself, indeed I think its a valuable service for those that want to improve the quality and portability of their applications.
    What I am asking for is that it not be made a mandatory prerequisite of listing an application of listing a J2ME app on the forthcoming Ovi Store.

    As I pointed out in my original post, the store is competing for developer mindshare/support against simliar poducts which do not require any kind testing/verification process to be conducted at the developers expense to have their products listed.

    Likewise Ovi Store is clearly stated as being targeted only at Nokia users, so why again is it so important to go through a testing process that is more focused at ensuring application compatibility against a wide range of handsets from multiple vendors?

    And again the Ovi store is charging the same transaction fee as competitors who include in this fee whatever processes they deem necessary to validate a product as being suitable for listing and sales via their store services.

    SO my original (genuine) question stands: what justification is there for mandating Java Verified testing prior to allowing apps to be listed in Ovi Store?

    thanks,
    Maks.

  7. #7
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    Re: Petition against Java Verified

    Agreed. Even though my app is working perfectly on Nokias, I will not submit it to the Ovi store if the JavaVerified is required. Unless it's made much less expensive, at least five times less expensive.

    Somehow Apple does not charge for this, do they? Neither does Google for Android apps. Even BlackBerry does not, you pay $20 per submission, and even this drives people nuts.

    Nokia: if you want to be competitive in developed countries, you need developers on your side. Otherwise forget about it and continue selling cheap basic phones in China and India.

    Good luck, and hope you take a note.
    Y.

  8. #8
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    Re: Petition against Java Verified

    Apple charge you $99 before you can even think about developing. And you must distribute you i-phone app though them, you have no choice.

    Anyone selling your application is going to want to know that it meets some basic quality requirements: it's doesn't lock, doesn't crash, doesn't run out of memory, behaves graciously when there is no more RMS space, doesn't play music in the background while you're on a call, things like that. They don't want customer complaints, people asking for refunds.

    Before JV, there were many certification programmes. Nokia had their own. JV is the "unified testing criteria" because it is an attempt to have a single standard, rather than having developers attempt to meet multiple (possibly conflicting) standards.

    Now, I am not entirely a fan of JV. It is driven by the manufacturers, and often forces developers to work around their implementation problems. For example, we must make games behave nicely on an incoming call, on Samsung devices that send no pauseApp() and no hideNotify() events.

    But trying to meet requirements now from JV, T-mobile, Sprint, Three, etc., is an expensive nightmare. If JV didn't exist, and we also had to meet separate requirements from Vodafone, Orange, Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, ...

    JV at least allows you get your app certified once, to a single (and not entirely stupid) set of requirements, and take it to multiple market places.

    If you only want to sell on Nokias, you only need to get apps certified on Nokia devices. JV is not focussed on cross-device compatibility. To pass on a Nokia device, your build does not need to work on anything else, and can use all the Nokia-specific APIs you want.

    Ultlimately, if you want access to a premier software distribution channel, you are going to have to meet some standards, and prove you meet them. The value of the channel will be determined by the experience of those who download from it, and if they download poor quality apps that don't run, they won't download again.

    Cheers,
    Graham.

  9. #9
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    Re: Petition against Java Verified

    Graham,
    I agree with you. Of course our apps do have to meet some minimum requirements and be certified by someone.
    But Ovi is only for Nokias, so whats the point of being certified by someone else and for all the manufacturers? Nokia CAN implement a sort of express-certification, signed by Nokias certificate, all very smooth and fluid, and this way attract al developers, including the independent developers who don't want to suffer JavaVerified.

    Look it this way, many big developers sell in many channels their games and apps unsigned (for instance all operators in my country Chile). They have the commercial power to get approved without being really certified. On the other hand Iphone developers don't need to pass a complicated certification like JV.
    So, either I'm a big company or I develop for Iphone... A great alternative would be to develop ONLY for Nokias and sell in Ovi.

  10. #10
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    Re: Petition against Java Verified

    Java Verified does not automatically make your application "certified for all manufacturers". Your application is certified only for the device on which you have it tested, and for that device's listed compatibles.

    For example: if you have your application tested on an N95, then it is certified only for the N95, and its compatibles (5700 XpressMusic, 6110 Navigator, 6120 Classic, 6121 Classic, 6124 classic, 6290, E51, E66, N76, N81 and N82). It is not certified for any other Nokia, nor for any device of any other manufacturer.

    So, when you have your application JV'd, you are not paying to have it certified on any other devices.

    You can't get much more express than JV... an entire test cycle takes only about one hour. Nokia used to have their own certification process, and it was no easier to pass than JV (JV is based on it).

    Apple's system is not entirely free: you have to pay $99 sign-up fee, you have to buy a computer from them to develop on (you can't develop on Windows), and you must sell your application through them. They will not permit you to sell through any other channel. There is certification test, and it happens when Apple decide it happens. They might reject your application just because they take a dislike to it. If they reject it, it becomes worthless, since you cannot sell it elsewhere.

    I don't know specifically about the market in Chile, but unless you're EA or Gameloft (and possibly even then), games from big companies in Europe and the US go through JV, T-Mobile certification, Sprint cert, Virgin Mobile cert, Three, and so on. And that's just Java. BREW applications must go through True BREW testing. All paid for by the developer, and all per device (or device category). A major game title can cost more than $100,000 in certification costs alone.

