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  1. #1
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    Angry Nokia SDKs using archaic technology

    I am rediscovering J2ME development after 2-3 years of other development, and while Nokia used to be one of the leaders in this area I must say I'm shocked at how their tools seem to have been stuck in a time warp.

    The first problem is not having proper support for Windows Vista, never mind Windows 7, and particularly for 64bit versions of these platforms. Windows XP is now a seriously outdated platform, and developers lose out not being able to make use of the power and convenience of newer systems. We ended up reinstalling XP on an old dev machine and remoting to it, but while this gets the job done, it is obviously far from ideal.
    Secondly, the SDKs themselves require the 1.4.2 version of Sun's JRE, a version so old it's in the archive section of the downloads site. Surely the change to allow for new JRE versions is small enough to warrant recompiling and re-releasing these tools?

    If I compare this to the great experience with Apple's dev tools (yes I understand they don't have to deal with as much device fragmentation) it's hard to believe Nokia actually cares about devs developing decent software for their devices.

    If I'm completely off-kilter here because I'm trying to use the old tools I used before (Netbeans+Mobility with device emulators) please by all means correct me and point me in the right direction.

    Thanks,
    Matt

  2. #2
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    Re: Nokia SDKs using archaic technology

    You don't mention which SDKs you're using. Personally, I just use the Java ME SDK 3.0, and JDK 1.6.

    So far as I remember, Apple's development tools don't work Vista either. Nor on Windows 7, Win64, XP or any other version of Windows. Nor on many versions of OSX, even if I were legally able to install OSX on my existing hardware. Win64 is always a problem for application support, and you should avoid it for mobile development. Even if your SDKs work correctly, you're bound to come across some device-specific app-loader that won't work.

    Nokia allow you more development options (Java, Symbian C++, Qt), compared to Apple's one. They don't demand money from you before you can install your own application on your own handset. They allow you to sell your own application however you want to whomever you want, without demanding a cut of the profits. They don't restrict what you can sell. I can't develop in Java for iPhone, because Apple forbid it.

    I'm not suggesting Nokia do a better job than Apple of supporting developers. But compare across the board, not on the basis of one tool.

    Graham.

  3. #3
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    Re: Nokia SDKs using archaic technology

    Fair enough, the experience may be limited to my toolset. I did actually mention (towards the end, granted) that I'm using Netbeans and the mobility pack with Nokia's emulators. Since I posted in the Mobile Java area of the forums, I thought the technology would immediately be understood to be Java.
    For the record though:
    Initially Netbeans 6.8 with mobility addon, JDK 1.6, JRE 6 on Vista 64
    For Nokia SDKs (S40 3rd edition), I've had to switch to XP with JRE 1.4

    Yes Apple's limitation to development on their platform and closed garden approach to their platform can be criticised (or viewed as a positive, if what you want is an easier to target marketplace) but it's not relevant to this complaint, and comparing their lack of Windows support is equivalent to comparing Nokia's lack of Mac OS support. In the context of my original post, Apple support the most up-to-date versions of the relevant OS and supporting technologies, Nokia does not.

    Comparison aside (should have known not to do a vendor comparison, I suppose it's just asking to be flamed ), my point stands. I am really surprised that SDKs have not been adapted to newer operating systems and architectures as they have been updated for features. Another area I'm quite disappointed to see such limited support for is on device debugging. This is something other vendors have supported for quite some time on similar-grade devices, and would seem to be a logical thing to implement to enable devs to do their jobs properly.

