Seeking to establish Eclipse as the standard mobile development platform, the Eclipse Foundation on Wednesday is offering the first major release of its Eclipse Mobile Tools for Java Project (MTJ).
MTJ is a set of plug-ins for the Eclipse IDE offering capabilities for developing embedded or Java ME (Micro Edition) applications, said Christian Kurzke, project lead for MTJ and a developer tools architect at Motorola. "It's a set of tools on top of Eclipse that makes it much easier to develop mobile apps," Kurzke said.
Release 0.9 of MTJ enables development of applications for devices from manufacturers including Motorola, Nokia, and Sony Ericsson, Eclipse said. The release is based on a collaboration between Eclipse MTJ and the EclipseME open source project, which provides a Java ME development environment. EclipseME had been housed at the SourceForge project site, according to Kurzke.
"Combining the two pools [of developers from both projects] gives us a much stronger developer base," said Kurzke.
With version 0.9, a preprocessor for Java ME code is integrated on the build environment. Developers can import EclipseME and NetBeans projects. MIDlet development support is boosted via an application descriptor editor. Multiple hosts support Win32, Linux, and Mac OS.
Also featured is support for Unified Emulator Interface-compliant SDKs as well as backing for Java emulators, including MPowerplayer and MicroEmu.
Commercial software companies can use MTJ as the basis for more elaborate commercial products.
Prior to release 0.9, version 0.7 was mostly a framework. The 0.9 release adds usability for developers, Kurzke said. "The end-user developer can just download it and start using it right away," he said.
The release is being called 0.9 and not 1.0 because the project group wants to add a few more items to be included with a version 1.0 set for inclusion in next June's Galileo release train of multiple Eclipse projects, said Kurzke. That release is expected to add more support for preprocessing, enabling developers to have code for different phones in the same source code tree.