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Does AJAX Threaten Java ME in the Mobile Ecosystem?

"AJAX is very much flavor of the month, so Nokia needs to watch it carefully"

The head of Forum Nokia, Lee Epting (pictured), has confirmed that the world's biggest maker of mobile phones is actively exploring the role that "Mobile AJAX" might possibly play in the future for the 1.3M developers who make up the Forum Nokia community

Epting , Nokia's Vice President for Developer Operations, says that Nokia's aim of making the mobile platform more predictable and easier to work needs naturally to include newer browsing platforms...and AJAX is very much flavor of the month, so Nokia needs to watch it carefully and decide what mobile developers want.

A veteran of Palm and Handspring before she joined Nokia, Epting said in a magazine interview that AJAX's feature-rich interface was potentially "very important" for developers of mobile apps, a view strongly endorsed by AJAXWorld 2006  speaker Ajit Jaokar, who has written a chapter for SYS-CON Books' forthcoming Real-World AJAX: Secrets of the Masters book on exactly this topic.

"Java ME as it stands today is seriously flawed (not the technology but the business model)," Jaokar comments. He adds:

"XHTML will be an 'also ran' because AJAX will offer a superior user experience. Hence, my belief that AJAX will be the preferred platform of choice for mobile applications at the expense of Java ME and XHTML."

Any move toward AJAX by Nokia may come as a further blow to Microsoft's .NET Compact Framework, which Nokia does not directly support, having to date stuck to Java ME, Symbian OS, and - most recently - C++.

Bill Ray, Industry Analyst with ARC Chart and former editor-in-chief of SYS-CON Media's Wireless Business & Technology, comments:

"AJAX is not an efficient technology; when compared to C++ or Java, it needs more processing power and memory to achieve the same thing, but it does allow content to be developed very quickly and for the mobile Internet there is a real dearth of high-quality content - so this looks like a good move from Nokia.

AJAX could also provide the ideal platform for content hosted on next generation SIM chips, which operators are already deploying with proprietary platforms."

More Stories By Vikram Mohan

Vikram Mohan is a computer enthusiast who has primary intrests in Enterprise System development and engineering. His blog is at: http://www.vikrammohan.com/blog/

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