Update: (3/8/2008) It's over..for non iPhone devices and J2ME too in all proabability. To see why visit: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/iphoneroadmap/ Once you've seen what an iPhone can do and how easy it is to develop for it, you probably won't be able to bring yourself to go back to J2ME. Steve Jobs has neatly "fixed" all of the things wrong with the whole mobile development scene. He's taken care of making it EASY for developers to "play", easy for them to market and easy for them to do "freebies." It's a beautiful thing. Blew me away.
By the way, if you want to see my first iPhone app (only took a week to write and get into Apple's catalog - "Sword Drill" under productivity apps) then go to my iPhone applications site:
Update: (1/2008) The I-Phone may have finally cracked the carriers...
The purpose of this site is to help you avoid some of the pitfalls that I found on the way to becoming a J2ME developer. In particular, you should NOT spend any money on code signing certificates from the likes of Verisign, Thawte, GeoTrust, et al until you have read and understand what follows. I may just save you HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of dollars and a whole boatload of heartache and frustration.
How It All Began.....
I've been developing software for over 30 years. I've been doing Java development since the Java 1.1 days. While J2ME (Java 2 Microedition) has been around for a long time, I've just recently gotten around to looking into it. What finally drew me in was the advent of the Netbeans 5.0 IDE and in particular the Mobility development plugin they provide. This provides an easy to use, drag and drop integrated development environment (IDE) for mobile devices that reminds me a lot of the way Visual Basic and several other GUI oriented development tools work. It is also wonderfully integrated with several of the major mobile device manufacturers software development kits (SDK's.) So far I've tried Sony-Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia and Blackberry. They seem to work quite well. Since my current phone is a SE-W810I, I've done most of my work with it thus far and it is depicted here running my first app (see sidebar at www.btgeocacher.com .)
The Netbeans folks have done a fabulous job of integration. I had my first "hello world" application ready to try out on my actual phone the same day I installed the tooling on my PC after working through an introductory tutorial. By the way, all of the tooling is FREE! My excitement began to build as I considered the thrill (yes, programming still thrills me even after 30 years) of launching my first program on an actual mobile device. It was then that the first of several hard cold realities of the J2ME world began to appear..