Sun open-sources mobile Java UI toolkit

The firm has released the code for its lightweight user interface toolkit under a modified GPLv2 licence, in what it says was response to developer demand

Sun has open-sourced its toolkit for creating Java-based user interfaces for mobile phones.

The source code for the lightweight UI toolkit (LWUIT) was released on Thursday under the 'GPLv2 with Classpath Exception' licence. The toolkit includes a full set of "ready-made graphical components", along with support for fonts, themes, animation and transition effects, Sun said in the accompanying statement.

"By creating LWUIT, Sun is reaffirming its commitment to the mobile development community and by open-sourcing the LWUIT code, we are enabling mobile developers to quickly and easily create rich, portable interfaces for their applications — functionality that they have been requesting for some time," said the company's senior director of embedded Java software, Craig Gering, in the statement.

Gering added that developers would be able to use the toolkit to "create a single interface that will work anywhere Java is found".

-->Sun's open-sourcing of the toolkit is just the latest development in the fast-moving mobile open-source scene. Earlier in August, Movial joined the LiMo Foundation, bringing with it a toolkit for creating browser-based mobile UIs. Meanwhile, Symbian is going open source and Google's Android platform — which is effectively Java-based — could still appear as soon as this year.