Friday, November 17, 2006

Battle Of Mobile OS
Symbian is a very good OS and has a strong growing market sponsored by many device makers, but Windows Mobile is also a very good platform. Since mobile devices hardware has evolved a lot in the last years, chances are a new OS battle will happen soon.

You can read an in-depth article regarding this issue here: And don't stop at the end of the article, but go on for the comments, too. It's definitely worth it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Symbian Security Video Podcast Available

There's a new video podcast available discussing Symbian platform security and the actions needed to get an application to market. It's presented by Risto Helin, Manager of Application Testing for Forum Nokia. The webinar covers different capability needs and Symbian Signed process, and presents for technical audience the platform security and its impact on application development.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sun Open Sources Java ME under GPL

Sun Microsystems, Inc, the creator of Java technology today (Nov, 13) announced it is releasing its implementations of Java technology as free software under the GNU General Public License version two (GPLv2). Available today are a buildable implementation of Java ME (formerly J2ME) and the first pieces of source code for Java SE.

Available in the community is the source code for Sun's feature phone Java ME implementation with the Java ME testing and compatibility kit framework. Before the end of the year, Sun will release additional source code including its advanced operation system phone implementation and the framework for the Java Device Test Suite. Sun is also releasing as free software the javac compiler, JavaHelp and Java HotSpot technology, the heart of JVM and JRE for desktops.

In addition, an application developer project is available as part of the Mobile & Embedded community, with links to resources such as the NetBeans Mobility Pack.

Rich Green, execute vice president of Software at Sun said "By open sourcing Sun's implementation of Java technology, we will inspire a new phase of developer collaboration and innovation using the NetBeans IDE and expect the Java platform to be the foundation infrastructure for next generation Internet, desktop, mobile and enterprise applications".

Monday, November 13, 2006

Common Types of Flash Lite Applications.

1- Browser: This is the flash plug in for general websites.
2- Wallpaper: No description needed.
3- Screen saver: No description needed.
4- Standby: Same as Wallpaper and Screen saver.
5- UI: User Interface. To Other Non Flash Lite Applications.
6- MMS: MMS Sending Application.
7- Stand-alone application: Stand alone softwares and games.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Crash Course on "ARM and Thumb"

You might want to get a few books, these three are very, very, very good: and read for some time, but meantime here is a crash course:

There are two (2) states of ARM processors: ARM and Thumb.
There are seven (7) modes: usr, sys, svc, abt, fiq, irq and und.
The modes can be privileged and non-privileged (usr).
Privileged modes can modify CPSR_c (least sig. byte) of CPSR, usr mode cannot do that.
Why? Safety/security reasons. The bits in CPS_c control the interrupts and mode/state switching.

Most (or some) people get sloppy with saying modes and meaning states
and vice versa. But as Alice in Wonderland was instructed by March Hare and Hatter:
" least I mean what I say - that's the same thing, you know." "Not the same thing a bit!" said the Hatter. "Why, you might just as well say that 'I see what I eat' is the same thing as 'I eat what I see'!"

I hope this helps you to see my point, it is not for the sake of appearing pedantic.

* __arm or__thumb does not metter to compiler.
That is because IAR had made it [more] transparent to programmer to compile for either ISA (Instruction Set Architecture).

Thumb gives less code then ARM.BINGO!
That is the whole idea behind Thumb. This ISA is 16-bit, whereas ARM is 32-bit. Not all instructions from ARM map in one-to-one fashion to Thumb. ARM instruction can be executed conditionally, Thumb instruction cannot, just piggyback the one-of-16 conditions after the mnemonic. Back to the code size saving, it will not be 2:1 ratio, either. It depends on the the program.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Symbian OS Unit

No matter how much time you invest into your application design, and how careful you are during program code writing – mistakes are inevitable. Without automated testing it is complicated and time consuming to ensure that changes will not break the existing code.

There are tools for Java and C++ which make it possible for programmers to execute simple testing on the stage of code writing and ensure the smooth integration of new features. But what about tools for other platforms? What about Symbian and BREW.

Symbian OS Unit is a port of the popular C++ unit testing framework CxxUnit. It provides a powerful and flexible testing framework whilst requiring the minimum of developer effort to produce a library of tests. It can be used with any of the available Symbian development environments and can currently be built for the UIQ and Series 60 reference platforms.

Symbian OS Unit is open source under the GNU Lesser General Public License. See the current status on the project's Sourceforge page for more information or to download the tool. Access the source via WebCVS.

Symbian OS Unit was developed and is supported by Penrillian.

To Read more you can go to it's site.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Symbian S60 Code Tips
Hide application from the tasks list

void CSomeDocument::UpdateTaskNameL(CApaWindowGroupName* aWgName)
// Set app task name hidden in the task list

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sony Ericsson to Acquire UIQ

Sony Ericsson today announced it has reached agreement in principle for acquiring the Swedish software company UIQ Technology AB, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Symbian Ltd. UIQ Technology, which uses Symbian OS™, licenses the UIQ user interface and application development platform to mobile phone vendors worldwide.