  4. #4
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    Re: Nokia SDKs using archaic technology

    Quote Originally Posted by mbenic View Post
    For Nokia SDKs (S40 3rd edition), I've had to switch to XP with JRE 1.4
    That was the piece of information that was missing. Yes, I understood you meant Java, I just wasn't sure which Nokia Java SDK you were using - there are many! S40 3rd is quite an old SDK now. I don't think Nokia go back and update all historic SDKs.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbenic View Post
    comparing their lack of Windows support is equivalent to comparing Nokia's lack of Mac OS support.
    Not at all. 95% of people have Windows, so Apple's choice is guaranteed to inconvenience 95% of developers. And forces them not only to change their operating system, but also their hardware. And, it forces the developer to buy both hardware and operating system from Apple. This would be akin to Nokia forcing us to buy their netbook.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbenic View Post
    Apple support the most up-to-date versions of the relevant OS and supporting technologies, Nokia does not.
    My point was that Apple sometimes support only the most up-to-date version, forcing developers constantly to update their OS. I would not want to be forced to update to Windows 7 to run Nokia's SDK. I use XP, because it's a stable platform. As I say, even if Nokia's tools would all work on XP, I use tools from many other vendors (I develop cross-platform), and there would be at least one that wouldn't work on Vista or 7.

    Do the old versions of Apple's SDKs work on the latest version of OSX? Or are you forced to use the most up-to-date SDK as well as the most up-to-date OS?

    Quote Originally Posted by mbenic View Post
    Another area I'm quite disappointed to see such limited support for is on device debugging. This is something other vendors have supported for quite some time on similar-grade devices, and would seem to be a logical thing to implement to enable devs to do their jobs properly.
    Few vendors support on-device debugging in Java, Sony Ericsson being the notable exception. Motorola do too, but you need some specific Motorola tools to enable it. Having spent most of the last seven years developing mass-market mobile applications, primarily with J2ME, I promise you that Nokia devices are amongst the best to develop with, and that they provide far better developer support than most. More support would, of course, always be welcome.

    My point as to the restrictions imposed by Apple... these do make Apple's life much easier. Nokia offer you more options, in terms of supported devices, operating systems, and development technologies. If they dropped support for Symbian C++ and Java, and forced everyone to develop with Qt, they could cut their costs massively, and perhaps provide the kind of support you're asking for. Everything comes at a price.

    Graham.

  5. #5
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    Re: Nokia SDKs using archaic technology

    I would agree with you regarding 3rd ed being old enough to not bother updating, if it weren't for the fact that Nokia's own success means there are still tons of 3rd ed devices about, and anyone seriously developing for J2ME apps to be used on a reasonable percentage of in-use devices would have to include 3rd edition builds. Nokia may release new devices every couple of months, but their users don't upgrade that frequently (thank goodness, or ewaste would be an even bigger issue than it already is!).

    I'm accustomed to working with tools that are kept up to date with current tech (no, I'm not referring to Apple's stuff), and found having to downgrade to do the Nokia development really frustrating.

    I really get all your points with regard to Apple (as I said, big mistake making any kind of brand comparison, it wasn't really necessary to get the point across) but that doesn't change the key issue here:
    Development tools for devices that are currently still widely in use rely on an OS that is already two major versions behind and Java Software that is so old it has been archived by Sun.

    Quite honestly, if Nokia decided to stick to any one development technology (be it Java, C++ or Qt) and threw 100% of their development support behind it, I'd be on the supporters' side. Rather one technology that has full, up-to-date support than many that spread the manufacturer's resources too thin.

    Anyway, enough ranting, back to dev. Thanks for your inputs

  6. #6
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    Re: Nokia SDKs using archaic technology

    Hmmm.. you might not be such a supporter if it meant your existing products had to be redeveloped from scratch at your expense...

    I agree, to the extent that it was pretty crap that the SDK wouldn't work with a later JRE (does it really not??) in the first place.

    You can use the latest SDKs and still develop for older devices. I develop for a huge range of devices, without having a huge range of SDKs. Some manufacturers don't even seem to have SDKs.

    You'll find posts on this forum from people who have problems with Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG and Samsung devices, simply because no other manufacturer (certainly of Java-enabled devices) has such an active developer community.

    If you have problems with installing or using SDKs, or for developing for older devices with newer SDKs, this forum is here for you. There's usually someone here who can help you out.

    Graham.
    Last edited by grahamhughes; 2010-02-10 at 15:06.

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