JavaOne Day 2 – Advanced Wireless, Games and a Bit of Baseball to Boot

by James Goodwill

It’s 6:00 PM Wednesday evening and I have just enough time to pen my experiences from Day 2 of JavaOne 2003. Today was focused on gaining a little more knowledge about MIDP 2.0 and what can be accomplished with it. While attempting to gain this knowledge, I attended several sessions, but I got the most out of two sessions in particular Advanced MIDP Programming and Developing Games with MIDP 2.0.

In the Advanced MIDP Programming, which was delivered by Brian SingYun Chu and Stuart Martin Marks, was extremely interesting. They spoke about some of the more advanced issues that you will need to be prepared for when developing MIDP applications. They specifically talked about creating multi-threaded components to do your network reads, while not interfering with the presentation layer. They also discussed some techniques that can be used to maintain the current state of a paused application and the reload that state when the application is started again. This session was loaded with lots of examples and extremely pertinent information—you should definitely get the slides when they become available.

The other session that I really enjoyed was Developing Games with MIDP 2.0 by Mark A. Patel. This session was extremely informative and had some great examples. With the addition of MIDP 2.0, Sun has really helped the game developer get a great jumpstart on the development of mobile games.

The API is extremely simple to use and understand. It is essentially made up of a few basic classes. The first of these classes, GameCanvas, contains all of your paint and input methods. The TiledLayer class provides the mechanism to build and manage a tiled background for your application. The Sprite component provides all of you animation tools, including built-in features for collision detection. And finally all of these components are tied together by the LayerManager, which as it sounds manages each layer of your mobile game.

Well, that about does is for my Day 2 of JavaOne. It is now time for some baseball. When I got back to my hotel, there was a mob in the lobby. I thought it might be someone like Gosling, but it turned out to be the Atlanta Braves—they were staying at our hotel and my business partner scored some tickets behind home plate. So now it is time to jump on the BART and watch the A’s get beat by the Braves. See you tomorrow.