    I agree that $150 for a one hour test is too much. It needs to become cheaper. But it's never going to be as cheap as i-phone testing (because there is only one model of i-phone to test on, compared to a hundred Nokias!). And Ovi... if it lives up to everyone's hopes in terms of market penetration, it will give people much easier and cheaper access to a global market than ever before. If... :-)

    Cheers,
    Graham.

  11. #11
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    Re: Petition against Java Verified

    Graham,

    are you trying to convince me that some testing prior to putting your app to the Ovi store is necessary? I am already convinced. I never said it was not necessary!

    It all will come down to costs and benefits.

    If Nokia will keep asking developers to shell out hundreds of dollars for testing each version of their app, and Apple/Google will change nothing, the result is obvious: 99% of developers will not be coding for Nokia platform. They will be programming for other platforms which have lower barriers to entry. Nokia will have less (much less) applications in Ovi store - and will continue losing the market share in the U.S., Canada and other developed countries.

    I don't think Nokia wants it. But this is where it might end up: "as poor people's phone company". Time is not on Nokia's side, so it's important to make this decision right. Make Java Verified an AFFORDABLE option. If other companies can have free (or low-cost) reviews and testing, so can Nokia, if it wants to succeed.

    Yes, it's true that a developer has to pay $99 to Apple to start. But this is one-time fee. Once it's paid, make as many apps and versions as you wish. Mac computer? It's also one-time fee, but you get a Mac, not the worst computer in the world. In the worst case, you can always sell it and get most of the money back, provided you keep it in a good shape.

    I am not even mentioning Android - it's all free.

    The fact that Nokia is represented with multiple devices, and Apple has basically only one, is a factor. However, this cannot serve as justification to charge hundreds of dollars for each test. Nokia will get 30% off each sale, remember? So invest these money into testing. Automate it, make it low cost. In the end it will pay off. Scaring potential developers with perspective of heavy charges for EACH update will kill the Ovi store before it is born.

    Y.
    Last edited by Yuriy; 2009-03-22 at 19:00.

  12. #12
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    Re: Petition against Java Verified

    Hi Graham,
    Sure Apple charges a $99 sign fee, Android market charges $25.
    But these are one off developer program joining fees!

    How about you tell me how much they charge to 'verify' each app. Or how about how much they charge per app per device?
    Hah! Thats the whole point, there is not even such a concept in either of those 2 app stores, yet look at their success simply in terms of the number of participating developer if by no other metric.

    To be honest your point about their being only 1 iphone model is factually incorrect. AFAIK there are already 2 generations of iphones with different hardware, ontop of 2 generations of itouches. Likewise while there is only 1 current andriod model on the market, there are expected to be dozens (from different Vendors!) on the market by the end of this year.
    Now lets look at the Nokia side of the equation: there are only two platforms: s40 and s60 and only the newest models with those are expected to supported the Ovi store client and from what I've seen the latest s60 models have remarkably consistent hardware not to mention the fact that they all share just different revisions of the same OS!

    I'm sorry if I am re-stating exactly the same points as others, but perhaps this is what it will take to get Nokias attention on this vital issue.

    Look I would be quite happy to pay a $25, $100 or even $200 joining fee if it meant I could submit an unlimited number of apps to be certified by Nokia according to some documented set of criteria.

    You see as I said in my previous post I have nothing against JV or any other certification process that Nokia wishes to use for Ovi store, what I am strongly against is that it be a burden on the app developer!

    I think it is very telling fact that no Nokia reps who are active on this forum have responded to this thread.

    Let me perfectly frank. I would love to participate in Ovi store, developing both free and paid apps but this is just not feasible if JV is a prerequisite. And I fear tha Nokia will find this will be the same for a large number of ISVs who will simply not bother and vote with their absence on Ovi store.

    Graham you are quite right that unlike Apple, J2me developers have other avenues to distribute their apps to end users, I fear that will be the case if Nokia does not reverse its policy of mandating JV for listing Java apps. The likely outcome though may well be that Java developers will decide to give up on Nokia and J2me all together and notice that life is much easier with Android and android market.

    I for one hope my plea is heard and for now will continue to work on my j2me apps in that slim hope.

    Regards,
    Maks.

  13. #13
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    Re: Petition against Java Verified

    Folks, check this blog: http://wapreview.com/blog/

    It looks like "Nokia has not yet decided on the signing and security model for the Ovi Store. .. an Apple like model where Nokia picks up the costs of testing and signing is one of several being considered."

    Y.

  14. #14
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    Re: Petition against Java Verified

    thanks for the link to that very informative article!
    Its good to know the decision is still to be made on this issue.

    Maks.

  15. #15
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    Re: Petition against Java Verified

    Unbelievable!

    If Nokia goes for the Java Verified option, it is certainly going to be the last nail in my company's coffin as developers for Nokia phones. It will be a big warning sign for us that Ovi (and Nokia's platforms in general) is not a good place for small ISVs to be in.

    By the way, Apple approves 96% of the submitted apps, so I guess the app-store developers don't spend all their time trying to break the phone, right? Bad apps get bad reputation and get pushed down into oblivion.

    Apple is traditionally blamed for its tight control over their channels, but it seems like Nokia wants to out-apple Apple... Sad... At first sight Ovi seemed like a dream-come-true in terms of monetization options for small ISVs.

    I sure hope they will adopt Apple's (winning) model. Otherwise, at least for us, it's going to be bye-bye Nokia and hello Apple.

    Ori

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