Nokia Offers Eclipse-Based Tools for Symbian

What's the biggest stumbling block for the Symbian device OS? According to D’arcy Salzmann, senior product and tools partners manager at Nokia, it's the lack of a coherent tools story.

Nokia is rewriting that story with the release of a new line of commercially available Symbian developer tools built on the open-source Eclipse framework. Dubbed Carbide.c++, it pulls together Nokia’s tools into a tiered family of products designed, as Nokia puts it, to "offer flexibility to developers at all levels and in all segments of the Symbian ecosystem, from professionals needing powerful debugging support for hardware creation to the novice seeking entry-level access to Symbian application development."

The announcement comes hot on the heels of news of Nokia’s decision to join the Eclipse Foundation as a Strategic Developer and board member. The mobicom will serve as lead in the Eclipse Foundation's new Mobile Java Tools Project (MJT), the purpose of which is to create a framework for mobile Java developer tools, including complete tooling support for J2ME.

But as the EF's executive director, Mike Milinkovich, is often heard to say, Eclipse isn't just about Java. Salzmann couldn't agree more.

"This is a logical follow-on from that announcement," he says. "We intend to use assets from the Eclipse Foundation to build commercial tools for C++. The Symbian OS is written in C++, and the native applications that target that OS are also written in C++. It shows the flexibility of the Eclipse assets--that a company like Nokia can take the base IDE, add in specific technology that is unique and that we own—in this case it’s debugging and compilation technology for C++—and bring commercial tools to market based on Eclipse. It shows the breadth of the Eclipse offering--that you can build open-source tools and contribute to an open-source community, and still build commercial tools."

Launced at the Symbian Smartphone Show in London in October, The Carbide.c++ product line includes:

  • Carbide.c++ Professional Edition, designed for professional Symbian OS developers who focus on Symbian device development and high-performance applications and require early access to next-generation Symbian OS support and technical specifications
  • Carbide.c++ Developer Edition, offering a new graphical Rapid Application Development tool to ease C++ development for both Series 60 and UIQ mobile platforms, meeting the requirements of advanced-level application developers by providing improved productivity tools for application development and debugging on Symbian OS devices
  • Carbide.c++ Express, an entry-level tool available for download at no cost to invite all programmers to explore Symbian OS, providing a complete set of application development tools needed to target the Series 60 and UIQ SDKs and to build and deploy applications to devices

“We’re the logical candidate to invest in development tools for the Symbian OS, because we’re the largest manufacturer shipping devices based on Symbian,” Salzmann says. “The way we see this market, the rising tide of Symbian OS devices will lift all boats, including ours. The success of an application on any of Symbian-based devices is going to be a win for all of us with a stake in the success of Symbian OS.”

For more information, go to Nokia. Or go to the home of Nokia's global developer program, Forum Nokia.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].