Feeds

Nokia admits 'open' Symbian is not open

Open is the new closed

Top three mobile application threats

Nokia has admitted that its "open and direct" Symbian source code is not open, proving – once again – that the word has been stripped of all discernible meaning.

Late last week, a little over three months after the Symbian Foundation shut down its web servers, Nokia returned the Symbian source code to the web. It announced the move with a blog post entitled "We are open!", and the post was penned by Petra Söderling, the "Head of Open Source" for Symbian smartphones.

"Nokia is making the latest version of the Symbian platform’s source code available to our platform development partners," Söderling said. "We are excited about the completion of the transfer period, during which code delivery from the Symbian Foundation has now been replaced by an open and direct model from Nokia."

But as several commentators pointed out, the code was not open source. It carried something called a Nokia Symbian license, which says "the Source Code Components are confidential information of Nokia and/or its licensors".

"This looks bad," wrote Open Source Initiative director Simon Phipps. "Not only has Nokia closed the source code to Symbian, it is pretending there’s no problem. I really hope they fix this fast."

And now they have. But they insist the never misled. "We have received questions about the use of words 'open', 'open source', and about having a registration process before allowing access to the code," the company said in a blog post on Tuesday entitled "Not Open Source, just Open for Business".

"As we have consistently said, Nokia is making the Symbian platform available under an alternative, open and direct model, to enable us to continue working with the remaining Japanese OEMs and the relatively small community of platform development collaborators we are already working with.

"Through these pages we are releasing source code to these collaborators, but are not maintaining Symbian as an open source development project. Consistent with this, the Nokia Symbian License is an alternative license which provides an access to Nokia’s additional Symbian development for parties which collaborate with Nokia on the Symbian platform."

Even Google must admire such, er, openness. ®

Bootnote

As The H Online points out, open source Symbian code was dumped onto other servers before the Foundation closed its doors. You can find it here and here.

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.