×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Symbian Foundation Takes First Step In Open Sourcing Mobile OS

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the many-options-to-play-with dept.

Operating Systems 88

readthemall writes to let us know that the Symbian Foundation has released the first of several packages in their plan to open source the entire Symbian mobile OS. "On Wednesday, Symbian made available its first package covered by the EPL, the OS Security Package, according to Symbian developer Craig Heath. 'The OS Security Package source code is now available under the EPL, and it is the very first package to be officially moved from the closed Symbian Foundation License (SFL) to... the EPL,' Heath wrote in a blog post. Heath said the EPL would allow the security package to bypass export regulations in the UK, where the Symbian code is legally based."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

88 comments

Posting... (3, Funny)

c00rdb (945666) | more than 4 years ago | (#28679263)

Posting to undo accidental mod.

Re:Posting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28685003)

I love to see (Score:0, Funny), that in itself, is quite funny

Eric S. Raymond's Iranian Hacker Hangover (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28679275)

Eric felt his scrotum contract in its latest desperate attempt to keep his testicles warm. This hospital, wherever it was, was damned drafty.

It didn't help that the nurses on his floor, who had been treating Eric like a complete bitch, liked to keep the air conditioning cranked up. Or was it just his room? He noticed they pulled their cardigans and sweaters around them only when they came to see him.

"Nurse! Nurse!" Eric shouted. "Excuse me, nurse?!"

Eric heard a chair creak, followed by footsteps coming down the hall. They were quick around here, one of the only good things Eric had yet noticed. Perhaps it was because of his celebrity status.

"Yes?" the nurse said, crossing her goose-pimpled arms.

"Nurse, it's damn cold in here," Eric said. "And I think my pain medication is wearing off. Can I have some more pills?"

Her beady eyes, set atop wrinkled, puffy cheeks, lasered him in his bed. This was the sixth time Eric had shouted for her since her shift began. She didn't know him well but she was definitely starting to hate him.

"Oh! And my urinal needs emptied!" Eric added.

The nurse pursed her lips and folded her arms without breaking eye contact, "get fucked" in body language.

Eric smiled a crooked, leering grin at her and winked in a bid to charm her into emptying his piss. The nurse wondered if he was about to have another seizure.

She picked up Eric's chart, flipped through it, and replaced it.

"Mr. Raymond," the nurse said, "you're not due for more pain medication for two more hours."

Eric's mustache, orange and drooping, twitched.

"Do you need your bandages looked at?"

Eric shifted in his bed, stiff and uncomfortable. He slowly, awkwardly, stretched his hospital gown down over his knees.

"Nooo, no, no I don't," Eric said. "My bandages are just fine."

"Fine then," the nurse said. "I'll get your urinal. Do you need anything else?"

Eric watched as the nurse lifted his urinal carefully off of his lunch tray. It was completely full1,000 cubic centimeters, one full quart of piss and mounding at the top.

The nurse stifled a gag as she slowly made her way into the restroom.

"This damn IV has me swimming!" Eric called after her with a quick laugh.

He heard her pouring his urine into the toilet and felt the urge to go again. It had been dark brown, viscous, and smelled to high heaven like sick wet meat. He really hoped whatever they had him on was working.

She returned from the restroom and replaced Eric's urinal.

"I'll be back when it's time for your medication," she said. "Dinner is in an hour."

With that she left until, she knew too well, the next time Eric grew bored or irritated.

Feeling as anxious as ever, Eric reached for billywig [catb.org] , his blueberry iBook [apple.com] , which had finally charged. He hit the start button and watched Yellow Dog Linux [fixstars.com] slowly crawl off of the hard drive into RAM.

Thank god this hospital had wifi. Thank god he had an Airport card in his iBook.

http://www.google.com/search?q=brown+piss [google.com]

"Nope."

http://www.google.com/search?q=my+piss+is+brown [google.com]

"Hmm Nope."

http://www.google.com/search?q=my+piss+is+brown+std [google.com]

"Nope."

http://www.google.com/search?q=my+piss+is+brown+and+smells+like+rotting+meat+std [google.com]

Eric was having no luck. The more he optimized his Google searches, he noted with alarm, the less relevant his search hits became.

foul smelling like decay meat and at times like grated yam. this odor ... and fifth day i see dirth brown dischargeAbnormal discharge from the nipple .... the air asking what that rotten meat smell was...and the consequent search ... So, my UA (urine analysis) came back abnormal

"Jesus Christ!" Eric muttered to himself as he squinted at his iBook's twelve inch screen. "I don't think I have anything coming out of my nipples!"

Making sure his iBook was steady, he gingerly squeezed his left pectoral.

"Nope."

Eric command-tabbed back to vi, where he was typing "RFI on brown piss that smells like rotting meat" to post to his blog [ibiblio.org] , when there was a knock at the door.

"Mr. Raymond?"

It was the nurse.

"There's someone here to see you."

Finally, company! A hacker mind like Eric's was not used to boredom. He needed plenty of Iranian hackers [trollaxor.com] to chat with, a cave full of LARP buddies, or, optimally, a Linux party [trollaxor.com] . Not the sanitation of lonely, well-lit hospital.

A second later the door opened again and in walked not Eric's LARP troop or Linux party, but something far less arousing: a New Jersey state police officer.

"Eric Raymond?" the officer asked. He was 6'2" and built like the Mack trucks he probably ticketed on a daily basis.

"Yes, sir, that's me, officer," Eric stammered. He hated being dominated.

