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Symbian Introduces Open Source Release Plan

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the sooner-rather-than-later dept.

Operating Systems 92

volume4 brings news that David Wood of the Symbian Foundation has made a post detailing their plans for a release schedule, with new versions due out every six months. We discussed Nokia's acquisition of Symbian for the purpose of open sourcing the popular mobile OS last year. Quoting: "There's a lot of activity underway, throughout the software development teams for all the different packages that make up the Symbian Platform. These packages are finding their way into platform releases. The plan is that there will be two platform releases each year. ... Symbian^2, which is based on S60 5.1, reaches a functionally complete state at the middle of this year, and should be hardened by the end of the year. This means that the first devices based on Symbian^2 could be reaching the market any time around the end of this year — depending on the integration plans, the level of customisation, and the design choices made by manufacturers. Symbian^3 follows on six months later — reaching a functionally complete state at the end of this year, and should be hardened by the middle of 2010."

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Big news for Symbian developers! (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27191993)

int CoolNews(HBufC aNews)
  {
// TODO: Source code won't help you
// learn how to use these freaking
// Symbian buffer types...
  return static_cast<TBoolC>(1);
  }

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192167)

int???

Surely you meant TInt32C...

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192395)

Mod parent up. Symbian is a truly horrible OS to develop for. Not only that, but there are many different versions (V9, V9.1, S60 3rd Ed, S60 FP1, S60 FP2, 9.4, 9.5 and that's just the recent ones) and they are mostly binary and source incompatible.

My guess is that Nokia see Android and even the iPhone (which is, at least, much easier to develop for) and fear that in a few years time everyone will have moved away from Symbian. Windows Mobile has it's own problems, but now phones are getting more powerful even they are starting to be less relevant.

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (4, Informative)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192581)

> Not only that, but there are many different versions (V9, V9.1, S60 3rd Ed, S60 FP1, S60 FP2, 9.4, 9.5 and that's just the recent ones) and they are mostly binary and source incompatible.

That's balony. I (helped) develop an S60 application, and the differences were significant between S60 2nd and 3rd editions (there was a big OS-break then - akin to OS9/OSX), but otherwise there were very few OS version specific changes needed to the source. The main things I remember were that the 2nd edition phones and the first few of the 3rd edition phones had a WAP browser; and the newer ones have the webkit ones (yes, before the iPhone). The other difference that came to mind was that S60 3rd edition came with an OpenGL driver, while for 2nd edition, we had to package one with our app.

Actually, our code base was common for both S60 2nd edition and S60 3rd edition...the differences there were for SDK differences (like having to get things signed/etc/etc).

In the end, we had just two versions for users to install - one for 2nd edition, and one for 3rd edition. From the user's point of view, it didn't matter which of the 2nd edition or 3rd edition phones they had...and a web/wap page could easily tell from the user-agent which one to provide for the user to install.

Really, not rocket science at all.

Calling them 'mostly binary and source incompatible' is just rubbish and plainly FUD.

Also, what's wrong with having different versions? Even something like the iPhone OS has two (soon to be three) versions. It's mostly a symptom of having a successful platform and many different target phones. Perhaps when there are many different iPhones and Android phones, then they will have the same issues.

Yes, the development platform is not so much fun to use, but that's a different thing to the target OSes being different. I even got the SDK working on Linux [martin.st] the other day and plan to do some applications in my spare time, in the hope that I can sell stuff on the soon-to-open Ovi Store [ovi.com] . It seems like the SDKs will even work on OSX for all you Apple guys. Personally, I find it kind of refreshing to actually understand what's going on, instead of have a GUI 'protect' me from it all.

I think the Ovi Store could well be very significant. The prospect of having access to such a large user base has to turn some heads, surely. It *is* huge, especially if they can enable it on existing phones too. I guess they could do that by using the Download! application somehow - the Download! application is what might be called the 'app store' that's been around for many years (yes, way before iPhone even was a twinkle in any Jobs' eye) on S60 phones - since it's already on probably well over a hundred million phones already.

We'll see, I guess.

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (5, Interesting)

ElGuapoGolf (600734) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192657)

The Download application has been around for years, and it's been redefining the word suck for years. If you enjoy waiting 10 minutes to see the same 10 applications displayed every day, the Download! application is for you. To even mention it in the same breath as Apple's App Store is delusional. And as a Symbian coder, I'll agree with the parents above... the platform sucks to code for. It's a totally non-standard (no exceptions, what?) platform that makes you account for design decisions/tradeoffs which were made over 10 years ago and should be a non-issue today. When they did the big binary break and added Symbian Signed they could have addressed a lot of this, but they chose not to. And don't get me started on Symbian Signed. Pay to have your app tested, pay to have it signed. Pay more to have your app tested if you start going deeper into the phone. Pay to have your app re-tested if you fail the test for somewhat arbitrary reasons (just check on Forum nokia to see some test rejection horror stories). Pay Nokia for the privilege of helping to grow their platform. Is it any wonder that while the total smartphone marketplace has been growing, Symbian marketshare has shrunk for 2 years running?

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192735)

Did you misread my post - or not read it at all? It sounds like the latter.

I didn't make any comment on the quality of Download![1] No, all I said was that it is something they could use to make the Ovi Store accessible to the existing installed base.

Doesn't the prospect of getting your app in front of hundreds of millions of users even interest you? It does me. ...and, again, you're talking about Symbian C++ and the 'standard' to which you refer didn't exist when it came into being. Also, you can use other languages (Open C, Open C++, Python, Java, web stuff), so you don't even have to put up with that.

Heck, on some stores, you don't even know if your app will make it into the store until you've done all the development work. I sure hope the Ovi Store doesn't do the same thing as them.

Max.

[1] ...though I have used it to download useful applications without any problems. I just mentioned that Download! was available for many years before these other stores. Sure, the newer ones are 'better' (supposedly, I've not used them, so I don't know) but having the experience of Download! and the various other stores Nokia has had over the years has to count for something. I hope it at least gives them the experience to make the Ovi Store successful and give us access to a massive existing user base.

