Sony Ericsson is planning to offer developers the opportunity to embed Flash Lite applications inside J2ME midlets, in the hope that two mobile phone application platforms will prove better than one.
Flash Lite has proved popular for highly-graphical mobile phone applications, and is supported on quite a range of handsets. J2ME is more widely supported and flexible, but suffers from compatibility issues and isn't very graphic artist friendly.
One of the first rules of programming is (or should be) "never allow programmers to develop user interfaces". Programmers don't always get on well with humans - it's what makes them great programmers but lousy interface developers. Artists, equally, shouldn't be allowed to develop applications - though few of them have the arrogance, or knowledge, to try.
Flash is great for artists, but Java is better for programmers, so the combination should allow both sides to excel and create some really interesting applications.
Project Capuchin, as Sony Ericsson calls their creation, will be demonstrated at the JavaONE conference next week, and is aiming to be in handsets by the end of the year.
Unfortunately the technology is unlikely to get much support outside Sony Ericsson phones, and therefore is unlikely to attract much support outside vertical applications. Which is a shame, as anything that separates artists and programmers can only be a good thing. ®