"You're under arrest for lewd conduct, public indecency, and conspiracy to solicit," the officer said. The tone in his voice told Eric not to interrupt. "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say"

Eric's mind wandered. He had to call his wife. She was his attorney and had dealt with this sort of thing before. He had to keep this quiet.

Eric decided then and there to be as cooperative as possible.

"Do you understand these rights, Mr. Raymond?"

"Yeah, sure," Eric said. "But I'd like to share info about the other party involved in this incident."

"Go ahead?" the officer said, not expecting Eric's offer.

"The other party," Eric said, "is a man named Emad, an Iranian hacker, quite possible in this country illegally. His email address is emad.opensores@gmail.com [mailto] and his AIM handle is iran2hax0rc0ck [aim] ."

"Any idea who the other parties involved were?" the trooper asked, taking his notepad out.

"Other parties? There were no other parties. Just Emad and I."

"Mr Raymond," the trooper said, "you were the victim of sexual assault last night."

Eric's left eye twitched. It was usually him, with his Glock and Jägermeister, in charge of the proceedings. Not the other way around. He felt so powerless.

"You'll be arraigned upon your release from the hospital. Do you understand that?"

"Sure," Eric said, "but why do you think there were other parties? It was just Emad and I the entire time."

"Mr. Raymond," the trooper said while replacing his notebook, "our crime lab extracted the DNA of two other people from your wounds."

Eric sweated, cold and salty, and his world spun. Who else had been there?

"Also," the trooper said, producing a plastic bag, "do you know what this is?"

He handed the object to Eric, who turned it back and forth. It reflected the room's lights weakly through the baggie.

"It's Ubuntu," Eric said softly.

"Ubuntu? What's that?" the trooper said.

"It's a Linux distribution," Eric said unhelpfully. "Where did you get it?"

Eric noticed the version number on the CD face as he passed it back to the trooper. 9.10Karmic Koala.

The trooper looked away before he spoke.

"The doctors removed it from deep inside your ass."

get rid of symbian signed.. (2, Insightful)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 4 years ago | (#28679335)

whats the point of this if all apps need to be signed by an external authority?

Re:get rid of symbian signed.. (2, Insightful)

martok (7123) | more than 4 years ago | (#28680453)

That's the thing I don't understand about the whole Symbian open sourcing and the excitement around it. Unless I am off-base, it's not like a programmer will be able to pick up the Symbian codebase, make a modification, compile a new kernel and flash it into his phone. If that's the level of open-sourcing we're talking about here, disabling 'Symbian Signed' will be trivial. Is this geared more toward device manufacturers? IE. end-users and developers need not care?

Re:get rid of symbian signed.. (2, Interesting)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681059)

They still want to be like Apple.

And it is worth big money to them to be able to absolutely control what can be installed on "your" phone.

Re:get rid of symbian signed.. (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681259)

but, arent the iPhone and the Nseries targeted to different markets??

iPhone is generally used by people who want a good looking music player which can make calls, while a Nseries phone is more affordable(N79 is half the price of an iPhone 3g) more customizable,am currently using nokia 6600(the original one with s60, not s40) and the software can be customised to a great extent

iPhone seems to be targeted to those who want to say that they have a smartphone, but are not intelligent enough to use it,while Nseries is meant to be used by a power user.after all, other than the touchscreen, there is nothing that N79 cannot do that iphone can

 

Re:get rid of symbian signed.. (0)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#28683859)

iPhone seems to be targeted to those who want to say that they have a smartphone, but are not intelligent enough to use it

Nice. Classy. I hope you patted yourself on the back for that one.

Re:get rid of symbian signed.. (0)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28685325)

Of course, they should drop signed thing and allow everyone to do anything on OTHER PEOPLE's phones like calling premium lines, subscribing to premium SMS, setting a botnet.

When billion of dollars of poor end users wasted, they can come up with their own app store scheme rejecting things like Opera, Profimail because ''they duplicate functionality''.

Do you people have any clue what Symbian Signed prevents especially not being required for ordinary applications?

Re:get rid of symbian signed.. (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 4 years ago | (#28686287)

having a pre symbian signed phone - 6600, i've faced no problems like the ones you have described, the phone will still ask you if you want to give network access to an application and other things

Re:get rid of symbian signed.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28694341)

You're not allowed to claim it's for my own protection if you don't give me the option to turn it off. You can put it under 'advanced settings' or something, I can dig that.
Restrictive security defaults is all very fine, but it would be like a whole different platform if they actually implemented an user-controlled fine-grained capability system worth a damn.

Okay... (5, Insightful)

rumith (983060) | more than 4 years ago | (#28679369)

Look, that's definitely good news (especially the part of the Symbian Foundation using EPL instead of inventing some special license of their own). But does it really matter that much now? I mean that writing apps for Symbian is a horrible experience (as has been highlighted multiple times here on Slashdot, too), and now that Android has arrived and brought a much more friendly programming environment, this step is too little, too late.

Re:Okay... (4, Informative)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 4 years ago | (#28679859)

You should soon be able to use Qt for Symbian development.

Nokia own both Symbian and Qt, and the Qt labs blog is reporting Qt being ported to S60.

http://labs.trolltech.com/blogs/2009/06/29/port-of-qtwebkit-to-s60/ [trolltech.com]

Note that Qt is an entire cross-platform library, not just for GUI - it includes stuff like threads, network comms, XML even WebKit!

Re:Okay... (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 4 years ago | (#28680341)

Isn't Qt owned by Nokia, not the symbian foundation? It doesn't say anything about open sourcing the symbian version of Qt.

Re:Okay... (2, Informative)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28680791)

Isn't Qt owned by Nokia, not the symbian foundation?