Mis-read post (1)

omb (759389) | more than 5 years ago | (#27195383)

You know what you sound like, a fan-boi, all systems, no matter how lousey have them.

All is good, C++ sans exceptions + longjump and a manual destroy stack is OK?

You can write in Python, Ruby ... give me a break, the only thing Symbian has going for it is Nokia, and they will turn in a New York minuit.

Re:Mis-read post (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198591)

You're putting words into my mouth, again, and conveniently ignoring what I did say. I'd like to know what part of what I said that ws factually incorrect.

No, it's you who sound irrational, biased and closed-minded. Choice is bad....rrriiiighhhtt. You can use Open C, Open C++ (not only Symbian C++), and Java - that covers all the languages available for both iPhone OS and Android.

I've only use Symbian C++ though[1] so I can't comment on the other ones apart from to observe that they're available.

If I'm factually wrong, feel free to correct me.

(I didn't know Ruby was on S60 - interesting).

[1] Yes, it wasn't much fun without specific training, but once I educated myself, it made much more sense. Consider it a different language, if you prefer. I think I'd prefer it were called something other than C++ since it isn't all that similar any more.

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192821)

> . the platform sucks to code for. It's a totally non-standard (no exceptions, what?) platform

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Android uses a non-standard version of Java too[1], and at least the standard exists for Java already, so there's less excuse than Symbian C++ has.

[1] I'm not sure how to compare non-standardness, and I don't have much experience of Java, or even Android/Google Java or whatever it's called, so it's difficult for me to comment apart from non-standard is non-standard.

Symbian signed is *the* probelm (2, Informative)

S3D (745318) | more than 5 years ago | (#27193271)

Symbain C++ peculiarities is not a critical issue, they can be adapted to. But Symbian Signed is a real bummer, especially for small/indie developer. Pay for each attempt to sign binary + pay yearly for publisher ID. And self-signed application, not only limited in functionality, but will not be allowed to Nokia Ovi application store.

Well, go to iPhone than (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27197445)

Why not mention the other option? Have a guy/gal along with bunch of PR and lawyer people to review your application, decide it is not a threat to vendor and decide whether it will create (financial) armageddon for their cell network partners or not.

Dare to say ''Jailbreak''? Come on! What is the percentage? What is the guarantee that people happily cracked their phone OS will pay for yours?

Self signed apps have limitations, they are apps equivalent to desktop apps which can happily run from ''home dir'' (in regards to their power) but they can at least be installed! They had to choose between viruses/worms, fascistic app store schemes and came up with symbian signed.

I wonder why nobody blames the root of the problem. I mean the asshole who wrote Cabir crap.

Re:Symbian signed is *the* probelm (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198625)

Can't argue with that. However, I think we'll have to see what happens with the Ovi store...it's not open yet.

IMO, they're going to have to have a cheap solution for the 'poor' developers. They used to have it such that a company would test and sign freeware apps at no cost, but I heard that effort fell-by-the-wayside in recent years. Maybe something like that could be made to work again...

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#27193181)

Calling them 'mostly binary and source incompatible' is just rubbish and plainly FUD.

No, they were binary incompatible, there is not even a "mostly" about it.

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27193241)

Funny how I can install the same binaries on many S60 3rd edition phones....or am I misunderstanding what 'binary incompatible' means?

I know S60 2nd and 3rd needed different binaries, but the S60 3rd editions could all use the same binaries.

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27193607)

See here [nokia.com] for evidence of binary compatibility across S60 3rd edition releases. Specifically, post number 9 [nokia.com] confirms what I say.

Heck, on AllAboutSymbian [allaboutsymbian.com] they claim you can even install S60 3rd edition binaries on devices running S60 5th edition (only the Nokia 5800 at the moment, IINM) - here's one such quote, which is in a discussion [allaboutsymbian.com] about freeware for the Nokia 5800 :

"
Use this install file, the version for S60 3rd Edition FP1 phones, until such time as Nokia get round to doing a formal S60 5th Edition release.
"

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192585)

"Symbian is a truly horrible OS to develop for"

After having worked with Symbian (and working for one of the early programmers that helped create EPOC (the predecessor to Symbian), I totally agree with you. Symbian is a slow over complex OS that has a dictatorial design philosophy behind a lot of its design.

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (2, Informative)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192663)

Note that most people here are talking about Symbian C++, which is the way it is because it came into being when C++ was very new and didn't regular C++ had various features is has now. If you spend the time to learn (eg training) how it solves the various problems inherent in early C++, then it is quite easy to appreciate it - in my opinion anyway. The problem is that it's similar to regular C++ in many ways, which makes the differences very annoying and sometimes surprising.

Also note, you can develop on S60 using many different languages - Open C, Open C++, Python, Java, various web languages, and those are just the ones that come to mind. So, you don't even have to suffer Symbian C++, if you don't want to. I've no experience of those though.

I guess Qt [qtsoftware.com] for S60 will be available in due course. That's a platform/toolkit people usually think well of...even on slashdot.

Hopeless (2, Insightful)

omb (759389) | more than 5 years ago | (#27195569)

You dont even understand what you are telling the world, Symbian should be using GCC targeted for arm, thumb. That way other far more competant people would be worrying about the compiler, and you could cross compile a decent CVS like git or subversion, on the platform.

Qt would compile

gdb would work

You dont begin to get it. All these 'decisions' were driven by the wish to develop a proprietary lock-in product that actually failed in the business sense. Symbian and most other vendors in the embedded space do not have the resources to compete with the FOSS world, neither do Apple. Nokia, and M$ have the money but not the High Level Architects to compete in a pro-active and agile way, they are forever in catch up.

The common sense analogy is the free market -v- directed economies; the former always win, see the old Soviet Union, not because of idiology but because, in directed economies everyone lies and those at the top do not have the information to compete in an agile way.

