Chapter 3. Setting Up the Development Environment

In this chapter we will walk through the steps involved in setting up the development environment for development of PDA applications using Java. The tools we will use in the book's examples are available for little or no cost. In the following chapters we will not be using any of the commercial IDEs. There are several reasons for this:

  • Learning software development on a new platform is better at the lowest possible level. If you use a fancy IDE, often the tools will hide the lower level detail and you will not know how things work. You can always move to an IDE later, once you understand the underlying mechanics of building software for the new platform.

  • It is often possible to do things that are not always possible to do with a higher-level tool or an IDE.

  • The objective of this book is to show how anyone can develop Java applications for PDAs. Expensive tools are not required.

The tools we use in the following chapters are:

  • Ant. Apache Ant ( is a very powerful, open-source build tool. Download the latest ZIP file and unzip it into a convenient location. This book uses Ant 1.5.

  • A text editor, such as TextPad ( The text editor should preferably have highlighting for Java and XML syntax so that source code is easy to read.

  • Java SDK ( We will use 1.1.8 (for compiling PersonalJava source code) and 1.4 (for everything else).

  • Palm Emulator (

  • Sun's J2ME Wireless Toolkit (

  • Sun's MIDP for Palm ( Although it is free to download for personal development purposes, note that MIDP for Palm is not free to distribute commercially.