Do you have a problem reading? From the GP:

Nokia own both Symbian and Qt

Where in his post did he say that Qt was owned by the Symbian foundation?

It doesn't say anything about open sourcing the symbian version of Qt.

The Qt for S60 Technology Preview is available under a special technology preview license, GNU LGPL version 2.1 and GPL version 3.

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

Re:Okay... (0)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682267)

dude, maybe you should read a bit closer before posting

Re:Okay... (1)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682971)

dude, maybe you should read a bit closer before posting

There is nothing to read closer as I quoted exactly what you typed. The GGP never said or implied that the Symbian foundation owned Qt. Secondly, your implication about the Symbian version of Qt wasn't open source was also false.

Right (2, Informative)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#28679891)

this step is too little, too late.

Cos several hundred million phones produced by the largest phone manufacturers in the world are all just going to go away. Are you living on Android world?

This is interesting and welcome news.

 

Re:Right (2, Interesting)

rumith (983060) | more than 4 years ago | (#28680539)

Not all Nokia phones use Symbian. However, with Qt for S60 on the horizon, Symbian-specific skills are likely to become irrelevant. I strongly suspect that Nokia will be pushing Qt as the main toolkit/API for their [smart]phones, after which they will be free to dump the steaming pile that is Symbian and switch to Linux.

Once again, I'm not saying that Nokia is in trouble: with their apparent migration towards Linux + Qt, they will be fine. I'm saying that open sourcing Symbian isn't likely to save it, and probably isn't even intended to.

Re:Right (1)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28680853)

I strongly suspect that Nokia will be pushing Qt as the main toolkit/API for their [smart]phones, after which they will be free to dump the steaming pile that is Symbian and switch to Linux.

Yes, they are going to go through all the effort of porting Qt to Symbian only to ditch Symbian for Linux. Oh wait... Just because they are pushing out a few devices using Linux in no way means they are dropping Symbian.

Once again, I'm not saying that Nokia is in trouble: with their apparent migration towards Linux + Qt, they will be fine.

What apparent migration? Please provide any actual statements from Nokia that even remotely hint at them dropping Symbian to go all Linux.

Re:Right (1)

rumith (983060) | more than 4 years ago | (#28686783)

Like I said, it's Qt.
  • Buy Qt, for it supports embedded Linux.
  • Develop Qt for S60 and announce that Qt is now the main developer API.
  • Wait a year for active developers to migrate to Qt so they stop caring what lies beneath it.
  • Replace Symbian with Linux, while still retaining Qt.
  • ...
  • Profit!

Re:Right (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28680725)

Their developer share is quite disproportionate, though.
One can always hope... I do wish Nokia would drop Symbian, nuke large parts of the signing process with fire, make a decent app store, and start making Linux phones with that excellent GUI of theirs (Yes, really. IMO they make the most power user-friendly smart phones out there, programming excepted.) Won't happen in a million years, though. :(

Re:Right (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681411)

This is about the future, not the past.

How many of those phones can be upgraded to the lastest version of Symbian (can as in "the phone OS can be upgraded, the carrier will permit the phone to be upgraded, and the manufacturer will provide an upgrade)? That number is probably a fraction of 1% of those phones.

And the vast majority of those phones are designed to be primarily cell-phones, and not for iPhone-style applications, which is what the slashdot crowd thinks of when reading an article like this.

But the GP is right, what is the point of releasing the OS as open-source?

Neither Nokia nor the carriers are at all interested or willing for people to be able to upgrade their existing phone's OS, because it limits sales of new phones (Apple be damned!).
Other manufacturers may decide to use it for their phones, but they'll also choose between Android, wince, their own in-house OS.

Developers only care about the API available on the phone itself, which open-sourcing the OS doesn't really help at all (other than implementation/debugging issues). And this is the part that I think Apple is killing everybody else at, that they have an easy, FREE way for iPhone users to upgrade their OS to the latest version. So developers can count on more phones having the latest API's now, not one year from now.

Apple released iPhone OS 3 last month, and developers could count on millions of people being able to use Apps written for OS 3 (if they wanted to make it OS 3 only) the same day. They didn't have to wait for people to buy new 3G/3GS phones to be able to sell their app.

Android seems to have gotten this point (and whomever makes the G1).

Microsoft hasn't (or doesn't have the clout to pull it off), because it is unlikely you'll even be able to upgrade a wince 6.5 device to wince 7 (as there is nothing the manufacturer gains from qualifying a new OS for an existing phone, because the manufacturer would have to pay MS a license fee for the new OS, but doesn't get to participate in any revenue stream resulting from the upgrade (other than selling the upgrade for a markup to end-users). And the carriers are eager to keep their hand in everybody else's pie.

Symbian has 49.5% ww smartphone market share (4, Informative)

MagicMerl (1060182) | more than 4 years ago | (#28680365)

For developers looking to make money, and use a very rich set of APIs/functionality, Symbian is the way to go. Gartner recently announced that Symbian has 49.5% of ww smart phone market share (300m+ devices). The distribution channel potential is there for developers to take advantage of now - not some unknown time in the future. Note that Symbian also has Runtime dev environments for Web, Python, and Adobe Flash Lite - who else has that?

Re:Symbian has 49.5% ww smartphone market share (1)

duranaki (776224) | more than 4 years ago | (#28680977)

I'm glad to see someone has actually heard of it. :) It seems like every day there is yet another article comparing the "major smart phones": apple, blackberry, windows mobile, android. Having worked for Nokia Mobile Software, I find the omissions of symbian devices annoying.

