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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Zaandam, Holland

    Question Nokia Belle - Command Label replaced by Icon; Restruct. UI w/o breaking old env.ment

    Dear reader(s),

    Over the past couple of years, I have been developing and maintaining an app for Nokia devices and have been putting in quite some effort.
    Yesterday, I updated my Nokia E7 to Nokia Belle. With this, sadly, I've come to notice that the app that once looked and felt quite intuitive, now got all it's Command Labels replaced by Icons thanks to the new JRE on the phone.

    I am looking for pointers on either how to put back in the actual Label texts (long-tapping the icon is a no-go for my UI), or how to restructure my UI in such a way it will remain usable on S60v5 devices and Symbian Anna, but will regain it's usability on Belle at the same time.

    Needless to point out this was an unexpected change, and quite a painful one aswell; Mainly because some ~15% of all users, will eventually be asked to upgrade to Belle.
    Here's a live generated chart of users of the app in question: http://www.locationof.com/chart/phonechart.php

    To see the actual product I am talking about here, have a look at http://www.locationof.com/ or download the 'My World' app from Nokia Store, and be amazed how Belle made "finding the right menu option to press" quite complex and thus makes the app somewhat unusable to the unexperienced user.

    Original screenshot (Anna): http://www.locationof.com/images/sta...to/appshot.jpg
    Belle screenshot: http://www.locationof.com/images/belle.jpg

    Any pointers, hints, or articles on how to restructure an UI for both the older and new JRE (without making use of Canvas) would be very welcome.

    Thank you for reading,


    In anticipation of a reply,

    Last edited by JasperGoes; 2012-02-16 at 09:06. Reason: Added two screenshots, Anna / Belle

  2. #2
    Nokia Developer Expert
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Re: Nokia Belle - Command Label replaced by Icon; Restruct. UI w/o breaking old env.m

    Hello Jasper,

    thank you for your good inputs with explicit details, they are very much appreciated.

    The remaking of the Symbian UI for Symbian Belle stands for that native-like UI look-and-feel has been also adopted for the high-level UI components of Java ME applications. This means that unfortunately there is no way to circumvent or overwrite the high-level UI for Java ME on Symbian Belle.

    Since Symbian Belle introduces Java Runtime 2.3 for Symbian, that information could be used for customizing the application for the affected and previous releases. The JRT information can be acquired as described here:

    Java Developer's Library > Developer's guides > Application framework > Determining the Java Runtime for Symbian version

    With the Java Runtime version information acquired, for JRT 2.3 for Symbian your application could inform end-user to touch the icon on the right bottom area of the display for selecting and viewing options and the left area to go back, for example. This is not a fancy solution but a feasible one within the UI limitations for the platform release.

    Last edited by r2j7; 2012-02-16 at 20:32.
    [URL="http://library.forum.nokia.com/java"][B] >>> Java Developer's Library <<<[/B][/URL]
    [URL="https://www.developer.nokia.com/Resources/Support/Technical_support.xhtml"] [B]>>> Technical Support for Java ME development <<<[/B][/URL]
    [URL="https://publish.ovi.com/info/"][B]>>> Nokia Publish: reach millions of Nokia users worldwide through Nokia Store <<<[/B][/URL]

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Zaandam, Holland

    Re: Nokia Belle - Command Label replaced by Icon; Restruct. UI w/o breaking old env.m

    Thank you for your support.

    This has helped me further, though, in the end I have chosen to simply make navigation within the app less deep.

    Every single Form can now be brought up from the midlet's main form or main menu, and none of those have any children anymore - in order to avoid confusion.

    I make no distinction in command types for each java runtime; This saves some if sequences in each form's constructor. I now just silently hope this doesnt switch the locations of command items from left to right and right to left on devices still on anna or it's ancestors. (Although I should know better by now).

    Thank you.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003

    Re: Nokia Belle - Command Label replaced by Icon; Restruct. UI w/o breaking old env.m

    Similar problem:
    Command.STOP is mapped to this new back arrow if there is no Command.BACK.
    Command.EXIT does not get a cross but the same arrow icon as Command.BACK.

    I was able to partly fix this, thanks to this:
    On Symbian Belle devices, softkey labeling is not possible. In a list view, the right softkey can be either an "OK" tick mark or an options menu icon. For example, to prevent the Add command from turning into a tick mark in the locations view, the command type has been set to EXIT with a lower priority than the existing BACK button. This way the command appears under the options menu.
    However, because Belle Feature Pack 1 (java_build_version=2.4) and Belle Feature Pack 2 (java_build_version=2.5) were released: Is there no chance to add any Icon to a command, in Belle? For non-MIDlets, there is space for four icons in the latest Belle. I noticed the old Java Developer Library stopped at Belle (java_build_version=2.3). Has anybody a change-set or release notes for Java Runtime for Symbian 2.5?

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