Symbian Foundation is completing its transition to a licensing body

In 2009, we established the Symbian Foundation to make the Symbian platform available open source and royalty-free. In November 2010 we announced that the foundation would ramp down its operational activities as a result of changes in global economic and market conditions.

We are now well underway with transitioning the foundation from a non-profit organisation responsible for governing the open development and curation of the Symbian platform, to a licensing entity with no permanent staff. Moving forward, the foundation will be responsible only for specific licensing and legal frameworks put in place during the open sourcing of the platform.

The Symbian platform will continue to evolve under Nokia, who have committed to make the future development of the platform available via an alternative direct and open model.

Due to this transition, many of the operations and services the foundation provided to the Symbian community have now ceased. With the exception of this blog site, the foundation’s public websites have closed, along with open access to the Symbian source code.

However, much of the foundation’s data is available to the public via FTP until 31 March 2011. For access to this content, please e-mail Some content is still controlled under certain licenses; Symbian Foundation members will continue to have access to Symbian Foundation License content.

Specifically, the FTP site will allow access to:

  1. Current platform source code

  2. Platform Development Kits:
    • S^2 PDK 2.0.3 (parts of S^2 are only available to current Symbian Foundation members)
    • S^3 PDK 3.0.4
    • S^4 PDK 4.0.a
  3. Databases:
    • Database exports from Bugzilla, Wiki, Forums, Ideas and Symbian Horizon.
      NOTE: all private, personal information has been removed
  4. Documentation:
    • HTML source for the platform reference documentation and public mailing lists

Access to the FTP site will cease on 31 March 2011; by this date we anticipate a new model for hosting Symbian code will be available from Nokia.

You can find more information on Nokia’s plans for Symbian at Forum Nokia is the best place to access developer support for Symbian, including tools, documentation, technical support, and discussion boards.

We would like to extend our deepest thanks to everyone who contributed to the major milestones achieved at the Symbian Foundation. We can all be proud of these accomplishments – some not seen before in the history of computing, such as the completion of the largest transition to open source of any commercial codebase in software history. We would also like to extend warm thanks to the entire member community for their continued commitment to the Symbian platform.

We are confident that these are absolutely the right changes in the context of today’s market and economy, and we look forward to watching a new era of success for the Symbian platform unfold.
Read more »

Snakes alive

Python on Symbian: Mobile app development made easy

Our new book “Python on Symbian” is now available in printed form on here.

We’ve working on it for over a year, but it was still a surprise when the final printed copy came to over 600 pages of expert-written text, diagrams and examples! Python on Symbian remains freely available on the wiki. However if you’re like us there is something satisfying in having a printed book – and as it is priced to cover costs, you can afford to!

Python on Symbian is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to create powerful mobile apps on Symbian without the overhead of learning C++. It covers everything from an overview of the Python programming language syntax through to how to write graphical applications that take advantage of touch screen, networking, sensors and other features of modern mobile devices. This definitely is a book for the faint-hearted, while still offering plenty of useful advice and tips for expert developers.

With the recent news that Nokia are keeping the current platform UI libraries, the book will continue to be relevant for the forseeable future. Hope you enjoy it!

Pizero Design

Michele Cerretta from Pizero Design was at the theming kiosk at SEE 2010 helping attendees to personalise and customise their Symbian devices.

Symbian is the only themeable platform that allows you to completely change the appearance of your device with just a few taps to the screen.

The Science of Touch

Haptics comes from the Greek word meaning “the science of touch” and in this video from SEE 2010 Terence Warmbier talks about how Immersion Corporation are putting touch back into the digital environment.

They can create the real physical feeling of a keyboard on your touch screen device, simulate the actual weight of a ball moving around on your device’s screen or enable you to feel the beat and rhythm of your ringtone, even when on silent. It’s very exciting technology.

