Feeds

Nokia admits 'open' Symbian is not open

Open is the new closed

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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are excited about the completion of the transfer period, during which code delivery from the Symbian Foundation has now been replaced by an open and direct model from Nokia."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.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.