Sony Ericsson is already a licensee of UIQ Technology, and has been working closely with the company on UIQ version 3.0, which is included in Sony Ericsson’s P990 smartphone, M600 messaging phone and W950 Walkman® phone.

"UIQ offers excellent technical flexibility enabling us to provide compelling features such as push email, internet browsing, end user personalization, and enhanced music applications" explains Mats Lindoff, Chief Technology Officer at Sony Ericsson. "By acquiring UIQ Technology we will further invest and exploit the full potential of UIQ on Symbian OS for phone vendors, mobile operators, developers and consumers."

Following completion of the acquisition, UIQ Technology will operate as a separate business subsidiary of Sony Ericsson under its current management team. UIQ on Symbian OS will continue to be openly available, licensed on equal terms to all its licensees.

To read the full story go to this link

Drive Letter in S60 Phones

I know that some of the advanced users have already know the meaning of C:, D:, E: and Z: drives in S60 phones. However, I just recap it here because I have seen some questions floating around in some forum discussions.

If you are using built-in file manager from S60, it allows you to browse phone memory and memory card only. However, if you download third party file managers, such as SysExplorer or Y-Browser, it allows you to browse all drives in the file system. Look at the screenshot below.

  • C:\. This drive is also called phone memory. Basically it is a flash memory where we can install applications and store our data. Unlike memory card, it is always inside our phone. So, even if we remove the memory card, our data are still there. However, note that the size of phone memory is limited.
  • D:\. It is the drive used to store temporary files. The contents will be deleted when the device reboots. In many cases, we don’t use this drive.
  • E:\. It is the drive of your memory card. Normally, this is the place where we install applications and install our data.
  • Z:\. This is where the ROM image is stored. It contains all the operating system’s applications and data files. Since it is read-only memory, you cannot write anything. The only way to modify the contents of Z:\ drive is by flashing the phone, for example via Nokia Software Updater.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Symbian Platform Identification Codes

Devices based on the S60 platform have a built-in mechanism to warn users attempting to install incompatible software — either a non-S60-based application or an S60-based application targeted at a newer platform release than the release of the device into which the application is being installed. Incompatibility can also be an issue when S60-based applications that are built only for a particular S60 device model are being installed on a different S60 device model. An example of an application that is incompatible with a device model is a camera application that is being installed into a device that does not have a camera.

All installation packages of S60 applications should contain the id-sequence in order to facilitate smooth installation of the software. If the id-sequence is not found or the id-sequence is not recognized by a device (for example, the id-sequence refers to a newer platform release than the release supported by the device), the user will get a notification about the potential incompatibility. Depending on the platform release, the installation process can be continued, but at the risk of application functionality failure.

To avoid the above failures the identification code is specified as a requisite in the installation package file (.pkg).

For 3.x and above.
[0x101F7961], 0, 0, 0, {"Series60ProductID"}

For 1.x and 2.x
; Platform ID for S60 2nd Edition
(0x101F7960), 0, 0, 0, {" Series60ProductID"}

For more Information you can refer to

Monday, November 06, 2006

Symbian Signed means less choice

They say "Symbian Signed is designed to keep troublemakers out. Both intentional troublemakers such as virus writers and unintentional troublemakers such as software with critical bugs. The idea is to have an outside third party company doing the testing in order to have the same rules and tests for everyone".

To me, this sounds too good to be true. Unrealistic.

In my opinion the reality is that Symbian Signed keeps many developers out! Less software for Symbian phones, less choice...


BREW publishers and developers are invited to submit their top BREW applications for consideration by completing an online entry form and providing a demo of their application. Finalists will be announced on the BREW 2007 Web site on May 21 and winners will be revealed at the awards ceremony hosted during the BREW 2007 Conference.

For reading full Story
Vista gets official release dates

Thanks crahak for posting this in BPTN. Microsoft has set November 30 as the release date for Vista (and Office 2007) to business customers and January 30, 2007 as the date for the official launch to consumers and The World At Large. Five years, three months and five days after Windows XP made its debut, Microsoft will usher its next-generation OS onto the stage.
APC has been advised by a very well placed source that January 30, 2007 is about to be announced as the official release date for Vista.

In addition, in a move that mirrors previous side-by-side launches of Microsoft's OS and Office suite (in the 95 and XP waves), Office 2007 will also touch down on that day. However, as previously planned, Vista and Office 2007 will first step out for a 'business launch' on November 30 (alongside Exchange 2007). From that date, the programs will be available to corporate customers who hold an enterprise licence or software assurance deal with Microsoft.

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