One giant leap

Java ME 8 JSRs show bright embedded future

Chris Mayer

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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