Not Open Source, just Open for Business

We have received questions about the use of words “open”, “open source”, and about having a registration process before allowing access to the code.

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.

Also consistently with the announcement, we are monitoring the registrations and approving the aforementioned platform collaborators only. There is a backlog of registrations which we are processing continuously.

Additionally, Nokia is committed to supporting application developers to leverage the continuing opportunity from Symbian and Qt, they can get that support, including development tools, documentation and other assistance from Forum Nokia.

symbian.nokia.com

45 Responses to Not Open Source, just Open for Business

  1. What about the use case where developers of Symbian apps would like to review the Symbian source code to clarify, for example, an insufficiently documented API or to verify a bug they believe they have found?

    This is probably most important for developers of relatively low-level applications, but potentially something that every developer can benefit from.

    Having access to the source code would be invaluable for this purpose – is this something that is envisioned, too?

  2. Thanks for the correction/clarification.

    It is even less open than I thought. Those who are not already platform collaborators seem to have no chance to have their registrations approved.

  3. CODeRUS says:

    Not open source anymore?
    Why did you turn away from the users?
    Are you saying that Symbian ^ 3 will be an open platform and we’ll make it for myself for the better.

  4. T. says:

    Sad.

    Now I like Android more.

    • epdm2be says:

      Funny how nobody complains to Microsoft about “source code is not free”.

      1) You all seem to forget that Nokia paid for Symbian. Why should Nokia pay for it and you should get it for free? I perfectly understand that Nokia only releases Source code to (active and) Nokia appointed developers.

      2) To program for Symbian you don’t need the source code. You need sufficiently documented API’s and necesarry programing environment tools (I believe Nokia recommends QT) aka SDK.

      to Mr Marcus Gröber: if you do find a bug in some API (or think you found one), can’t you report this to Nokia with RFC or a request to rectify this bug? Let them repair the API and then you can go on. That’s not a big deal and you dont have to be responisble for the API at all.

      And if you need more documentation why can’t you just “ask” Nokia for the required information? I fail to see why you’d need to have the source code.

      BTW. About what low-level applications are we talking?

  5. Tim says:

    What a shame!

  6. molbal says:

    Eeeeerm, making Symbian’s source closed was not a good point in my eyes.

  7. Fliegenpilz says:

    The “Head of Open Source” announces a now closed source Symbian?
    Shame on Nokia…

  8. CODeRUS says:

    you have little money or what? tell us how much we will collect and pay you again to the source code were available for everyone!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just so you know, I no longer care.

    I was excited about symbian going open source. It had a name of a good pedigree and such. I even bought a symbian phone in hopes of being able to roll my own OS image and tinkering with it. You know, make it dance as only open source hackers can.

    Turns out that just wasn’t in the works. A hundred million handsets Out There and this “open source” was perfectly unusable for any of them. What a deception. What an utter letdown.

    I had a bright-eyed list of things I wanted to add. That list is still there. Nothing got fixed. There’s also an ever-growing list of bugs that tells me just how stupid your software really is. It’s not pretty. In fact the phone is less usable on a point-for-point basis than the decade old dumbphone I thought I’d finally replace. That one “just works” for everything that I did with it. This one “has issues”. Lots of them. The comparison to the issues nokia as a whole has, is tempting.

    Now you’re playing the wooly words game again. Semantics shemantics. Your “open” is a lie. You aren’t an enabler. You can’t be trusted to keep your own promises. You aren’t even an innovator any longer.

    Nokia, you suck. And that’s all there is to it. No more nokia for me.

    • epdm2be says:

      Funny. I bought my C7 because I got fed-up with those “fashion phones”. I wanted a (hack free) phone that just bloody worked. Most (today I can say ALL) of these smartphones aren’t smart. They lack proper communication features (like incall-recording), toggling silent mode and bluetooth from the telephone-keypad (like any other featurephone). This is the only phone that automatically gets on my Wifi when I’m home and on GSM-internet when I’m away without constantly enabling and disabling wifi and/or gsm-data. It takes decent pictures and awesome videoclips. Plays (divx/xvid) movies with subtitles without any problems, has a fine FM-radio and that FM-transmitter totally rocks!

      I’m glad I bought this C7. Terrific value for money for 350 euro (VAT incl.).

      And the best part, it doesn’t need a condom over its head just to call someone!

      Just register yourselves as developpers, grab the SDK and QT. And stop complaining. Start writing!

  10. That smells like [m]s#it.

  11. Luis says:

    just Open for Business…

    lol, good luck.

  12. trumm says:

    And You, Nokia, got 22M EUR from EU for Symbian development… public money…

  13. Sander van der Wal says:

    The Symbian source code that has been released under the EPL is still Open Source.

