01 April 2014

JavaME 8 SDK Supports Linux

Have received some excellent news regarding JavaME 8 Embedded support for Linux. In previous versions of JavaME support for Linux was dropped for the SDK with no particular reason given as to why. Now support for Linux is coming starting with the JavaME 8 SDK, which will likely arrive in around 3 months time. Typical policy with release dates on Oracle products and services is that no specific release dates can be given. The SDK could take much longer to arrive than expected.

In the JavaME 8 SDK for Linux two emulators will be included for developing/testing embedded programs. One for Raspberry Pi and the other for the Beaglebone Black. Sharp eyed readers may have spotted the new support for the Beaglebone Black that has been a long time coming. While the Raspberry Pi is OK for basic embedded projects there are many projects that require more comprehensive hardware, which the Raspberry Pi lacks (eg reasonable number of GPIO pins, advanced power management support, internal storage).

Coincidentally at around the same time important announcements are being made by the Beaglebone Foundation on programming language support for the Beaglebone Black. JavaScript support will be dropped in favour of Python and Java. This has been a long time coming since many developers were very unhappy with the current language support. Especially for a language like JavaScript which only works effectively for Web Applications. Many developers were already doing projects written in Python instead of JavaScript which placed the foundation in a very embarrassing position.

For some time the foundation has been going against the needs of developers by forcing them to create programs using JavaScript that has a dependency on the Internet. Many developers found this unacceptable since most of the projects they were developing needed to be fast, run for long periods of time, and have good low level hardware support. The announcement can't come soon enough since many of the developers were switching to the Raspberry Pi even though it wasn't the best solution for their embedded projects.

Can't wait to see what can be created using the Beaglebone Black, and JavaME 8 Embedded. Looking forward to creating a basic weather station as my first venture into embedded development. For those that are too impatient to wait the the stable JavaME 8 SDK to arrive (with Linux support) there is a preview version coming that will arrive in a few weeks, so hold tight a while longer.

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