Wednesday, July 2, 2008

LWUIT Excuses

A week or so ago, I came across LWUIT -- the Light-Weight User Interface Toolkit. Basically, it's a robust user interface library for JME. Its intended to provide consistent rendering on multiple platforms, allow for pluggable look and feel and offer a Swing-like programming experience. This sounded interesting enough to be to detour me from the Adroid Developer Kit I had just downloaded.

So, I looked for an excuse to build something with LWUIT. I'm quite smitten with purpose-built applications like Google Maps Mobile over web cousins, especially on a limited platform like a mobile phone. Some of the common functions I need to perform (OK, want to perform) on my mobile phone include things like looking up "the name of that one guy in that one movie" on IMDB, or settling a lunch-time argument via Wikipedia. Launching Opera Mini, picking the Speed Dial for Wapedia, anf then finally entering my search is too much of a hassle for this old cloudweaver.

So, I opted to write a first-class Google Search mobile application with LWUIT. I've since realized it is a painful user experience since one you pick a result, it exits the app and launches the mobile platform's browser. Still, it was a valuable learning experience. It was very easy to leverage Sun Java Wireless Toolkit for CLDC, Nokia's Series 40 Platform SDK, eclipse ME, Google's RESTful search API, a JME library for JSON, and LWUIT to build a functional user interface. Come to think of it, buildign it was easy but assembling the technologies was quite a quest! And here were some frustrating things I had to learn since I've not touched JME since it was J2Me, but that is fixed overhead now spent.

It needs some polish, but that won't take long. Ha! Who am I kidding? I never finish these projects -- starting them is the fun part!

1 comment:

Mikey said...

Can you state the instructions clearly on how to make that LWUIT search engine? cause i wanted to make one