In the free market people try different things and those that work get funded.

And before politicised people jump in and talk, for example, about GM in the USA, they would have failed long ago without repeated government assistance, all in violation of WTO rules.

This is one of the reasons the rest of the world will not tolerate the rebuilding of the American economic hegmony and many Professors in MBA programs will have to find gainful employment.

Re:Hopeless (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198335)

Symbian and most other vendors in the embedded space do not have the resources to compete with the FOSS world, neither do Apple. Nokia, and M$ have the money but not the High Level Architects to compete in a pro-active and agile way, they are forever in catch up.

Funny, because it's FOSS that's always re-implementing proprietary software features, poorly.

FOSS has its place, but it's in areas where you need a large number of not so highly skilled people all contributing and collaborating a little bit. Where you need the highly skilled experts, even a small bit of cash blows away "free" every time.

USB support? Stable/reliable ACPI suspend support? Open source video card drivers with full OpenGL? Rockbox barely working on (OLD!) hardware MP3 players. ZFS features slowly being reimplemented in Btrfs? Decent GUI design?

I like open source software more than most, but it has some pretty serious drawbacks, and you seem to be promoting one of them as its strength...

Re:Hopeless (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198613)

> All these 'decisions' were driven by the wish to develop a proprietary lock-in product that actually failed in the business sense.

Evidence, please.

As an aside, I have to laugh a little at someone saying, in the current world situation, that the free market actually works. The free market world seems to be falling apart, thanks largely to greed and lies. Contrary to what you say, it's the 'directed economies' that seem to be holding it all together (despite over reliance on exported to free markets). ...but I prefer not to 'go there' as they say in the US.

Re:Hopeless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201521)

You dont even understand what you are telling the world, Symbian should be using GCC targeted for arm, thumb.

I think you're missing quite a bit of history. GCC was the main compiler for a very long time. The main reasons for moving away from gcc were:
1. Cygnus weren't too happy about maintaining the branch required for keeping binary compatibility, as it had fallen way behind the other gcc branches. That Binary Interface wasn't even documented...
2. Support for the upcoming ARM EABI wasn't even on the gcc roadmap at the time. Moving to the ARM EABI was thought of as a good move as it enables you to use any compliant compiler.

Now that gcc does have a version which implements the ARM EABI, then it can be used for quite a lot of development on the platform.

That way other far more competant people would be worrying about the compiler, and you could cross compile a decent CVS like git or subversion, on the platform.

By using the ARM EABI you are free to use any compiler you like, including gcc.

Why would you cross-compile git or subversion for a mobile phone? Am I going to perform a 3-way merge whilst sat on the bus on my way to work?

Qt would compile

I believe it does already.

gdb would work

It used to a long time ago. Debuggers need support from an OS.

You dont begin to get it. All these 'decisions' were driven by the wish to develop a proprietary lock-in product that actually failed in the business sense. Symbian and most other vendors in the embedded space do not have the resources to compete with the FOSS world, neither do Apple. Nokia, and M$ have the money but not the High Level Architects to compete in a pro-active and agile way, they are forever in catch up.

The common sense analogy is the free market -v- directed economies; the former always win, see the old Soviet Union, not because of idiology but because, in directed economies everyone lies and those at the top do not have the information to compete in an agile way.

In the free market people try different things and those that work get funded.

And before politicised people jump in and talk, for example, about GM in the USA, they would have failed long ago without repeated government assistance, all in violation of WTO rules.

This is one of the reasons the rest of the world will not tolerate the rebuilding of the American economic hegmony and many Professors in MBA programs will have to find gainful employment.

Huh...?

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192729)

Mod parent up. Symbian is a truly horrible OS to develop for.

True, but if you don't like its core c++ api, you can develop applications for it in Python [nokia.com] or (soon) Qt [qtsoftware.com] both of which have a much nicer api.

And there's the PIPS API [symbian.com] allowing you to port POSIX C apps and libraries to Symbian (most recent S60 apps use it).

Starting with 5th edition, you can also use Flash Lite. And, of course, there's still Java, too.

  Not only that, but there are many different versions (V9, V9.1, S60 3rd Ed, S60 FP1, S60 FP2, 9.4, 9.5 and that's just the recent ones) and they are mostly binary and source incompatible.

You're making confusion between Symbian and S60.
As a developer, you only care about the S60 version. Since 2004, we've seen only two major S60 releases, 3rd edition and 5th edition.

Software written for plain S60 3rd edition should work on any 3rd edition device. Feature packs add, well, new features, so if you want to take advantage of these features, of course you'll be able to do so only on those devices which provide them.

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (2, Interesting)

edivad (1186799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27193517)

Guys, Symbian API is NOT C++. Is a pseudo C++ written by people that were learning C++ along the way. Can you spell TRAPD() and CleanupStack? And how about their imports by ordinals, whose number change magically and break ABI among minor OS releases? How about the bare "Install Failed!" coming from an SIS install attempt, with no friggin' clue on the real problem? How about their development chain? A clusterfsck of PE binaries, glued together with batch files, glued together with Perl scripts. How about errors coming from the development chain, that gives no absolute clue of what happened (hiding real GCC errors)? How about build binaries results being scattered God knows where, under a 34 levels deep structure? How about their documentation? The missing of, that is. There are way better and friendlier development environments to work with, in the mobile space. Don't waste your time with Symbian, you'll thank me for this suggestion.

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27200071)

Learning C++malong the way? Ha! Symbian was using C++ before there was a defined C++ spec. That is why some of it is weird.

The build system is bad.

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27220979)

has it's own problems

"its".

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192601)

Yes, descriptors take a while to get used to, but perhaps you should read up about why they are there in the first place before writing them off?

People expect to be able to take PC programming experience and immediately transfer that to Symbian OS. Hardware limitation and quirks won't allow you to do that. Google for the different types of ROM memory phones use and the performance characteristics of each.