Graphical installation and packaging tool for Symbian

Hi there, I’m Daniel Persson former, UIQ Technology developer and founder of ToolAware. ToolAware is a Swedish start-up company developing software tools primarily for the mobile phone industry. We have recently released our first product, PackageForge, which is a graphical installation and packaging tool for Symbian. In this post I wanted to let everyone know that there now exists a proper tool for creating and maintaining installation packages for your applications, and to talk a little bit about how it can help you out in your daily work.

Basically, PackageForge is an advanced front-end to the makesis and signsis tools that are already included in the Symbian SDK. Depending on how advanced the packages you’ve created in the past were, your experience with these command lines tools and the “PKG file format” will vary. Read more »

Jo Harlow at SEE 2010

Jo Harlow, Senior Vice President, Symbian Smartphones at Nokia, talks about their presence at SEE 2010, development on Qt and the future of Symbian.

Tim Holbrow at SEE 2010

Tim talks to us at SEE 2010 about the event, the community and the recent changes at Symbian.

Day 2 of SEE 2010

Here we are at Day 2 of SEE 2010 and even though one or two attendees are feeling the effects of last night’s awesome party at the Heineken Experience, we’re all enjoying the fascinating BoFs, demos and presentations in the three tracks that are on today.

Tim Holbrow has just presented the Symbian Open Source Community Awards with Shiv Sood winning the award for most active individual contributor (person not company), and the Wild Ducks team for most active package or incubation project in the second half of 2010. They narrowly edged out some very tough competition, but they were certainly well deserved.

Today’s Symbian duck grab has just happened right behind me and I can admit that I was one of the many scrambling to get a new yellow friend. I was very excited to see Comarch’s lego-made mobile-controlled Qt-based drawing robot and I was blown away by the Nokia guy making art on ducks. It’s all fun and games down here so if you’re in Amsterdam, drop by and say hello to the Symbian folk and all the community representatives.

SEE 2010 – it’s on!

Day 1 of SEE 2010 is well and truly underway and there’s an exciting buzz in the air. Attendees have been discovering all the cool apps and demos in the Experience Zone, catching up with old friends and colleagues, and taking part in promising discussions and meetings with other members of the Symbian community. It’s off to a great start!

Tim Holbrow’s keynote speech opened up the conference, where he outlined a few changes to the Symbian Foundation, followed by Jo Harlow and Mike Kuniavsky, both giving really interesting and inspiring presentations. With the news that Symbian has shipped over 400 million devices as of Q3 2010 and with Nokia’s reaffirmed commitment to the platform, the future of Symbian and the ecosystem certainly remains bright.

The tracks, hands-on labs and BoFs are in full swing right now and will be busy all through the afternoon. As I sit in the Nokia hands-on lab surrounded by people trying out the new Nokia Qt SDK, I can tell you that everyone is happily learning new things and making new friends. And we’re definitely all looking forward to chatting further at the party later this evening! Remember, it’s free for all SEE 2010 attendees.

So if you’re in Amsterdam, come on down and take a look at all the fun things happening, jump into a session or just have a chat with one of the many community representatives here at SEE 2010.

Changes at the Symbian Foundation

Yesterday we made an announcement that the Symbian Foundation board has decided to transition the non-profit organization to being a pure licensing body. This means there will be an immediate reduction in staff and activity and by April 2011, the Symbian Foundation will be governed by a group of non-executive directors tasked with overseeing the organisation’s licensing function.

What I want to emphasize in this news is the difference between the Symbian Foundation and the Symbian platform, as the future of the two are totally separate. The reduction of Symbian Foundation activities does not mean the end of the Symbian platform. Far from it when you look at recent metrics and realise that 2010 has been the best year ever for the Symbian platform with around 40% growth year-on-year.

When it comes to the platform, we will be working with Nokia to support the plans that they have outlined to make the Symbian platform publicly available under an alternative direct and open model. I’m confident that this process will leave the Symbian platform and its ecosystem in very good hands. Read more »