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LWUIT 1.1 for Java ME Developers

Writing appealing cross-device applications today in Java ME is challenging as implementation differences in fonts, layout, and menus can make your application look and behave very differently on different devices. So far, the only way out has been low-level programming with its associated complexity.

The Lightweight UI Toolkit (LWUIT), an open source Java library, offers Java ME developers an easy-to-use API for creating impressive user interfaces with a device-independent look and feel. The LWUIT library contains many components and tools for bringing consistency and visual gloss to the user interface of your applications, and this book will take you through all of this, to help you get the user interfaces you want.

Java ME allows us to write applications that are, generally speaking, portable across a wide range of small devices that support the platform. While the basic functionalities usually work well on all supported devices, the area that does pose problems for developers is the User Interface. Native implementations of javax.microedition.lcdui - the primary API for UIs in Java ME - differ so widely from one device to another that maintaining a device-independent and uniform look and feel is virtually impossible. Another problem with the javax.microedition.lcdui package is that it does not support components and capabilities that can fully satisfy present day user expectations. The Lightweight UI Toolkit is the solution to these problems. LWUIT offers a wide range of components with a device-independent look and feel for building UIs. While some of these widgets are also available under lcdui, there are a number of new ones too. These additions enable application developers to design UIs that can come very close to their desktop counterparts in terms of visual sophistication and LWUIT is not just about new components either. The API supports a whole range of new functionalities (like Theming and Transitions) too.

This book takes Java ME developers through the library, with examples showing how to use the main components and functionalities. It also goes beyond a description of what is available by showing how to extend the library by plugging in custom-built classes.

What you will learn from this book?

  • Customize the way common components appear on screen for a unique look and feel
  • Add user interface elements to your applications and learn how to style them
  • Assemble sophisticated interfaces using containers, labels, and lists
  • Enhance the organization of your interface using layout managers
  • Add animations and transitions to your application
  • Create a theme to ensure visual coherence in your application
  • Use painters and painter chains for attractive backgrounds and superimposed patterns with components
  • Create resources with the LWUIT Designer
  • Build custom components by extending Component class Debug applications using the Log class
About the Author

Biswajit Sarkar is an electrical engineer with a specialization in Programmable Industrial Automation. He has had extensive experience across the entire spectrum of Industrial Automation - from hardware and firmware designing for general and special purpose Programmable Controllers to marketing and project management and also in leading a team of young and highly talented engineers engaged in product development (both hardware and software). He has been associated with a wide variety of automation projects including controls for special-purpose machines, blast furnace charge control, large air-pollution control systems, controls for cogeneration plants in sugar factories, supervisory control for small hydroelectric plants, turbine governors, and substation automation including associated SCADA.

Currently Biswajit consults on Industrial Automation and Java ME-based applications. He has written extensively for Java.net on Java Native Interface, Java ME and LWUIT. He has taught courses on mathematics and analytical reasoning at a number of leading institutes in India. Biswajit has also taught a specially designed course on Java for MS and Ph.D. students as well as post doctoral fellows at the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia (USA).

Biswajit, originally from Calcutta, now lives in Nashik, India with his wife.

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