You might learn something. But hey, that might involve some effort on the part of the developer, and that's clearly unacceptable.

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#27193009)

Yes, descriptors take a while to get used to, but perhaps you should read up about why they are there in the first place before writing them off?

Descriptors are there because Symbian wanted to provide a string class with bounds checking and unicode support.

Woohey. It wouldn't have been necessary to make them suck so much.

Google for the different types of ROM memory phones use and the performance characteristics of each.

Care to enlighten us how these things are related in any way to Symbian OS?

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192861)

You should never pass an HBufC by value. You probably wanted 'const TDesC&', or 'HBufC*' if you're taking ownership.

'int' should be 'TInt'. TBoolC doesn't exist, you probably mean TBool. And there's no need to cast it anyway.

Yes, there are a lot of annoyances and quirks with Symbian, and many ways to shoot both your legs off, but once you understand how it works their choices do actually make a great deal of sense.

Having the platform source code *will* make a big difference to those who aren't new to the platform.

Re:Big news for Symbian developers! (1)

edivad (1186799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27193419)

I agree. Let's make a poll. Myself, and ALL the developers that had the bad luck to touch Symbian in a way or another, consider it the most developer-hostile environment to work with. If you think that your job sucks, and the development environment you're currently working with, is bad, try Symbian. You'll look at your current job under an whole another light!

Symbian^3 ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192029)

WTF is Symbian^3 .... Symbian x Symbian x Symbian?

Like the captcha, I am 'stumped'

Re:Symbian^3 ? (1)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192331)

Could be Symbian XOR 3?

Re:Symbian^3 ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27193131)

It is a name.

And this in news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192065)

how ?

Re:And this in news (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192597)

...er, because it's only just been announced? In other words, it wasn't known before just recently, but now it is, so it's news.

Python (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192101)

Why not convert the phone stack to python equivalents, and when everything is ready, change the kernel.

Re:Python (1)

dns_server (696283) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192219)

like freesmartphone.org [freesmartphone.org] ?

Re:Python (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192837)

Yes they could make a transplantable layer first then move it to such technology.

Android (3, Insightful)

rufus t firefly (35399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192125)

Sounds like a response to Android, but a little late.

Other than install base for phones, what advantage does an opensourced Symbian have over Android?

There were rumors of Android and Symbian merging for a while, but it seems as though Symbian has taken to cheap heckling [zdnet.co.uk] .

Re:Android (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192139)

>what advantage does an opensourced Symbian have over Android?

It's not reliant upon Java?

If I wanted a slow, Java-based phone, I'd get a Blackberry.

Re:Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192351)

12 years of development have to count for something...

Re:Android (2, Insightful)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192399)

...and a massive installed base, massive distribution channels, and clearly a huge number of phones planned to run it from several different manufacturers.

Actually, it might be more appropriate to ask what Android has over Symbian...the only thing I can think of is the development environment, but that's not so clear cut, in my mind at least.

Re:Android (2, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27193023)

And it doesn't give you choice of language. My company has an app that runs on Windows Mobile, Symbian, and several proprietary phone OSes. We can't run on Android because there's no C or C++ SDK for it. And we looked into it too, we wanted to do it.

Re:Android (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27197517)

Lets not forget the technical users are getting pretty sick of Google's big brother tactics, their lame ''ooops, mistake'' tricks, their ignorance of the true king of phones (it is J2ME) and so on.

These days, the only EULAs I read in super paranoid mode comes with Google software since I am one of guys who doesn't buy ''we are good guys'' type of childish promises.

I used harsh words on purpose. It seems Google fan developer scene has no clue about how mad people (including non technical users) have become because of their recent policies. Do I want Google OS on my phone? No, not. Is it open source? I don't care. I don't like the company and its philosophy.

Re:Android (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198179)

Do I want Google OS on my phone? No, not. Is it open source? I don't care.

then you seem to be the biggest dumbass there is. open source means google can't wrestle in their own interests at the cost of users. being open source is the biggest incentive for android, you can be sure that no company will undermine the users' or developers' interests.

Re:Android (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198527)

How do you figure that? Google is a massive company with enormous wealth and the capacity to share some of that wealth with other companies who cooperate with them. If Google decides the next version of Android will have user behaviour snooping as a built-in feature, you really think the phone manufacturers are going to get together and fork their own version of Android and lose the marketing support of Google out of the goodness of their hearts?

Didn't Google recently shut down production of a phone because the screen didn't match the standards they require for Android phones? It must have cost that company a lot of money to get it to the stage where it was about to go to mass production, and then Google flies some guys out for a quick meeting and the product is pulled.

Just because it may be technically possible for a company to release an Android-based phone without Google's blessing, it doesn't mean it's feasible in a business sense.

Re:Android (2, Informative)

chrisd (1457) | more than 5 years ago | (#27200651)

I'd like to point out that the Kogan phone folks could have adapted the code to the screen size, but it would have taken longer than their product plan would have allowed. So in that case, you are right, but if they had started the screen porting stuff earlier, then they probably could have shipped something like what they put on their website.

Let me remind you that the structure of the droid licensing is very clear: linux kernel, then apache/bsd all the way up from there (With a dollop of lgpl). You don't need googles permission to ship an android based device. There are some apps (maps comes to mind) that you do need googles permission to ship, but those are closed anyhow.

Chris

Re:Android (3, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192379)

Simple. We talked about, how people like what they are used to, in earlier news.

Well, I must say, judging the user-interface alone, I liked Symbian. Here in Germany, Nokia phones (with Symbian on them) pretty much dominated the market for a decade. Only recently have the SonyEricsson models taken over.

I know, that the programming interface of Symbian is a horrible horrible joke, that lets the Microsoft Internet Explorer pale in comparison.
So open-sourcing might make it possible to re-implement the horrible part, while leaving the user-interface intact, and hopefully also allowing backwards-compatibility.

