One giant leap

Java ME 8 JSRs show bright embedded future

Chris Mayer
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Java embedded device plans look to be heading in the right direction for Java 8, with the arrival of two new JSRs

It’s fair to say the convergence of Java’s mobile
platform, Java ME into the next major SE release has been
overshadowed by bigger Java 8 announcements such as Java finally
getting closures or the delaying of modularisation.

However, despite a lack of publicity, the ME expert group
have been quietly working on aligning Java ME 8 with the big
platform.

According to Oracle’s Senior Technologist for
Mobile and Embedded Technologies,

Terrence Barr
, Java ME 8 has taken “a big
leap forward” with the appearance of two new JSRs in the Java
Community Process (JCP).

JSR 360:
“Connected Limited Device Configuration 8″

(aka CLDC 8) and JSR 361: “Java ME
Embedded Profile”
(aka ME
EP
) are specifically targeted with embedded Java in
mind, given Oracle’s recent push towards smaller devices. Barr says
the two JSRs “will significantly
update
enhance and modernize the Java ME platform.”

CLDC 8 improves the core Java ME VM
and adds in additional language support and libraries needed for
the alignment with Java SE 8, in what Barr says will make

Java the only
technology today that truly scales” from “small embedded to large
enterprise.” He notes the following enhancements in CLDC
8:

  • VM updated to comply with the JVM language
    specification version 2
  • Support for SE 7/8 language features like
    Generics, Assertions, Annotations, Try-with-Resources, and
    more
  • New libraries such as Collections, NIO
    subset, Logging API subset
  • A consolidated and enhanced Generic
    Connection Framework
    for multi-protocol
    I/O

ME EP, meanwhile, builds upon the features of CLDC 8,
introducing shared libraries and multi-application concurrency,
amongst other features. Its “powerful and flexible” application
environment, according to Barr, makes it ideal for developing
modular solutions for embedded devices.

Although there’s plenty left still to tackle, these JSRs could
pave the way for Java’s embedded future. The real work begins to
make sure Java ME 8 converges with SE 8, and that it delivers on
its promise for lightweight devices.

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