Re:Symbian has 49.5% ww smartphone market share (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681181)

Some moron in the Times (of London) annoyed me by saying "Windows Mobile, the operating system that runs on most smartphones...". He then later stated that it was Google Chrome that caused Microsoft to fix IE. Aaaaaaaaaaagh you're fired as technical editor.

Re:Symbian has 49.5% ww smartphone market share (2, Interesting)

migla (1099771) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681201)

When could I expect to run a custom firmware image on the Nokia N73, which runs S60 v3?

Re:Symbian has 49.5% ww smartphone market share (2, Informative)

duranaki (776224) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682049)

I no longer work for Nokia and I'm not sure how this is even a topical response, but I'll go ahead and answer anyway: never.

Nokia phones are still proprietary hardware and even if they were to be able to run an open source symbian version (there isn't one yet), the adaptation layer is still not open source. Ignoring that, S60 itself isn't open source. Ignoring that, Nokia has always attempted to make custom firmware exceedingly difficult (storing flash images as partially encrypted to a specific asic serial number for instance).. of course that may no longer be true. If the encryption is no longer required in the Nokia hardware, then I suppose custom images might be possible by altering binary components in the image. But I hardly think you should 'expect' it to happen.

Re:Symbian has 49.5% ww smartphone market share (2, Insightful)

ivoras (455934) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681775)

Gartner recently announced that Symbian has 49.5% of ww smart phone market share (300m+ devices)

Yeah, but... which Symbian? What non-developers usually don't get is that currently Symbian is a lot like Linux - strictly speaking it's little more then an OS kernel with a bunch of low-level APIs. What users see, the GUI, is fragmented in the same way GNOME and KDE are fragmented, and with much worse results. The developers must build different versions of their application (UIQ, S60, others) for different devices, and the users cannot simply install "the other one" enabling them to run applications written for other devices. If someone says to you that there's an application doing X "for Symbian", you better pray it's for your specific little version of Symbian. If you a have Nokia device and the app is for Sony Ericsson, you're simply out of luck and there is no way to run the app on your device.

And then there are other stupid mistakes, of which the worst one is having to license your app with Symbian foundation (or whoever) to be able to install it on other devices. Imagine if you developed a Windows application (of which, note, there are gazillions today) and have to pay Microsoft for the privilege of being able to install it on other people's devices. Not going to work, is it? All other modern platforms either don't have this kind of "protection" at all (Windows Mobile, Android) or have it in a much less obtrusive way (iPhone, Pre).

It is S60 V3 all over the place (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28685215)

Symbian World has settled on S60 V3 for a long time with the V5 (touch based) things getting popular for people using and enjoying a full touchscreen device. V3 and V5 doesn't differ too much.

Looking to future, it seems gaining a community&users with S60 V3 and keeping an eye open for Trolltech Qt UI makes sense. Of course one must not forget the Symbian handsets have surprisingly good, compatible J2ME with all kind of features you may want.

Qt will also bring discipline to scene. Obviously huge load of KDE 4 apps will be there and nobody will dare to code a trivial junk and put 20 dollar price tag. Those days are over soon.

S80 (9xxx) and UIQ3 has always been special anyway and the day E90 shipped with S60, S80 was dead. I tell as owner of S60 V3, S80 and UIQ3 handsets. Wouldn't it rock if UIQ3 lived and was even chosen of base of Symbian foundation? Of course but there are sad facts like huge S60 has developer support, market of thousands of apps and documentation. Motorola and Sony wasted UIQ3 but it seems their smart phone business got wasted too. No developer or user would trust them no matter whatever they ship.

Re:Symbian has 49.5% ww smartphone market share (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682663)

We know. We make money on it. But even better is J2ME. Pretty much everything got it. Phones, PDAs, handheld consoles, in-car-systems, you name it. Sure "write once, run everywhere" is just true in theory, because the devices are different. But when you got your JSR-XXX APIs, it gets very close to it. You just have to be very flexible about the hardware caps, including keys, screen, memory, cpu power, sound mixer, etc.

Re:Symbian has 49.5% ww smartphone market share (1)

blackpaw (240313) | more than 4 years ago | (#28684883)

We know. We make money on it. But even better is J2ME. Pretty much everything got it. Phones, PDAs, handheld consoles, in-car-systems, you name it. Sure "write once, run everywhere" is just true in theory, because the devices are different. But when you got your JSR-XXX APIs, it gets very close to it. You just have to be very flexible about the hardware caps, including keys, screen, memory, cpu power, sound mixer, etc.

Except if you want to do clever stuff like send sms's access protected api's etc the conflicting signing requirements between telecoms make it impossible to do squat.

Re:Symbian has 49.5% ww smartphone market share (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28685277)

Do you know telecoms would be really happy if J2ME apps, not being signed could send messages all over the place without asking user?

I can tell you, you can really get robbed that way and you won't have a WORD to say against it except contacting police or FBI or whatever.

There are really bad guys out there who goes far as dealing with some island governments to pull their schemes.

If you talk about accessing phonebook, besides dangers above there is also a huge risk of privacy. I hope iPhone doesn't allow everyone to read phonebook?

Re:Symbian has 49.5% ww smartphone market share (1)

blackpaw (240313) | more than 4 years ago | (#28686037)

Do you know telecoms would be really happy if J2ME apps, not being signed could send messages all over the place without asking user?

Oh yeah, I don't disagree. Mobile apps need to be signed so the potential for abuse can be controlled.

Its just with Symbian C++ apps they only need to be signed by one supplier - symbian, which makes distributing & selling apps much easier.