We all wanted to program cool stuff for the Symbian platform... until we read about the API quirks. ;)
So maybe now we can.

But do we still want? ...With Android and others out there? We will only know, when we see it happen.

Re:Android (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#27193031)

So open-sourcing might make it possible to re-implement the horrible part, while leaving the user-interface intact, and hopefully also allowing backwards-compatibility.

This is what Nokia is doing with Qt for S60.

Re:Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27196451)

Here in Germany, Nokia phones (with Symbian on them) pretty much dominated the market for a decade. Only recently have the SonyEricsson models taken over.

Not to split hairs, but the SonyEricsson smart phones also run Symbian OS. They just use a differnt UI (called UIQ). One of the aims behind the Symbian Foundation was to combine development efforts under a single UI (which will be based on S60, not UIQ) ... so in the future, Nokia, Sony and Samsung will all interact with the user with the same UI.

I think people are hoping that the Symbian Foundation will usher in a better SDK. Whether or not that will happen is another matter ...

Re:Android (4, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192627)

Totally! Any platform that barely has 70% of the market clearly has no future. Any changes makes are just reactionary measures to deal with a competitor that has almost scraped a massive 1% of the market.

Re:Android (0)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192747)

Yeah, what he said. ie, mod him up

Re:Android (1)

asj (1500567) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192645)

As much as I like Linux, and in time it may shoehorn nicely into portable devices it's hard to beat an OS designed for the task.

The advantages for Symbian are:

1. It was designed for portable/mobile devices

2. Made for resource limited hardware

3. Robustness

4. Single CPU operation

5. History/maturity

Now you can argue most of these points are derive from point #1. But what's the typical complaint about the G1? Battery life so short the device isn't use to many people. This is a major problem in a portable device, it has to last an entire day with moderate usage. If you cell phone dies at 4pm you haven't only lost your music player you've lost your email, phone, etc.

Symbian does very well in running on small device. It gives the program features to keep their application using small amounts of systems resources and tries to keep them robust.

Developing Symbian C++ apps isn't for everybody, the UI is problematic and writing isn't for most people. Java is available and Nokia has been working on Python for S60, Qt for S60, and they have the start of a "Web Runtime". It's too bad such a large company can't push there forward more quickly.

Re:Android (2, Interesting)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#27193153)

Symbian does very well in running on small device. It gives the program features to keep their application using small amounts of systems resources and tries to keep them robust.

Too bad these "features" actually make Symbian heavier than other operating systems. CleanupStack leads to bigger binaries than auto_ptr, you need write of code to do anything related to UI, you need heavyweight client / server architecture for many simple things (lots of context switchs), active objects are much heavier weight (and more error prone) than normal callbacks, ...

The fact is that Symbian's relative success has been mostly due to financial, rather than technical reasons.

And it's not like there has been much choice in the mobile space previously. We've had the simple proprietary OS's of every manufacturer, half-assed locked down linux variants of Motorola, MSFT products and Symbian.

Now we have the new entrants: Maemo, Android, the iPhone's OS. All based on Unix.

Re:Android (1)

edivad (1186799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27193717)

3. Robustness


You kidding, right?

Re:Android (2, Informative)

AceJohnny (253840) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192703)

disc: I work for a company that supports Symbian. In fact, Nokia is our main customer, which is a secret to no one.

The main advantage of Symbian is that it is a known quantity on the market. Major manufacturers know it and its internals. Nokia (of course), but also Sony Ericsson, LG, Motorola have experience making Symbian phones.

Symbian is huge [symbian.com] . 228 Million cumulative phones by June 2008, on 250 different models. iPhone: 2 models (EDGE and UMTS). Android: 1 model: G1. (I couldn't find precise sales numbers, sadly. Although the iPhone did hit 4 Million by mid-January 2008.)

Symbian is an established player, and Nokia is keeping it on the edge by open-sourcing it.

It is certainly not a too-late response to Android, but rather rather trying to cut off its market before it gains too much of a foothold. Though I'd like to trumpet Linux, I doubt it'll really challenge Symbian before 5 years from now. (exercise: count the Android phones on the market since it was announced in Nov 2007. Count the announced Android phones. Do the same for Symbian over the same time frame)

Another vital point to note is the main motivation with open-source Android and Symbian is not to please the geeks (hah!), but to provide a cheap OS through which Google and Nokia can sell their services. That is their business strategy, and don't forget it.

Re:Android (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192957)

(exercise: count the Android phones on the market since it was announced in Nov 2007. Count the announced Android phones. Do the same for Symbian over the same time frame)

I admit, I can't be assed to do the homework, so I wonder if you'd be so kind and share the numbers with us :D

Re:Android (1)

rufus t firefly (35399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27195091)

It is certainly not a too-late response to Android, but rather rather trying to cut off its market before it gains too much of a foothold.

I wasn't very clear about it -- I was implying that it was jumping on the opensource bandwagon, much as Mac OS X tried to ride the increasing interest in opensource technologies without the pesky problems of having to actually contribute much back, hence their choice of a BSD licensed operating system on which to base their code.

I've seen a bunch of other people talking about how widespread adoption of Symbian is compared to Android. But I'd also remind everyone that WinMo and the Blackberry OS are both in use on millions of handsets (I've had phones based on both), and yet have horrendous user interfaces. Lots of people using something doesn't make it well written or well designed.

Re:Android (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198675)

> I was implying that it was jumping on the opensource bandwagon,

Sure. Well, almost...actually, Android releasing a free$ OS meant that Symbian were at a distinct disadvantage since they were not free. I imagine that the license fees paid by Nokia for Symbian made it worth their while to make the purchase and then 'give it away' - ie open it up.

This is a good thing.

It was one of the primary reasons I saw that Google would do such a thing - now they can work on the platform much more easily; but that's just my opinion, not that they've joined the Symbian Foundation, yet. I guess Google will wait until it's open to all, rather than just members of the foundation; iirc that's planned for next year (or was it later this year), but I can't find anything online about that in short order.

