A Visual Tool for Generating Extensible Mobile Application Skeltons to Reduce Failures in Java MIDP Applications

M. Palviainen, J. Yliaho, and J. Soininen (Finland)


mobile application development tool, third party testing, Java MIDP, user interface, generative programming, failures. 518-007


The mobile environment sets hard and partially conflicting requirements for programming and software architectures. Applications should have high quality and adaptability to various kinds of environments, while the memory and energy consumption should be minimized. Mobile users are not accustomed to crashing devices and bugs are not acceptable. In relation to the Nokia OK certification testing program, we have made 98 primary tests and 161 retests of Java Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP) applications. In 94 of the performed 98 primary tests appeared failures, which were required to be corrected. We classified the failures found in the tested applications. Classification shows that failures are often related to the user interface and navigation inside the application. In order to facilitate the application construction and to minimize the amount of these failures, we developed a visual WYSIWYG tool, called J2MEDesigner, enabling non-programmers to draw the navigation logic and the user interface for a Java MIDP application. J2MEDesigner generates an executable application skeleton, which can be tested in the target mobile devices without manual coding and bugs. The application functionality can be added later with plugins capable to communicate via common data storage. As a result, manually implemented and generated codes are in separate files and so, the application design can be changed and the application skeleton can be regenerated without fear of loss of the manually implemented code. In addition, the behaviour of the application can be changed dynamically by replacing action handler plugins at run time.

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