Java apps have to be signed by the individual telecoms, which makes mass distribution prohibitively expensive and basically impossible.

Re:Symbian has 49.5% ww smartphone market share (1)

Count Sessine (1135193) | more than 4 years ago | (#28684853)

I disagree. I think Symbian development is a nightmare, and I think that this is evidence that Nokia really doesn't "get it" when it comes to software.

1) How many of those owners of those 300m+ devices have ever paid Handago et. al. for an app? I'm guessing probably something comparable to the number of people using Android right now. That's called 'attachment rate' and it's very low on Symbian, especially compared to iPhone.

2) Symbian Signed. Come on, does it really have to be this hard/expensive? No, it doesn't.

3) Android and IPhone both do web development a lot better than Symbian.

4) Adobe Flash Lite is irrelevant. The only thing Flash is good for is playing back Flash video and Flash Lite can't do that. The rest is "Punch the Monkey" and other banner ads.

5) Symbian Signed.

6) AIKON/UIKON is a f*ing freak-show, and is worse than even Winmo development. I can't count how many stupid ways there are to lose track of resources and system-allocated memory in that mess.

7) Did I mention Symbian Signed?

Re:Okay... (3, Informative)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681003)

and now that Android has arrived and brought a much more friendly programming environment, this step is too little, too late.

Too bad the figures don't bear you out what with Symbian powering almost 50% of all smart phones while Android is fighting to get more than 2-3% of the market. There are more Symbian-powered phones sold each quarter than there are even total devices running Android.

Re:Okay... (1)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681859)

Well until recently, Android was 1 phone, 1 manufacturer, 1 carrier. All that is changing. Europe has a nice jump on the US in rolling out new Android phones. Personally, I think the US is purposely dragging their feet for a combination of trying to get rid of existing phones and stalling to get their 3G networks in better shape.. I suspect that you'll find, that comparing 4th quarter numbers for 2008, 2009, 2010 will lead you to a different conclusion of where the market is heading.. but who knows, there are a lot of variables. The US carriers seem to have different tactics than Europe, that to me, only shoots themselves in the foot an keeps people from buying now. In my opinion, middle of 2010 will be a good time to shop, as there will be a large selection of more affordable "smartphones". (that are actually worth getting)

Re:Okay... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682601)

Sorry, but me as a game designer am not going to invest development time into Android, because it is locked down. The same is even more true for the iPhone, that has not even got a JVM.

The Symbian API may be crappy, but it still is the best we got.
And from what I heard, we will soon have a new Qtopia stack and most importantly:

They want to make it open-source, so that they can use the benefits of all other open source projects, and integrate as much of them into Symbian, until it pretty much is a Linux-Symbian-Qt hybrid.
And I think that is a great idea. So I wish them luck with it.

Decline of Windows Mobile? (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#28679425)

With Symbian and Android now free, what is the reason for even producing a Windows Mobile handset anymore? I mean, why pay extra for a license when you can just customize your own OS for next to nothing?

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (1)

rumith (983060) | more than 4 years ago | (#28679491)

I don't know... maybe because people will continue buying WinMobile handsets for the same reason they continue to buy Windows PCs? Getting access to Windows-only apps, that is, and a familiar (no matter how bad) user experience.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (2, Informative)

Aphonia (1315785) | more than 4 years ago | (#28679625)

They run pretty well and sync up with software people use fairly easily, such as Outlook, etc. ?

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (1)

lamapper (1343009) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682087)

maybe because people will continue buying WinMobile handsets for the same reason they continue to buy Windows PCs?

Happily stopped purchasing Windows products over a year and a half ago, should have done it sooner. I am finding that in every category, even Graphics editing, Movie playing and mail / office apps, my FREEDOM with #Linux is superior than the limitations forced on me via vendor-lockin.

Remember, buy Linux PCs from a Vendor like ZaReason [zareason.com] that builds the PC, laptop, netbook, multi-media machine from the ground up with Linux in mind, thus no issues with anything, their Linux machines just work right out of the box.

When my friends could no longer reformat their PCs hard drive + reinstall their purchased Microsoft OS in order to clean out bloat and remove viruses, adware, etc, I just shook my head and reminded them why Microsoft lost my over 20+ years of TRUST. Never mind that it does not help as the first FORCED update/upgrade puts most, if not all, of the bloat back on your PC. Does Microsoft even sell a CD or DVD with the purchase of either Vista or Windows 7, as I would never purchase an operating system without one. Depend on the internet connection always being up and my bandwidth un-capped, I do not think so.

I often have to remind them more than a few times, before they get frustrated enough with Microsoft to find a guaranteed solution that is 100% in their control and will work. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your view point, Microsoft gives me plenty of opportunities to remind my friends. Especially since Vista was released. Heck every FORCED auto update / upgrade is one more opportunity for Microsoft to shine, NOT.

No tethering issues with an open Linux mobile handset. Any many more software applications options, especially games.

As for Mobile handsets, stick with a Linux based OS, like Maemo.org [maemo.org] , yes I know Android is Linux based, but I have not checked to see if I can install it on my Nokia N800. I have no need to purchase a handset just to run another OS, when Maemo does everything I need it to do. At least with a fully functioning Linux based handheld their are NO tethering issues or any bogus reasons for you not to be able to use the software of your choice. Anyone with a proprietary OS from one of the cellular providers knows what a pain in the butt that is. And for one reason ONLY: vendor lock-in!

No text messaging caps, I would think this would be huge for every family with teenagers. No additional fees and all they can eat text messaging. Besides text messaging should be free if you understand the engineering behind how communications with the towers works. Why chance that you will be raped for an additional inflated FEE.

