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Java vs Waba for PDAs

 
Burk Hufnagel
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Help! I'm working on an app (currently targeted for my Palm PDA) that needs more layout capabililty than J2ME provides (several "forms" made up of labels, textfields, buttons, etc.)
So far, it looks like I can go with the old (and unsupported) KVM 1.x, or Waba/SuperWaba. I'm hoping that someone out there can point me toward a Java solution (the Waba site says Waba is not Java).
Thanks!
Burk
 
Michael Yuan
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Waba is a native approach with a Java style syntax. If I want to go that approach, I would use .NET Compact Framework for PPC or Appforge's MobileVB for Palm/PPC/Symbian. .NET CF and MobileVB seem to be richer than Waba.
You *can* have any arbitary UI layout in MIDP. Just implement your own widgets on top of the canvas. I think NexTel has an alternative MIDP UI library based on raw canvas.
 
Burk Hufnagel
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Michael,
Thanks for the info. To be clear, I don't want to go Waba if I don't have to - so it's good to hear about NexTel's library. I'll have to check it out as I'm not interested in reinventing the wheel (or label as it were) by implementing standard UI components myself.
Burk
 
Frank Manno
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Michael,
Is it true that Waba (SuperWaba) is not really a Java-based language, and that it only sports its syntax style?
I'm not too clear on the differences between the two... As far as I can tell, they look similar, but I'm sure there are other differences, otherwise, it would be a strong contender against J2ME.
 
Michael Yuan
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Originally posted by Frank Manno:
Is it true that Waba (SuperWaba) is not really a Java-based language, and that it only sports its syntax style?
I'm not too clear on the differences between the two... As far as I can tell, they look similar, but I'm sure there are other differences, otherwise, it would be a strong contender against J2ME.

Waba and Superwaba actually have been around long before J2ME became popular. Their approach is very similar to MobileVB -- which is popular on PPC today. But Waba is not Java (and MobileVB is not VB). The problem with those platforms is: their existance depends on the companies that promote them. Those are nice but small companies. If the company fails, your skill will become worthless. Having said that, they do have better native integration and give you more flexiblity than J2ME.
 
Daryl Wilding-McBride
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Yes I agree. The value of following standards like J2ME is that your skills are portable, and your application is too. Even if you find that current standards have shortcomings, there are a lot of people using them all over the world and so they tend to mature quite quickly. And manufacturers generally only follow standards, so there gets to be a critical mass of target devices. Take MIDP on mobile phones as an example.
 
Frank Manno
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Yes,
I definitely so your points. Because Waba/SuperWaba isn't a standard, nor is it as widely supported as J2ME, I can see why companies fail to support it.
While it seems like an easy-to-use solution for PDAs, I can't see it making widespread coverage on mobile phones.
As for J2ME, my firm belief is that it's success is due to its predecessor, J2xE... Had the syntax/style changed, the learning curve would have been steep, and would not have gained as wide an acceptance as it has already received.
Btw, Daryl, does your book offer sample chapters for read?
 
Daryl Wilding-McBride
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Originally posted by Frank Manno:
Btw, Daryl, does your book offer sample chapters for read?

I've posted Chapter 8 on the web site (www.javaonpdas.com), which is the chapter that takes you through building a web service using Axis and Tomcat, and then building a Java client on the Palm and the PocketPC (using MIDP and PersonalJava respectively) to access it. I hope you enjoy it.
 
Lasse Koskela
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Daryl, I noticed on javaonpdas.com that you've used Stampysoft's Ant tasks that seem to date back to 2001... Purely out of curiosity, why Stampysoft instead of Antenna?
 
Daryl Wilding-McBride
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Unfortunately Antenna came out when I was doing my final edits of the manuscript - otherwise I would have used it. The intention of Antenna is similar to the Ant build tasks that I wrote. I plan to move the build script to use Antenna at some stage, but for the moment I borrowed the update JAD task from Stampysoft.
[ July 25, 2003: Message edited by: Daryl Wilding-McBride ]
 
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