Feeds

Symbian needs your help. Please

Especially on a Friday

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Symbian won't run unless a lot of volunteers get their hands dirty, with internal sources confirming it's most likely to be three months before the code can compile.

There are two issues here: getting the source code to compile, and getting v3 (once it's compiled) to boot into a GUI. The former needs an open source toolchain, based on GCC, but this throws up around 150 errors, and won't produce a working executable.

Before jetting off to Barcelona, Symbian's Mark Wilcox dropped us this note:

I'd be pretty disappointed if it took us three months to get GCC compatibility. If no-one but Symbian Foundation staff worked on it then it could take that long... We're trying to work with the community to fix these errors. We've already had one prominent hobbyist and some of the Qt team at Nokia volunteer to get involved (they have "creative Fridays" with 20% of their time to work on any relevant project of their choosing). This really is a case of many hands make light work. It's not the most interesting work though, so motivating volunteer effort is part of the challenge.

A source explained that the 30 packages which refuse to compile are packages 'owned' by Nokia, so it's very much a spare time effort for Finland's finest. "Three months is realistic," said a source close to Symbian. The Symbian Foundation claimed it had released the source "four months" early according to its release schedule, but if the code doesn't compile, then it's not ready for prime time.

As for the Symbian^3 graphics, which were shown in Barcelona in demos this week, Mark explained:

"Getting the new graphics adaptation working... is fairly ambitious for the end of February, although there are still plenty of unknowns at this point - it could be working next week! However, the graphics is purely our effort and its not easy for someone else to step in and help (we have some support from Nokia with their new code of course), whereas the compiler compatibility progress will be somewhat dependent on the level of volunteer effort."

So there you have it. Google and Microsoft have billions at their disposal, while poor old Symbian is calling for volunteers, and all hands on deck. You have to sympathise.

One developer and Symbian fan sounded pessimistic:

"Seeing Symbian effectively put to sleep like this is a shame: one of the few remaining alternatives to the Cult of Unix crashes off the speedway, leaving only Microsoft as the remaining competitor. I don't think this is healthy for the industry," he told us.

To complicate things, Nokia and Intel created a big splash, by combining their Linux efforts into one very ambitious project called MeeGo. This will be targeted at everything from phones to set top boxes. That's another temptation for a prospective volunteer.

Symbian denies the early release of the code - which doesn't compile - before Barcelona was timed to achieve executive's bonuses. Sources put this in the region of six figures per suit. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
You! AT&T! The only thing 'unlimited' about you is your CHEEK, growl feds
Man, we did everything but knock on their doors - carrier
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Watch out, Samsung and Apple: Xiaomi's No 3 in smartphones now
From obscurity to selling 19 million mobes a quarter
Brazil greenlights $200m internet cable to Europe in bid to outfox NSA
Only one problem: it won't make the slightest difference. And they know it
Wanna hop carriers with your iPad's Apple SIM? AVOID AT&T
Unless you want your network-swapping tech disabled for good, that is
Knocking Knox: Samsung DENIES vuln claims, says mysterious blogger is a JOKER
But YES, system does store encryption key on the device
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.