As more and more people get frustrated with limitations to their handhelds proprietary software operating system, options like Android and Maemo will look much more promising.

While I still use MacIntosh computers and Microsoft computers for some work related contracts, hey I have over 20+ years of experience that comes in handy. At home it is Linux or nothing. I just got tired of the crap. I want my computer to just work, no hassles, just work. I upgrade when I choose to upgrade ONLY. And that is after others have tried and posted the problems with the new update or upgrade. I do not have time for the interruptions to my life that auto update and auto upgrade cause. I have NEVER been hit with a Virus because I browse safely without Java, JavaScript and/or Action X automatically enabled by default. I recommend using a sandboxed PC when you turn on features that can introduce cross scripting issues via websites. It works. Oh yes, I never use IE for anything but testing my own development. If you use Internet Explorer, designed open by default without the ability of the user to close it down completely, again by default, well that is CRAZY. The history is there, ignore it at your own peril.

Every forced update is another opportunity for your day to be ruined, perhaps your week.

That herd of people that follow vendor lock-in companies and scenarios is dropping allot faster than any of us ever predicted. Microsoft sees and know this, why do you think their marketing hype machine is in overdrive and has been in overdrive since Vista was released. I for one am very glad of it. I knew it would happen, I just did not think it would happen this quickly.

Not even moving their applications to the web will save Microsoft as our ISPs through lobbying of over $18 Million per week are going to do everything they can to prevent net neutrality, institute bandwidth caps, perpetuate the bandwidth scarcity myth and in vain attempt to justify the outdated tiered pricing that American telcos refuse to move away from.

I have stopped buying Microsoft products. So have many of my professional friends who are in the right place to influence purchasing decisions at major corporations. The total cost of ownership (TCO) of any and all Microsoft products is simply too high. It costs too much. And there are plenty of large corporations that have scaled security into the hundreds of thousands of users for Linux administered networks. Some of them even use Microsoft Office, though that too is dropping thanks to Samba [wikipedia.org] type of applications. There is no reason for any company to be vendor locked-in anymore.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28679795)

Because life is more interesting when you have to reboot your phone daily.

Today's magic word is "annoys"

Because you don't get kickbacks from OS (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#28680025)

With Symbian and Android now free, what is the reason for even producing a Windows Mobile handset anymore?

The Microsoft kickbacks, of course.

Otherwise you'd just run Android, I don't see the appeal of free Symbian myself when you could have something more modern and with better application potential.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28680343)

Because they want apps people actually use, tool. Syncing with other MS devices, stuff that matters.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28680465)

Because Windows Mobile has a large number of available applications that can be downloaded or installed for free. It also has a really nice development environment in Visual Studio.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (1)

ivoras (455934) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681535)

This is a huge part of why Symbian failed - while WinMo has adopted the Windows development model, with really fantastic Visual Studio support and free exchange of applications, Symbian has a) sucky development tools, b) cannot even reach an agreement with itself on what toolkit to use for the UI - think GNOME/KDE but on a more massive scale and without the user having the ability to install "the other one" and c) requires *licencing* to distribute an application to any device. The last one is IMO what really killed it in the end: imagine Joe Random Developer writing an app in VB and having to pay Microsoft for the privilege of being able to install his application on his neighbor's PC. That's how sucky Symbian is, and that's what's killing (if it's not already killed - see iPhone, Pre and others) JavaME.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28680485)

Simple, even if you don't have to pay a single dime for a Symbian license, the cost to bring Symbian to a phone is insane. It's a complete nightmare to work with for software and hardware engineers. While Windows Mobile isn't that terribly great, the cost to bring a WM device to market is by no means higher than trying to bring a Symbian device to market, again even if you don't pay anything for Symbian itself. This is the one big reason why Symbian is such a failure.

Android I don't know how expensive it would be to bring to market. Someone with more insight there might be able to tell us something about that.

iPhoneOS won't be licensed :) But Palm *really* should license WebOS to RIM asap.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (2, Informative)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681199)

In what way is Symbian a failure? It seems to be on an awful lot more mobiles than WinMo.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28681763)

I have been a Nokia guy since I got my first mobile 8 years ago. I have been using Symbian based phones for years. I have just got a HTC Magic Android phone and there is no way I am going back to Symbian ever. The sheer amount of apps for it and the openness to tweeking just destroys Symbian even if Android can't do proper OBEX file transfer.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28681271)

Huge failure ?

Last year there were over 200 million phones running Symbian OS and this will continue to grow now that manufacturers have much more flexibility over the way they use Symbian. The same cannot be said for Windows Mobile, poor customization and device makers just don't trust Microsoft.

iPhoneOS won't be licensed and will remain a very profitable niche (albeit a large one) market for Apple.

Android is more interesting, my guess is that in five years time Android will look like Symbian and Symbian will look like Android e.g. I wouldn't be surprised to see Android running Qt.

The big battle will be over the services delivered on the phone and whilst Google has a massive headstart there they will face the same problem as Microsoft with WM, no-one is going to let them control the entire market.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (1)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681679)

This is the one big reason why Symbian is such a failure.

I wish I could be as big of a failure as Symbian where in around 18 million phones per quarter are sold with it installed and it holds 50% of the smart phone OS market.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#28680709)

I like this on WinMo.

http://www.pleco.com/ [pleco.com]

It's a Chinese to English dictionary and is Windows Mobile/PalmOS only. I.e. not Symbian or Android.

Also I can get GPS maps of Taiwan in English on WinMo.