    Nokia, as the copyright holder of the Symbian source code, is free to release new versions of said code under a new license, because the EPL does not forbid this.

    But people can still use the EPL version of Symbian, if they want to do that.

  14. Wuhaojun says:

    I’m a application developer from china.Do you mean you only open source to the collaborators?Not to the all people?And how can i get the code….

  15. niraj says:

    symbian sucks in front of android

    • epdm2be says:

      I disagree.
      As an avid supporter of European IT (I was former distributor of RISC OS and Acorn Computers systems whom invented the ARM cpu). In fact due to latest negative comments on Nokia I’ve put my money where my mouth is.

      I actually bought a C7 myself and convinced other ppl to get a Nokia smartphone as well. If just to support the Symbian crew of Nokia (and beyond).

      This is the last European OS alive. We CAN’T let it die.

  16. Hans Gruber says:

    So basically, you have Nooooooo idea that open would be mistake for open source and are sorry that this cause confusion but its really not your fault.

    Then you add:
    >available under an alternative, open and direct model,

    Can you just stop using the word open?
    You are like a 2 year old who has learned the word ‘caca’ and are abusing it by throwing it around aimlessly.

    The old way was open, the new way is ‘less than open’.
    Maybe not totally closed but definitely not as open as it once was.
    And anything less than before it a little more closed.

    On second thought, dont read this… it could make you even more confused.

  17. Hans Gruber says:

    So basically, you have Nooooooo idea that open would be mistake for open source and are sorry that this cause confusion but its really not your fault.

    Then you add:
    >available under an alternative, open and direct model,

    Can you just stop using the word open?
    You are like a 2 year old who has learned the word \’caca\’ and are abusing it by throwing it around aimlessly.

    The old way was open, the new way is \’less than open\’.
    Maybe not totally closed but definitely not as open as it once was.
    And anything less than before it a little more closed.

    On second thought, dont read this… it could make you even more confused.

  18. Sergio Aguayo says:

    Nokia shooting their feet as always. What would you expect from a CEO coming from Microsoft?

    • epdm2be says:

      As always?
      Funny yesterday i helped a friend with her E71. She was on firmware 2.0 which I upgraded to firmware 5. This is a 3 years old phone for christs sake. And it does everything it’s suposed to do very well. Including playing music. I taught her how to put music on it through OVI and she’s ditching her brand new ipod nano for her 3 year old E71. That’s amazing.

      Actually I was pretty surprised of that phone myself. Very good usebility, great solid feel in hand with metal and glass. And the damn thing just works. Press # to change silent mode, press * to toggle bluetooth. Call quality was great and she told me she has better reception then her husband with his HTC HD2.

      • epdm2be says:

        Forget to mention: I admit Nokia should ditch MSFT CEO. Going to bed with MSFT is bad idea. Especially when Symbian is such a good core-OS.

        Nokia just needs to sit and be patient. Soon as ppl will be fed-up on iPhone, Android (which isn’t as Open as everybody thinks) and especially windows phone 7 (which looses most of the functionality that windows Mobile had).

        They’ll come back. After they too are fed-up with gfx gimmicks and just too much missed calls, too much being abandoned from new Android versions, too much promises but never delivering. Wanting something solid that they can rely on. A phone to make phone calls not to sweep the screen for fart-noises.

  19. Symbiatch says:

    Now, can you also tell us what happened/will happen to SYMBEOSE? I mean, the EU was going to give/gave Symbian millions of euros. It was supposed to be an open system and stuff. Now that Symbian is going away and is also closed source, did the EU take the money back? I hope so, but nobody seems to know or at least won’t tell me…

  20. Steg says:

    Wuhaojun, there is a full dump of the source code as of 07/12/2010 at SourceForge under the original EPL license. The URL is http://sourceforge.net/projects/symbiandump/

    HTH in some way.

  21. bigbrovar says:

    Its all makes sense, as much as Nokia wants to abandon symbian, Its knows that the old horse still got potential hence it while it wants to still make money from it, It wants to put a lid on its development so that rival companies can not pick and build ontop of what nokia already has. That way they can be sure someone will not pick symbian and use it to bite them back. This is the Microsoft way of thinking. and am not even surprised.

  22. Jeswin Simon says:

    Your so called ‘future development of symbian’ is just a gimmick to prevent a drop in the sales of your existing symbian smartphones. Nokia has contributed nothing much to symbian and ever will. PR1.1 PR2.0 this drama will go till end of 2012, Don’t get fooled developers. Symbian is dead, Nokia killed it on feb11 2011.

  23. Christophe D says:

    I don’t understand why so many people complain here. I was approved fairly quickly and had no problem accessing the source. It’s not open-source, right. Still a very nice mobile OS (and I wish Nokia had decided to support it all along instead of switching to Windows Phone 7).