> Lots of people using something doesn't make it well written or well designed.

I don't think anyone's arguing that; however, at least one can see (now, for a price, and later, for free) how it's written or designed, badly or not - unlike some.

Re:Android (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27197485)

It is almost tragicomic that people who lives in Googleland can't figure the true size of Symbian or even Windows Mobile.

They are NOT struggling to compete with Android, they are setting their OS to open and free. You know, the OS which is installed to 100M+ devices.

We are speaking about World leader smart phone OS having a road map declared.

Re:Android (1)

LucidBeast (601749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27204215)

One of the best applications on Symbian is Google maps.

its a revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192175)

we have came to know about the actual concerned technology with our efforts

http://sd4us.blogspot.com

pronounciation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192241)

How do I pronounce Symbian^2? Symbian power of two? Symbian squared?

Re:pronounciation? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192403)

It's pronounced "Symbian, up yours too!"

Can I install it on my phone? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192565)

I have a Symbian-based phone made by Nokia. What apparently happens with these is that eventually a new version of Symbian comes out, new phones ship with it, but the people with older phones are stuck with the old Symbian version. New applications will only be written for the latest Symbian version, and thus the older phones become pretty much useless over time - no matter how much potential they have hardware-wise. From what I've understood this is pretty much what happened for example with the move from S60 2nd edition to S60 3rd edition.

My phone is S60 3rd FP1 (Symbian 9.2), and there already exists S60 3rd FP2 (Symbian 9.3) and S60 5th edition (Symbian 9.4). So I guess my phone will become useless soon.

Will this Open Sourcing in any way help me with getting a longer lifetime for my phone? Or do I need to keep buying new phones just to get the latest Symbian version?

Re:Can I install it on my phone? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27195507)

There is a reason for not having an upgrade path for your S60 phone (well, most of the time). The symbian baseport is not a cumulative solution as the linux kernel (kernel contains several architectues, drivers, etc, even for some legacy hw), the thing is that you make custom symbian baseports for product lines (several products are spawned from the same line) which use different hw in lot's of levels (screen, usb , camera, memory, dsp, modem , ...). Maintaining baseports is expensive and so is porting them to support a new S60 release (testing a phone is one of the most expensive things ever), so nokia and other s60 licencees don't have any economic motivation to do so. With the advent of symbian foundation this might change as if some baseport might be open and you can maintain those ;).

Re:Can I install it on my phone? (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198729)

> Will this Open Sourcing in any way help me with getting a longer lifetime for my phone? Or do I need to keep buying new phones just to get the latest Symbian version?

I'm guessing - "not much". If it's open source, then you can probably do the work yourself (eventually, when it becomes properly open source), though I guess that depends on licenses and things.

Did you expect someone else to do all the hard and expensive work?

Re:Can I install it on my phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199283)

Did you expect someone else to do all the hard and expensive work?

Well, I can still install Debian on a 10+ year old PC and have it run just fine. While I understand that it's probably more complicated with phones, I still hope that we some day reach similiar flexibility with them. Maybe it ends up being Linux in one form or another that manages to do it with phones too.

Re:Can I install it on my phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27200065)

Most 3rd Edition software are compatible with each other. Have you tried it? No? then you are spreading FUD.

Re:Can I install it on my phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201755)

Most 3rd Edition software are compatible with each other.

Sure, for now, and as you said - "most". But what happens when 3rd edition is not the most popular one anymore? You did notice I mentioned the move from 2nd edition to 3rd edition, which are not compatible with each other?

Have you tried it? No? then you are spreading FUD.

Have I tried what? Are you telling me that 3rd edition will not become deprecated over time?

YES! FDP (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192683)

escape them by A dead mang walk1ng. is not prone to

Misread it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192771)

Anyone else read it as sybian? For a moment there, I thought the open source movement has reached out to the porn industry.

Re:Misread it... (1)

ChangelingJane (1042436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27193135)

Same here. How disappointing!

Disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192995)

I mis-read the title hoping to see some Sybian action =/

Open Source os that is designed for low power (1)

Britz (170620) | more than 5 years ago | (#27193081)

Wouldn't that be the perfect os for the next version of the XO? They already have lots of apps for the arm platform. And Nokia could be a big sponsor for the XO.

Re:Open Source os that is designed for low power (1)

reckless_waltz (1417453) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198325)

Wouldn't that be the perfect os for the next version of the XO? They already have lots of apps for the arm platform. And Nokia could be a big sponsor for the XO.

Is it a coincidence that Nokia has announced plans to sell laptops? http://news.cnet.com/Nokia-considering-entering-laptop-industry/2100-1044_3-6249114.html?tag=mncol [cnet.com]

Symbian development (5, Interesting)

david.given (6740) | more than 5 years ago | (#27193253)

If anyone here's interested in coding for an embedded operating system, I'd strongly recommend running the hell away from Symbian. It's awful.

Let us gloss over the lousy documentation (in which it's impossible to find anything, and where there are no links between chapters --- so, e.g., you can't follow a superclass chain up through the S60 chapter into the Symbian core chapter). Let us also gloss over the lousy build system (a horrible maze of crappy perl scripts, which, apart from being so hideously slow that our project takes the best part of ten minutes to build even if no source files have changed, doesn't allow you to have two source files in the same project with the same name. Even if they're in different directories). Let us also pass quickly over the debugger, trying not to make eye contact, that's unreliable, will only let you debug one task at a time, and which tends to crash if you do the wrong thing.

No, let's talk about the language.

You program for Symbian in C++. Good, you might think. No. This is C++ with all the good bits taken out and replaced by badly designed bits.