WinMo has a lot more software vendors for things like this than Symbian because it's not very hard to port Windows desktop applications to WinMo. And I think in Asia there's a lot of people with Windows mobile devices and frankly a lot of cracked WinMo software.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28681625)

With Symbian and Android now free, what is the reason for even producing a Windows Mobile handset anymore? I mean, why pay extra for a license when you can just customize your own OS for next to nothing?

they're about the same price

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (2, Insightful)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681633)

And such thinking gave us the Year of the Linux desktop years ago! Oh wait... The licensing costs for WinMo are a pittance to the device manufacturers when it comes to the total cost to make the device especially since all the big phone companies definitely negotiate bulk license rates when dealing with Microsoft. If you honestly think these big phone manufacturers that rake in 10s of billions in revenue a year care about that mere pittance they throw to Microsoft for WinMo you are horrible naive. It's the same reason why all the nerd rage over the licensing costs of H.264 or MP3 etc is meaningless to any major device manufacturer as it's a mere pittance to their bottom line.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28682385)

$8 to $15 per handset is NOT a pittance when you are trying to sell mass market phones.

Whilst the cost of integrating Symbian (or Android) is NOT zero you do at least get to choose where you spend that money and should you make a successful phone the per-unit cost will drop towards zero.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (1)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682909)

It is when they are selling most of those phones to the providers for 100s of dollars a piece.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28683707)

You can't really believe that? The handset manufacturing business is a "cut-me-own-throat" sort of business where saving $1 per device is seen as a huge thing. This is how Nokia has driven competitors to the ground: by driving their costs below what everyone else thought was rock bottom...

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (2, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682697)

What was great about Windows Mobile before? That you could get cracked more easily? That it ate all the power and your battery died after 2 hours? Or that it was more expensive and buggy? ^^

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#28684079)

Easy-to-use development tools, and, as a consequence, a wide selection of third-party non-toy applications.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28685683)

Hmm, I found development for Symbian pretty easy. So I really must have a different understanding of "easy". :)

But I prefer "efficient" over "easy" anyway.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#28685909)

"Easy" in this case means "so easy a monkey could do it": if you target .NET Compact Framework, you fire up VS, create a new "Smart Device" project, and immediately see a visual form editor where you can drag widgets around and hook up events; then press F5, and the emulator will automatically be launched, your application built and deployed, and debugging starts.

Re:Decline of Windows Mobile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28686129)

Same reason why anyone does anything on Windows. It's the momentum of existing software. In other words, it's easy to port existing infrastructure.

I don't know why people complain about Symbian though. It's just like developing for anything else (C/C++, Python, Flash, etc) plus everything running Symbian can run JavaME apps as well.

ThisTRUTH about using Symbian! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28679453)

Imagine a giant penis flying towards your mouth, and there's nothing you can do about it. And you're like "Oh man, I'm gonna have to suck this thing", and you brace yourself to suck this giant penis. But then, at the last moment, it changes trajectory and hits you in the eye. You think to yourself "Well, at least I got that out of the way", but then the giant penis rears back and stabs your eye again, and again, and again. Eventually, this giant penis is penetrating your gray matter, and you begin to lose control of your motor skills. That's when the giant penis slaps you across the cheek, causing you to fall out of your chair. Unable to move and at your most vulnerable, the giant penis finally lodges itself in your anus, where it rests uncomfortably for 4, maybe 5 hours. That's what using Symbian is like.

Re:ThisTRUTH about using Symbian! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28679933)

Symbian is like a typical Tuesday night at the Geek Compound? Who knew.

Re:ThisTRUTH about using Symbian! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28680355)

Th UI could do with some polish, that much is true.

Symbian vs. Linux (4, Interesting)

lixee (863589) | more than 4 years ago | (#28680483)

I'll quote the wiki: "Symbian OS kernel (EKA2) supports sufficiently-fast real-time response such that it is possible to build a single-core phone around itâ"that is, a phone in which a single processor core executes both the user applications and the signalling stack. This is a feature which is not available in Linux. This has allowed SymbianOS EKA2 phones to become smaller, cheaper and more power efficient.[citation needed]"

Is that even true? If not, we should take it up on the discussion page.

Re:Symbian vs. Linux (2, Informative)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681007)

Well it's sort of irrelevant now. Most phone chipsets have two ARM cores - one for the signalling and one for the application.

And as someone put it if you're developing a phone do you really want to deal with bugs like "when I play this Britney Spears MP3 my phone drops calls" or worse "phone fails radio test at the testhouse, seems to depend which application is running but we can't figure out how".

If you put both the applications and the signalling stack on the same ARM you're pretty much asking for this. I'd much rather have say a small ARM9 core and a beefier ARM11 for the application.

The ARM9 doesn't take up much space and you can give it priority access to external flash/sdram and try to run parts of the radio stack as possible from tightly coupled memory, i.e. on die SRAM. That makes it more or less a different machine and minimizes the chance of application code sabotaging the radio. Plus you can run a tiny OS kernel designed for network stacks on the ARM9 and Linux/WinMo/Android or whatever on the ARM11.

And when the phone is in not running applications but needs to stay connected to the network you can shutdown the power hungry application core and the flash, run the ARM9 at a low clock frequency, put the SDRAM in self refresh and have the network stack do its thing mostly low power TCM and cache.

Re:Symbian vs. Linux (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681243)

My phone doesn't play MP3s while I'm trying to talk to someone.

Re:Symbian vs. Linux (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#28686281)

Actually on a lot of phones the ring tone is an MP3. So when someone calls you you need to be able to decode MP3s and handle the network stack. More to the point when the phone is tested by operators they will have a base station simulator attached, so even if the signalling code can manage to keep the connection despite being sabotaged by the application that plays MP3s if it is outside spec it will fail the test.

