Developing Java applications for Nokia S60 phones

I spent some time looking for a nice stock portfolio application for my Nokia E71 phone and realized that there are none. So I decided to create my own. I’ve done Java programming before but never with J2ME so off to Forum Nokia for some documentation I go.

Here are the most important pages I needed to get my application up and running:

Nokia J2ME Applications
This official Nokia J2ME page contains links to the SDK and documentation (even if some of it is out of date).

Forum Nokia Java Development Wiki
It took me a while to realize the that the most useful and up-to-date documentation is found on this wiki and not on the “Documentation” page.

Forum Nokia Mobile Java Discussion Forum
Pretty useful discussions and the best forum for Nokia device -specific questions. Most people programming for J2ME devices (at least in the US) target phones from other manufacturers first.

Sun Java ME Technology APIs & Docs
Online documentation for the base CLDC and MIDP specifications. For most of the Nokia phones you’ll want to use CLDC 1.1 and MIDP 2.0. Newer S60 phones based on the S60 5th edition support MIDP 2.1 specification.

Some observations on the 3rd party independent developer support by Nokia:

Documentation is out of date
There is a lot of documentation, but some of it is out of date and overlapping. The available SDKs have been tested with old versions of the NetBeans and Eclipse IDE and the installation instructions are not much help with the latest versions.

Little Nokia participation on official discussion boards
Forum Nokia discussion boards contain mostly people asking questions and trying to piece together answers. There seems to be very little (if any) official Nokia presence.

Worst. Emulator. Ever.
Nokia S60 phone emulator is really bad. It is slow, unreliable and barely customizable. Use the Sun WTK emulator as much as you can and test on the device.