Let's take exceptions. There are no C++ exceptions. What there are instead are Leave codes; a macro-and-longjmp framework that replaces exceptions which allows you to throw an integer value and then catch it further up the call stack. Unfortunately because this is implemented without compiler assistance it doesn't unwind the stack frame, so destructors of locals aren't called! All is not lost, though: there's a complicated and easy-to-get-wrong manual cleanup stack on which you can push stuff that you want the system to free for you in such situations. God help you if you forget to push something, or pop something at the wrong point...

Let's take strings. There's no standard string class, of course. What there are are an even dozen different classes for storing strings in different ways: on the heap, on the stack, constant strings owned by someone else, etc. There are some superclasses that will allow you to pass references to these things around without having to worry about the implementation.

Except... it doesn't actually work. The various different string superclasses are incompatible. You can cast a TDes (mutable abstract string) to a TDesC (immutable abstract string). You can't cast a TPtr (mutable pointer to mutable string data) to a TPtrC (mutable pointer to immutable string data). Some of their system functions require you to pass in a reference to a concrete string type, so god help you if want to use a different implementation. You can't use certain implementations in certain contexts. The result is that for some operations you have to allocate a fixed-size buffer on the stack, call a system function to populate it, then copy the buffer into another buffer on the heap, because the buffer-on-heap object is immutable! Despite being resizeable and assignable!

Things get even worse when you want to store multiple strings. There's a labyrinthine maze of string array classes: arrays of fixed sized strings, arrays of descriptors, arrays of pointers to strings, arrays of pointer strings (which are different)... add this to Symbian's bizarre convention where a data storage class allocates memory in its constructor but does not free it in its destructor (which means the user must manually Close() method on all member variables) and simply figuring out who's responsible for freeing a particular object becomes non-trivial. I once spent three days trying to find out how to store an array of strings without leaking them. I kid you not.

(To be fair, they have been trying to fix this with OpenC++, a new programming environment based on, like, standards. It doesn't actually work. The interface to Symbian C++ code is patchy and poorly specced which means it's only really useful for running chunks of third-party code in a sandbox --- you still need to write your actual application in Symbian C++.)

Now lets move on to the OS proper. Like the language, it shows all the hallmarks of being designed by someone who had a lot of good ideas but didn't know anything about practical implementation. Symbian combines all the worst features of a protected mode microkernel OS. It's dog slow because doing anything involves multiple context switches to other tasks, which are expensive because it's all protected mode. But that's all right, because since it's all in protected mode it should be secure, right? Apart from the unprotected shared kernel memory areas, that is, which allow any application to trivially crash the device.

I could go on, but now I think I need to go and breathe deeply for a while. Just go and use Android instead. You won't regret it.

Re:Symbian development (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27193407)

Yes, Symbian is very British. It's a horrible contraption full of stupid ideas, illogicalities, wrongness and oddities. And somehow it is your fault that you feel stupid for not fully understanding this horrible bastard. Like I said, very British.

Re:Symbian development (1)

edivad (1186799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27194051)

Great outline of the Symbian shortcomings! Things comes in my mind slowly, because my brain actually tried to delete them ASAP. About their strings. They have these TDes and TDesC that should clearly have been made pure virtual, since you can't have a working instance in the way they're designed. But, they are not. So someone could be tempted to create a function that accepts an object of type TDes/TDesC, with EPIC fails due to the TDes/TDesC members trying to access an unexisting data member of an unexisting parent class. All nice things to debug, given the added crapola of their terrible debugging facilities.

Remember ESR's Cathederal and Bazar (1)

omb (759389) | more than 5 years ago | (#27194949)

This is what you get with sub-standard senior priests in the Cathederal, and lets not forget there are __LOTS__ of examples in the Unix/Linux world too, over the years we have seen horrendous unmaintainable junk created in Sun, X86Free and GCC. An added benefit of FOSS is peer review of APIs and Implementations before they get set in stone.

Most people havn't a clue how bad Symbian is, they just gave up at the sight, for contrast uxix/linux are mostly OK, mature and reasonably minimalist, and for any common processor the tool chain is very well debugged. Symbian is another OpenSolaris, a last ditch attempt by fools who dont understand the process to defend a proprietary platform. It will have some adherents, but not enough; that is the name of the game. A good example is 'cdrtools' which worked, and was first but got written out over the DVD thing and attitude.

This is the reason linux will trump Symbian, no matter what Nokia, or M$ want. You cant beat FREE in the embedded space and well supported and free is a no-brainer. If you cant make money on your proprietary licences why bother.

BTW another thing that will go away in this recession is the MBA driven focus on differentiation and the simple realization that a commodity is just that.

The only thing the FOSS community now has to get right/complete is to make sure that many of the key tools that underpin out eco-system, eg Open|Office, Gnome, KDE, Firefox etc are made more accessible to the developer and
that poorly documented arcane repositories and build systems are quickly documented and fixed. Some big projects notably the kernel and GCC/binutils are fine, but OO and KDE are arcane, and dont need to be.

To complete, we need good M$ Win Connectivity, which means AD, in Samba 4, and an Exchange replacement, no clear view. OO is good enough, we need the same in AD and ES without getting bogged down in Windows centric details. If you have unix tools available, you simply do not need M$ nonsense and twisty mazes of .bat files. Someone, like IBM, needs to sponsor a good unix files system driver for windows, the current 'ext2' driver is said to lack stability and 'ext2' is un-journeled, 'ext4' maybe, Tso works for them.

Re:Symbian development (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27195657)

The good old symbian myths:

- No c++ exceptions, below the rebuttal:
http://developer.symbian.com/main/downloads/papers/Exception_Handling_in_Symbian_OS-v1.02.pdf [symbian.com]

- Descriptors: yes, they are weird, but they do make sense:
http://descriptors.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

- Standards: Open C, pips (posix compliancy), S60Python. Is hard to build an OS on a language which was not standard when it was being designed.

