UCT CS Research Document Archive

Supporting Mobile Application Developer through Java IDE Using Contextual Inquiry

Ogunleye, Olalekan Samuel and Gary Marsden (2011) Supporting Mobile Application Developer through Java IDE Using Contextual Inquiry, in Java in Academia and Research, chapter 13, pages 1-16. iConcept.

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Abstract

Mobile Devices are becoming popular more and more with millions of users acquiring them every day. For instance, in china, there are more than 400 million mobile users and this number is increasing (Young, 2005). Also, the mobile device market in the United States is increasing at an annual rate of 22% (Chen et al, 2003). Devices such as mobile cellular phones, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), music players etc run Java software such as games and business enterprise applications (Young, 2005). New Prospects are emerging for applications that are running on these devices especially in this post-PC era (Weyert de Boer et al, 2006) where mobile devices are used often for personal use and as commercial tool. This means that application aimed at such devices need to be developed and improved to give way to the construction of new mobile world (Weyert de Boer et al, 2006).
However, Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) – such as Eclipse, Visual Studio, NetBeans, Borland JBuilder Enterprise with MobiSet 3, Sun Microsystems' Sun ONE (Open Network Environment) Studio 4 Mobile Edition, Metrowerks CodeWarrior Wireless Studio 7, S5 Systems' jVise (based on IBM Eclipse technology), etc. are tools of choice for developing mobile applications and they are also instrumental in developing individual components for mobile applications (Soroka et al, 2006). With the exception of Visual Studio, these IDEs are all based on Java. Developing mobile applications using any of these development environments is a complex task (Soroka et al, 2006). However, one vision of Java mobile applications developers is to deliver robust and comprehensive applications for various mobile devices that one can easily carry, through using one of the IDEs mentioned above.
The popularity of mobile applications and services are now such that this research feels it is time to look at how well mobile applications developers are supported through these existing development tools. This research uses Contextual Inquiry (CI) (Holtzblatt and Beyer, 1997) to investigate how mobile applications developers can be supported through Java IDEs in order to identify problems that are encountered when using Java IDEs to develop mobile applications. We also assess the utility of CI for extracting the design requirements for the IDEs.
NetBeans IDE was considered as the ideal IDE to use for this research. This is because it is an open source IDE and it is considered as the most widely used Java IDE for developing mobile applications for mobile devices (Benson et al, 2004). Therefore, this research was interested in finding ways to improve the usability of Java
Supporting Mobile Application Developer through Java IDE Using Contextual Inquiry
IDEs for mobile applications development and to provide more support for Java mobile applications developers through the IDEs. The techniques of CI recommend observing activities as they occur in their natural context in order to be able to portray the process of the work as well as the discovery of the places where technology could be applied to defeat the observed difficulties (Cross and Warmack, 2000). This method was chosen because it would provide data about the detailed problems faced by Java mobile applications developers when using a Java IDE to develop mobile applications and it will also provide guidance on the design of the support framework (Jones and Marsden, 2005; Preece et al, 2007).

EPrint Type:Book Chapter
Subjects:D Software: D.3 PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES
ID Code:764
Deposited By:Marsden, Gary
Deposited On:16 October 2012