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MIDP 2.0 Style Guide for the Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition

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<pre>Author/s : Cynthia Bloch, Annette Wagner
Publisher : Addison Wesley Professional
Category : Miscellaneous Java
Review by : Thomas Paul
Rating : 8 horseshoes
</pre>
If you are designing Java programs to run on cell phones or PDAs then you will want to keep this style guide nearby. This will not teach you how to code but it will teach you how to design your MIDlets so that they will be usable. You will find lots of samples of good design and bad design plus plenty of recommendations to help you to write usable MIDlets.
The book starts with some basic guidelines (make your code simple, predictable, and efficient) and a description of the minimum MIDP hardware (tiny screen, limited input, two colors, and little memory). The authors then get into the main focus of the book, designing MIDlets. Starting with screen layouts, they take us through the different items you can place on a screen such as lists, text fields, forms, commands, etc. The focus is not on how to code but on how to make these items usable. The book also covers issues such as push, security, and touch input from the usability point of view.
There is no doubt that this book will be the standard for designing programs for MIDP devices. This book can help you avoid a lot of simple (and not so simple) mistakes that you may not notice until you get to usability testing. You could write your MIDlets without this book but why not save yourself some headaches.


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Thomas Paul
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Here's my review:
If you are designing Java programs to run on cell phones or PDAs then you will want to keep this style guide nearby. This will not teach you how to code but it will teach you how to design your MIDlets so that they will be usable. The book will show you what works and what doesn't work on small devices. You won't find a single line of code in this book because that is not what this book is about. What you will find are lots of samples of good design and bad design plus plenty of recommendations to help you to write usable MIDlets.
The target audience for the book is made up of two groups, those who are porting the Java environment to a new device (implementors) and those who are writing MIDlets to run on those devices (application developers). The book is well structured to show what is the responsibility of each group. For example, the style guide tells the application developer not to worry about text that is too long to fit in a field because it is the responsibility of the implementor to determine if text should be clipped or wrapped.
The book starts with some basic guidelines (make your code simple, predictable, and efficient) and a description of the minimum MIDP hardware (tiny screen, limited input, two colors, and little memory). The authors then get into the main focus of the book, designing MIDlets. Starting with screen layouts, they take us through the different items you can place on a screen such as lists, text fields, forms, commands, etc. The focus is not on how to code but on how to make these items usable. The book also covers issues such as push, security, and touch input from the usability point of view.
There is no doubt that this book will be the standard for designing programs for MIDP devices. This book can help you avoid a lot of simple (and not so simple) mistakes that you may not notice until you get to usability testing. You could write your MIDlets without this book but why not save yourself some headaches.


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