- there are more runtimes than symbian c++ (if that is too hard for you):
http://blogs.forum.nokia.com/blog/hartti-suomelas-forum-nokia-blog/2007/05/17/slides-for-the-s60-runtimes-presentation-on-svsig [nokia.com]

plus: QT for s60 is around the corner and will remove some of the pain for developers.

http://www.qtsoftware.com/developer/technical-preview-qt-for-s60 [qtsoftware.com]

about the debugger: I still don't see the problem with carbide.c++ 2.0 and trk to debug symbian phones. You can also go fancy an use lauterbach or any other ICE that you like. Also you can use the emulator for 90% of app developement, so unless you are making something tied to the HW your target debugging should be a breeze (if you know what you are doing).

and about android: Please go on an read the code, run a grep for "fixme", then another for "??" and another for "hack". I specially like the TI AT command workarounds in the their telephony RIL reference implementation. This guys have put it together with gum and tape, product quality my ass.

Yes, they have good ideas, they are not reinventing the wheel and is easier to use (sometimes), but feature wise, production quality wise, android is not just there...yet.

Re:Symbian development (1)

edivad (1186799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27195925)

Android code bad? I guess you're not a Symbian DevKit subscriber, do you? Have you actually SEEN the Symbian OS core code? Compared to Linux it's a Pile Of $hit, same as compared to WM. Thanks God is disappearing very fast on the eve of saner OSs and development environments (note the -21% on Q4 2008)

http://symbianfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/table-3-gartner1.jpg [wordpress.com]

Funny how they go proud of their market share, when they lost 21% of it only in the last year. My bet, in 2009, they'll lose even more. My brokers give Symbian at 10% market share in 2010.

Re:Symbian development (1)

Tellarin (444097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27197873)

Mod parent up. The AC manage to point the responses to the major myths regarding Symbian.

Also, the carbide IDE is now free.

So we have a platform that is open (Symbian), will soon use Qt (that Nokia now is releasing as LGPL), has openC (that allows one to program in regular C if needed), has openC++ and boost integrated (allowing, among other things, one to program in regular C++ and use one of the most powerful open libraries available), and has a free Eclipse-based IDE.

I do develop for it and I like the platform. It's not perfect (especially the old UI stuff), but is by far the best available.

Re:Symbian development (2, Interesting)

Tellarin (444097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27197885)

Sorry for replying to my own post, but I forgot to mention something.

Nokia also has Maemo, that is a linux based platform. It is only natural that the two somehow "integrate". So maybe this could also be an advantage.

Re:Symbian development (1)

edivad (1186799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27203035)

No, I have the recipe for Nokia. Throw Symbian in the trashcan, since it's $hit from the kernel source, architecture, and external API. Lay off all of the internal, Symbian-backing, dinosaurs. Use Linux as kernel, and QT as UI interface. Then, only then, Nokia might succeed in gaining some share in the mobile development world. Yes, I know, there's still the fact that Nokia just hasn't the kool-factor that Apple and Google have.

Re:Symbian development (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198751)

Mod parent up please. It's fairly well balance and reasoned, with references to back it up.
Should be at least 3/informative, IMO.

Symbian build system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27195705)

Sure, the current build system is a crappy maze of perl scripts but that will change (already has for some people) with the foundation to SBSv2 which is very, very fast and designed to exploit multiple cores.
Reference to it here
http://blogs.forum.nokia.com/blog/mark-wilcoxs-forum-nokia-blog/2008/10/27/thoughts-on-smartphone-show-2008

The biggest issue with mobile applications are developers who naively try to write code the same way they do for the PC i.e. assume infinite memory, infinite battery life etc. Quite a few of Apple's 15,000 apps are guilty of this even if the top applications are very well written.

Symbian's sin was to treat all developers like OS developers and say that quirky unfriendly APIs are o.k and then for many years not bother producing decent documentation. PIPS, OpenC++, Qt and the developer network are big steps in the right direction and I think the Symbian Foundation will have a huge impact.

btw It's foolish to think that this is a battle between the OS's with Google/Linux against Nokia/Symbian. Google and Nokia are big companies and are much more concerned with their shareholders than open source ideology. They will think nothing of grabbing components for any (legally compatible) OS and mixing them with their own platform where it suits them.

Google and Nokia battling for market share via open source OS's could have a very positive impact for the open source community. It will be interesting to see how Apple and Microsoft respond.

Re:Symbian build system (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198803)

Sure, the current build system is a crappy maze of perl scripts but that will change (already has for some people) with the foundation to SBSv2 which is very, very fast and designed to exploit multiple cores.

This is something I've been wondering about - why does it take ages to implement something that could have been done with a bit of SCons tweaking?

Re:Symbian build system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27203779)

Scons is an excellent system but the main reason for not using it is that it's rather slow and doesn't have Electric Accelerator support (for now).

I like the scons philosophy tremendously. It would have been easier to use it but only up to a point because most of the complexity is in what's being done and it would be complicated with any language - not a matter of tweaking at all.

SBSv2, which most of us prefer to call "Raptor", supports a lot of legacy systems which a developer might not even know about but which are essential for making the OS. This is one area where a lot of complexity exists, but the good thing is that everyone has the same build system from programmers with pcs to integrators with 50 cpu build clusters.

I suppose that I shouldn't trumpet all the stuff it's good at (like using all the cores in your PC properly to speed up your builds) but I can say it was made by people who hated the old system for all it's flaws and wanted to make something much better.

BTW, it works on Linux too.

Damn you, Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27193323)

...And your easily-misread headlines. When I clicked on this link, I thought that it said something about Sybian - Not Symbian.

Now, back to redtube for me.

Howard Stern will be happy (1)

kenj0418 (230916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27194185)

Howard Stern will be so happy. Wait, what?

Sybian (0, Offtopic)

pHus10n (1443071) | more than 5 years ago | (#27194853)

For a moment, I was trying to figure out why a Sybian (www.youporn.com) needed Open Source....

prolonging the agony (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27197133)

I had hoped that Symbian would just go away quietly: it's awful to program, and its user interface is even worse. Open sourcing it is just prolonging the agony.

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