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2nd September 2007, 03:29 PM   |  #13  
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Here's an excerpt from my fortcoming Midlet Bible on all these issues:

2.4 TAO Intent

This is the MIDlet manager having come with almost all HTC-manufactured WM5 Pocket PC’s and Smartphones. Now that the developer no longer exists, HTC seems to have switched to Esmertec Jeodek / Jbed instead (and independent MS Smartphone / PPC PE manufacturers like Sharp or Samsung prefer Aplix JBlend instead). However, this still means there’s a HUGE number of installed userbase of this MIDlet manager.

Currently, two major releases of these titles are widely used: the 10.1 series and the latest 11.1 series. Of course, if you have a Pocket PC / Pocket PC phone (Windows Mobile Professional / Classic) and not just a Smartphone (where only 10-series MIDlet managers run), you’ll want to go for the latter as it’s compatible with many more standards and MIDlets than the former one (for example, the 10.1 series was unable to run any of the jBenchmark benchmarks I’ve thrown it at – it just exits when starting them. This may have been a memory issue, in which the 11.1 series is also better). In addition, it also supports MIDlet groups (screenshots: 1 2 3 4), which is also a definite advantage over the 10.1 series.


There are a LOT of different 11-series TAO Intent MIDlet managers out there. At first, it’d be very hard for a beginner to choose. In the following section, I explain what these versions are, how they compare to each other etc.

First, let’s start with the latest version, 11.1.7.1034 (or 1034 for short; from now on, I’ll only use the last four, in our case, relevant version numerals to refer to a given version), which is available HERE for download. It’s meant for any kind of PPC PE phones – but NOT for non-phone devices. If you don’t plan to run applications using the Net (for example, Opera Mini), you can safely install this version (even on a storage card). However, if you DO plan to run Net-related MIDlets, forget it right away – this version uses the wrong approach (prompting each time, not each session) network access-wise. And, again, if you have a non-phone Pocket PC, forget about it too.

What does this Net access problem mean? Upon trying to access the Net, they prompt the user to allow the operation each time there is any kind of communication. For example, if you browse the Web with Opera Mini, you’re presented this dialog each time you click a link. This is, of course, unacceptable.

While the 11-series (as with the older, 10-series) Intent MM does have a dedicated “security” setting dialog (just tap-and-hold the icon of the deployed MIDlet and select “Security) where you can set authentication to the much more user-friendly “session” (which only prompts the user just once, at the beginning of each session – that is, after starting Opera Mini), the publicly available, installable .1034 version doesn’t let for setting anything in this dialog. As can clearly be seen, only “Oneshot” is available – not only with Net access, but also with other settings – even with Local connectivity. Opposed to this are all the other (former) 11.x versions, where “Session” and, with local access, Blanket are also available. If this is a problem, you will want to pick a 11-series version that doesn’t suffer from this bug.

In order to 1, getting rid of the Net authorization bug and 2, find non-phone-capable TAO Intent versions, we’ll need to go back in time a while and switch to version .1023. There, basically, are five versions of this CAB file.
  1. The PPC Phone version HERE
  2. The non-phone PPC version HERE
  3. The “turbo” version for PPC Phone is HERE
  4. The “turbo” version for standard (non-Phone) PPC is HERE

The above links point to modified, enhanced versions of the original TAO Intent manager. These modifications have been done by Russian hackers ZuRiUs and dFine1107 and involve the ability to be installed on a storage card and to be installed on non-HTC devices, including non-phones (for example, the Dell Axim x51v). That is, these do contain major hacks and improvements.

Finally, XDA-Developers hacker risidoro’s version is HERE (only for PPC Phones; it doesn’t run on non-phone devices)

Of these, I recommend the “turbo” versions most, for both PPC and PPC Phone Edition models. While I haven’t really measured remarkable speed increase with the jBenchmark tests, many users have reported generic speedup with at least starting / loading MIDlets. This is because many library files have been decompressed by the creator, meaning no decompression needed in runtime. This may indeed result in some speed increase. (Note that this trick doesn’t work the 10.1-series TAO Intent MM’s; this is why only the new series has a separate “turbo” version.) Note that this also means this version occupies about two times more storage than the non-turbo one; therefore, if you have little built-in storage, consider installing it on a storage card.

Note that, while risidoro’s version is very popular, it’s, in my opinion, not as good as the Russian hacks. The sole reason for this is that it can’t be installed on a storage card. This, particularly if you have little built-in storage or plan to install dozens or hundreds of midlets, can be pretty bad news – don’t forget TAO Intent manager stores MIDlets under a subdirectory in its home directory, which means it’ll dump its deployed MIDlets on your storage card if you install it there, leaving your built-in storage uncluttered. That is, even if you instruct it to be installed on a storage card, it’ll install itself into the main storage (meaning the MIDlets will also be put in there later).

Risidoro’s only major advantage over all the other, listed (Russian) .1023 installers (and, for that matter, the .1034 one) is that it correctly sets file associations, unlike the Russian CAB’s. This means if you click a JAD or a JAR file in the local file system (or on a Web page), it’ll correctly deploy it. With the Russian CAB’s, this isn’t possible (if you install them on a storage card; when installed to the main memory, they’ll require no Registry import), unless you import THIS Registry file I’ve created for your convenience. Note that it assumes your storage card is named “Storage Card”. If it’s not the case (because you use a localized (non-English) device or a Pocket PC with two storage cards), make sure you change the occurrences of “Storage Card” to the name of your card before importing the script.

Note that some cooked ROM’s (for example, XPlore 1.1, mUn's aRTM and mfrazzz’s XDA Mobile 6 Release 2a – but not Release 3, which already switched to the Esmertec MM) contain the .1029 version (see for example THIS for more info on this particular version). It has no session problems either. It’s, currently, not available as an installable CAB file, though - this is why you will want to check out the .1023 (or, if the net access bug isn't a problem, .1034) version(s) instead.

So far, I’ve only discussed Pocket PC compatibility. Unfortunately, as has already been pointed out, the above-linked 11.1 series can’t be used on (touchscreen-less) MS Smartphone (Windows Mobile Standard) models. You will need to get THIS file if you want to install TAO Intent (v10.1.7.561) on your WM5+ Smartphone. Should you need a WM2003 one, get THIS (v10.1.0.14) instead.

EDIT & BREAKING NEWS: Risidoro has patched the .1034 version so that it supports session-based Net authorization. This means you will want to go for .1034 even if you want to run apps using the Net.

See his thread at http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?p=1484696 - a worthy read. The direct link to his patched .1034 CAB is at http://www.webalice.it/risidoro/inte...1.1.7.1034.cab

He has also published the .1029 CAB in his post.
Last edited by Menneisyys; 4th September 2007 at 06:51 PM.