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  1. #1
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    Canvas based UI library with good support...

    Well although I have found heaps of Canvas based 3rd party libraries on the net very few are being maintained and support actively...
    To name a few Lwuit, J2ME Polish, Twuik....
    All the above seem to be a bit heavy for the Series 40 phones.
    At the moment to develop my own GUI components using Canvas will be time consuming I guess or I am a bit overawed by the situation...
    So I am looking here for your experience, what other libraries(open source or freeware) can I find support for so that I can choose from them and use them.

  2. #2
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    Re: Canvas based UI library with good support...

    Someone recently mentioned Thinlet - but it might have been you!

    LWUIT is relatively heavy (as it's quite new, targetted at newer device), but Polish has been around for years, and people have used that on old MIDP-1 Series 40s (with a 64k JAR limit), so presumably it can run in a very limited environment.

    Graham.

  3. #3
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    Re: Canvas based UI library with good support...

    Quote Originally Posted by grahamhughes View Post
    Someone recently mentioned Thinlet - but it might have been you!

    LWUIT is relatively heavy (as it's quite new, targetted at newer device), but Polish has been around for years, and people have used that on old MIDP-1 Series 40s (with a 64k JAR limit), so presumably it can run in a very limited environment.

    Graham.
    Yeah apparently I may have mentioned it I was playing around with it for some time but not quite satisfied as no one supports it now and there is no active forum for me to get help in case I'm stuck, so basically I will have to sort out my own problems and not to mention if some subtle bug crops that will be quite a mess wouldn't it?
    Apart from that I found several others like Kui, Kuix, ApiMe, J4ME, MWT ....only tried MWT out of those.. again support issues caused me to abandon it...
    Well that you mention J2ME Polish I really didn't know it would run on Series 40 devices maybe I should check on that but then to use it in a commercial app they will be licensing issues. etc... which I again don't wanna get into...but I will try to look into it...
    In the meantime any other expert advice regarding other libraries?...

  4. #4
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    Re: Canvas based UI library with good support...

    sorry only tried LWUIT and J2ME Polish, mostly because all other GUI libraries were a little limited (in functionality) when compared to the two aforementioned...
    My experience was also a somewjat lacking support/community, on the other hand that is the case for all those 3rd party FREE GUI libraries I noticed... So if the two "best-known" libraries have this kind of support, well you can guess how the support is of the other ones (especially from the community)... So I'd stop looking for the perfect solution if I were you...
    Performance-wise : I always noticed that with LWUIT for example I had better results on my Nokia 6233 (S40) than on my N95 (S60)... Never understood why but I saw similar replies on their forum around 5-6 months ago...

  5. #5
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    Re: Canvas based UI library with good support...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger79 View Post
    .. So I'd stop looking for the perfect solution if I were you...
    Performance-wise : I always noticed that with LWUIT for example I had better results on my Nokia 6233 (S40) than on my N95 (S60)... Never understood why but I saw similar replies on their forum around 5-6 months ago...
    Well I'm looking at phones as far back as the Series 40 2nd edition so I don't know whether those devices can handle LWUIT with their limited 125K jar size then around maximum Heap Size of 500 KB.

    So I guess with whatever limited experience I have in searching and evaluating these libraries is that "I will have to build one on my own" especially for these lower end devices and my app needs lots of user input filling in forms, text boxes etc that makes it even more harder for me to handle key inputs, word wrap etc...

    And regarding the "perfect solution" Well I'm in a quandary...
    • Should I invest time and build a UI library?...
    • Should I use an existing library and risk the non-support?
    • Or Finally just design for higher end phones that LWUIT supports?


    More expert opinions welcome...

  6. #6
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    Re: Canvas based UI library with good support...

    well you might look into the possibility of using only parts of LWUIT and/or J2ME Polish and see if you can leave out the non-used funtcionality/classes... that would reduce the needed jar file obviously.. But you will need to contact the developers themselves I guess...
    Have you already treid to create a mocjup of your application with those libraries and see how big they have become (the jar size that is) ?
    Also LWUIT isn't specifically for the higher end devices like you are mentioning, even a 6233 runs it and I definitly wouldn't catalogue that one as a hihgh end device
    You also might want to buy a test-device of the type you were mentioning (S40 2nd edition) and simply test on that one...
    Is it gonna be a connected (internet) application ? If so then forget thsoe old low-end devices, no-one who has such a device has an internet subscription cause that would cost more than the device itself... Not to mention that you also should decide for yourself if your application will look good or will be usable at all with those 128x128 screen sizes...

  7. #7
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    Re: Canvas based UI library with good support...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger79 View Post
    well you might look into the possibility of using only parts of LWUIT and/or J2ME Polish and see if you can leave out the non-used funtcionality/classes... that would reduce the needed jar file obviously.. But you will need to contact the developers themselves I guess...
    Have you already treid to create a mocjup of your application with those libraries and see how big they have become (the jar size that is) ?
    Well the jar sizes were around 90K to 100K i guess with obfuscation not sure though because I had checked them a while back got to revisit them...
    Contacting with the developers is a good idea, don't know why I didn't think of that anyway I will do that right away!

    Also LWUIT isn't specifically for the higher end devices like you are mentioning, even a 6233 runs it and I definitly wouldn't catalogue that one as a hihgh end device
    I would be thrilled if it's meant for a wide range of devices yet I read some complaints on the net that LWUIT gave an OUT OF MEMORY error sometimes on the low end Series 40 devices.