  24. ifdefnt1 says:

    I may have only ever had time to play with Symbian for noddy apps, the fact is I could… whenever I fancied it. Have only ever chosen Nokia phones since my first 1611. Unfortunately, with this move, and the ever increasing number of half fixes and ‘almost there’ phones, even the up-coming E7 will not be reason enough not to go Android. Sorry Nokia, been nice knowing you :(

  25. Ibrahim says:

    please Nokia consider you primary OS again
    put your effort in a winning platform
    consider android or reinvent Symbian
    win7 may vapor your lasting power
    please consider android for your smart phones

  26. orpheus says:

    It seems like nokia people are threatened from someone of the outside in order to make moves that will kill the company! I am serious!
    These moves are not sensible! The cooperation with microsoft(so sudden and unexpected!), the almost dead symbian from now and on and a hundred of other suicides! What’s going on with you nokia people?!
    You used to be side to side with the customer and that’s why you were always first! People appreciated that! But now you daily disappoint even the most permanent fans you had!
    Anyways! I wish good luck to you nokia people! You are going to need this! And I am still waiting from you to impress me! Or I am just fantasized with this hope!

  27. CODeRUS says:

    So… Symbian will closed soon. Some years, no more.
    But its long time for users, Why do you reject the developers?
    So many talented people around as you turn away.

    This is due to рфслы? This was is and will be on each closed system and do not avoid ever.
    This is the only outcome of futile attempts to block the movement to improve.
    It is inevitable, do you hear? The only right way now – a full Open Source!
    You get enough money from the sale of devices for financing development, the world tends to balance, and you’re constantly trying to cash in on people.
    You never miss the opportunity to earn at any thing.

    Wake up! Look around! World no longer one that before!

    We believe in you, until recently, we’ll believe in you, just do not turn away from us, be with us, but do not try to cash in on us.

    Please read my post.

  28. mohammed salem says:

    hi nokia i`m very sad to reading this report
    plz make it open source as android or as maemo
    plz do it

    tks

  29. Not2Sure says:

    Where is the source available for the Symbian platform that was licensed under the terms of the EPL?

  30. rem5800 says:

    heh ! poor nokia …
    I think u should now change NOKIA’s
    “Connecting People ” to “Disconnecting everyone!!”
    Now I really beginning to believe that NOKIA is really fully careless about their customers/developers…. this is really so disappointing to see the closed source again on the basis of current market condition against the rising of a fully open source Android OS :(
    we people from all around the world would make it better like linux was if Symbian open source !!

  31. rem5800 says:

    heh ! poor nokia …
    I think u should now change NOKIA’s
    “Connecting People” to “Disconnecting everyone!!”
    Now I am really beleiving that NOKIA is really fully careless about their customers/developers…. this is really so disappointing to see the source is closed again on the basis of current market condition against the rising of a fully open source Android OS :(
    we people from all around the world would make it better like linux was if Symbian open source !!

  32. Virtual Reaper says:

    Nice! Another one for /dev/null.

  33. smartphone says:

    with this step I say:

    bye nokia this is end of your time

  34. tomas achaval says:

    Something is odd here, It looks like you are trying really hard to go bankrupt.
    It feels like the original owners were kiked out and bankers were put to manage a tecnology company, wich they are not fit to do because there is only money in their head, not passion, not inovation and not client satisfaccion. That will cause that no one will want to buy nokia and no one will want to work for you, because you dont have a clear long term objective.

    You may do well this quater but you wont last 3 years with this kind of desitions.

    I am writing this because I am very keen on nokia. I have Bought nokia for years, the software was so good/simple/intuitive that even my grandmother could use it.

    And now you are going for the worst software in the market, one that had to pay you to have you as a client. when there is a fantastic open source one that everyone Is using.
    Well may be you are trying to be diferent from every one else, you could use symbian and have people write apps
    You could be a mayor player if you finish it quickly and stop deseaving your clients and developers.

    I hope the best comes out of this turmoil

  35. openup says:

    RIP Nokia!

    I was sort of waiting for Nokia to show of this new open platform with Symbian and Meego, bridged by Qt. I thought they had a potensial to rival android. Now this new ceo are breaking nokias feets. Goodbye Nokia.

  36. Walter says:

    Well, if you, Nokia, were losing market share, I hope now you’re going to beg people to buy your buggy, closed, useless and expensive phones.
    You won’t be able to get better, you should know: the new CEO just made a move that will bring Nokia to hell, WP7 will give you a short breath and, after them, everyone will remember you as the “Old, good Finnish company which once produced the best mobiles!”.
    Adieu

  37. autobazar says:

    Thanks – where is article source?