Re:Symbian vs. Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28684623)

It's not irrelevant. The point of the EKA2 kernel is that it guarantees (as far as is possible, etc. but more than a standard Linux or Window Mobile kernel) that the baseband OS will not be affected by the applications the app OS is running. It's designed to avoid the latency problems that would lead to the bugs you list.

There are already phones out there using Symbian that use a single ARM core so it works.

On 2 cores vs. 1: yes, it's technically more powerful, but it's a manufacturing decision - if 1 core is $1 or even $0.50 cheaper than 2 cores, then over a run of 1 million phones, the savings add up. Obviously, this only works for mid or low-end phones; at the high end you'd expect the performance you'd get with two cores.

And not to nit-pick, but in your example, if you switch off the core thats running the GUI, what happens to the display? Does the phone just go blank? How does it wake up when a key is pressed, etc. What you suggest doesn't really work in the real world without a mountain of hacks to shift the UI to the baseband processor (but then, wouldn't that affect the low-level signalling stack?).

Re:Symbian vs. Linux (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#28686267)

> It's not irrelevant. The point of the EKA2 kernel is that it guarantees (as far as is possible, etc. but more than a standard Linux or Window Mobile kernel) that the baseband OS will not be affected by the applications the app OS is running. It's designed to avoid the latency problems that would lead to the bugs you list.

Real time OSs are not a panacea for this sort of thing. The application (or more likely a driver) can disable interrupts and wait in a loop. That will kill any real time stuff on the same processor. Even if you have two CPUs if you get the priorities wrong in the external bus interface the application processor could starve out the signalling processor by hogging the bus. I've actually seen signalling code by both of these. I've also seen someone at a customer type in code that turns off interrupts and waits for a second - I pointed out this will cause chaos and he solved the problem another way.

> And not to nit-pick, but in your example, if you switch off the core thats running the GUI, what happens to the display? Does the phone just go blank? How does it wake up when a key is pressed, etc.

The display on a mobile phone has local memory - you DMA stuff from the CPU to the display and then it refreshes itself. On a clamshell phone this is important because the secondary display can be on even when the CPU isn't.

Psion Calendar in SymbianOS? (2, Informative)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | more than 4 years ago | (#28680935)

Precursor to Symbian the Psion OS had Calendar.app superior over todays calendar apps.

Re:Psion Calendar in SymbianOS? (1)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 4 years ago | (#28714481)

The PalmOS calendar was also superior to anything I've seen on any of the smart phones I've looked at. It boggles the mind that we could have gone so far backwards on such a basic core feature.

EPL/GPL compatibility (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681069)

According to this [wikipedia.org] EPL and GPL are incompatible due to diferening patent restrictions, however if there are no patents covering the code (or the patents are invalid), could the code be linked and redistributed under either

Re:EPL/GPL compatibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28692533)

According to this [wikipedia.org] EPL and GPL are incompatible due to diferening patent restrictions, however if there are no patents covering the code (or the patents are invalid), could the code be linked and redistributed under either

Doubtful - even if Nokia have no patents, someone somewhere almost certainly has.

If Nokia really wanted significant open source collaboration, they'd have put it under the LGPLv3 (basically like the EPL, but compatible with the most commonly used OSS license, the GPL, and for bonus points able to include Apache code within it too, which lots of OSS projects new nowadays, especially Android).

Symbian Android (1)

nostriluu (138310) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681465)

I'll believe it's open source when I see it running fully on third party hardware. An Android handset would be an interesting choice.

Symbian OS could be the next OS for netbooks (1)

benxx (1240318) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681989)

Nokia/Symbian already proved their mastery in Software Interface designing with their S40 and S60 Platforms. If they could extend it further, they will challenge Microsoft's dominance in Netbook OS market. Nokia's recent partnership with Intel triggers speculation in this regard.

Re:Symbian OS could be the next OS for netbooks (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28685355)

Look to N97 and aging E90. They all belong to 9000 family of Nokia which is particularly interesting since the user base of them are following the incarnation of the models. E.g. 9200 users moved to 9300, 9300 moved to E90 and they now consider N97. It is almost like iPod community.

Nokia has been making true netbooks for almost a decade while nobody seems to care. It started with Psion in fact, grandfather of Symbian.

Of course, Nokia was never stupid to think that users would want a non performing Windows on a 1990s technology CPU or... Were they stupid not to imagine it?

Do we care? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#28683065)

No, really.. with all that is out there now is this that big of a deal? Perhaps it is, which is why i ask.

Please give us an usable dev system under linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28684547)

All solution I've tested were buggy, outdated, cumbersome to install, at least partially closed, required huge downloads and anal probes under the form of license agreeements.
It's about two years I've given up developing anything for cellphones under Linux, still I hope one day we'll have some free and decent dev system to allow us writing at least basic applications.

Re:Please give us an usable dev system under linux (1)

thaig (415462) | more than 4 years ago | (#28687255)

It's there - called Raptor. We haven't done gcc-e support yet but its coming soon. You can set up a cliuster of Linux machines and run it on them to speed up your builds

(I am a Nokia employee - sorry if it's not proper Slashdot etiquette to post like this.

Re:Please give us an usable dev system under linux (1)

thaig (415462) | more than 4 years ago | (#28687333)

Sorry - I realise that I was assuming you meant a Symbian dev environment for Linux. Anyhow there is one and it's getting lots of effort poured into it.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...