    You also might want to buy a test-device of the type you were mentioning (S40 2nd edition) and simply test on that one...
    Is it gonna be a connected (internet) application ? If so then forget thsoe old low-end devices, no-one who has such a device has an internet subscription cause that would cost more than the device itself... Not to mention that you also should decide for yourself if your application will look good or will be usable at all with those 128x128 screen sizes...
    Well I already have a Series 40 device but I was testing on Nokia S40 Emulator rather than the actual device, and yes its an internet connected app, probably you have a point that people who have such a phone won't probably have the moolah for an internet connection however I'll take that with a grain of salt...

    Well right now to get myself started I'll do myself a favour and start off on a Sony Ericsson W700i its 176 x 220px phone don't know whether to classify it as a low or mid end...
    I think while I get my hands clean on LWUIT with the W700i I should have gotten some satisfactory reply from the developers and then probably the fog would have lifted...

    Cheers!

  8. #8
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    Re: Canvas based UI library with good support...

    well keep us updated as well

    but i'd say a W700 is definitely a mid-range device...
    And I also experienced out of memory with the LWUIT Demo on S40, specifically on the SVG menu's demo part if I remember correctly...

    Regarding the point of internet-connected app and low-range devices : we (the company I work for) have all internet-connected apps and rely heavily on that... Our experience in the last 6 years is that mostly only high end devices are used.. I live in the netherlands, so we have a very good place to have internet-connected software (every provider has a flat-fee internet subscription for 10 euro's a month, it's all GPRS and HSDPA is coming along pretty well, also most people here use subscriptions so no pre-paid which means they get a new mid-end device every year or two), still we notice that the low-end devices simply aren't used for internet-connectivity...

  9. #9
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    Re: Canvas based UI library with good support...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger79 View Post
    well keep us updated as well

    but i'd say a W700 is definitely a mid-range device...
    And I also experienced out of memory with the LWUIT Demo on S40, specifically on the SVG menu's demo part if I remember correctly...

    Regarding the point of internet-connected app and low-range devices : we (the company I work for) have all internet-connected apps and rely heavily on that... Our experience in the last 6 years is that mostly only high end devices are used.. I live in the netherlands, so we have a very good place to have internet-connected software (every provider has a flat-fee internet subscription for 10 euro's a month, it's all GPRS and HSDPA is coming along pretty well, also most people here use subscriptions so no pre-paid which means they get a new mid-end device every year or two), still we notice that the low-end devices simply aren't used for internet-connectivity...
    Well surely!
    Now since I have decided on LWUIT any tips on how to get started, well I have read the LWUIT guide (the pdf that came with it) and also browsed through the javadocs ... now I want to get started with something hands on so some wise tips would do a world of good...

  10. #10
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    Re: Canvas based UI library with good support...

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBoyd View Post
    Well surely!
    Now since I have decided on LWUIT any tips on how to get started, well I have read the LWUIT guide (the pdf that came with it) and also browsed through the javadocs ... now I want to get started with something hands on so some wise tips would do a world of good...
    A good point to start creating your own UI, would be to reuse the LWUIT Demo source code and rework on the LWUIT Demo theams.

    thanks,
    ~Amitabh
    (Poster of the Month -Aug'09)
    Follow me on my blog for Innovative Mobile Apps

  11. #11
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    Re: Canvas based UI library with good support...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger79 View Post
    Also LWUIT isn't specifically for the higher end devices like you are mentioning, even a 6233 runs it and I definitly wouldn't catalogue that one as a hihgh end device
    Well I just checked on the 6233 and it seems a decent device...
    1MB jar limit, 2MB Heap Memory and resolution of 240 x 320 seems quite good compared to the 2nd Edition devices with 512KB of Heap and 125KB of jar size limit and 128 x 128 res.

  12. #12
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    Re: Canvas based UI library with good support...

    Quote Originally Posted by im2amit View Post
    A good point to start creating your own UI, would be to reuse the LWUIT Demo source code and rework on the LWUIT Demo theams.

    thanks,
    ~Amitabh
    (Poster of the Month -Aug'09)
    Follow me on my blog for Innovative Mobile Apps
    Well thanks! I will look into that and give it a start!!...

  13. #13
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    Re: Canvas based UI library with good support...

    sure, it was a good device when it came out... something like 3 years ago ?
    It was mid-end back then, so after three years it's kinda of low end nowadays :P
    It even had 3g as one of the few S40 devices (still today it's a rarity)...

  14. #14
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    Re: Canvas based UI library with good support...

    I'm a bit late to this discussion, but I was looking at your requirements and wondered if you have looked at J2ME GUI from http://www.garcer.com/ yet? It's very lightweight when you consider today's mobile market. It's compatible with MIDP 2.0, CLDC 1.1 devices (because we all need to be able to do division and use floats, right?) and a Hello World app that I tested with J2ME GUI with NetBeans on full obfuscation level resulted in a JAR file of around 53K.

    Anyway, it's got all the basics and you can extend the components if you need to.

  15. #15
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    Re: Canvas based UI library with good support...

    Had a look at it, seems better than standard MIDP high level components, but to be honest it's not up to par with j2mePolish or LWUIT, which seems to have really a miriad of extra options...

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