Free Dev Tools for Symbian C++ and Java Development


UPDATE: I'm completely on crack. It's just the CodeWarrior Series 60 SDK that's available - you still have to have the dev studio in order to use it. Duh. Well the rest of the post is valid still:

I love FREE dev tools.

In addition to the CodeWarrior Wireless Dev Kit which is available for a free download on Motorola's dev site Motocoder, and Borland's C++ Mobile Edition for Series 60 from Nokia's Forum, you can now download buy for $399 the CodeWarrior Development Studio for Symbian OS v2, Personal Edition.

Compare the tool choices now to a year ago and its astounding. Last year, doing Symbian dev meant having a copy of Visual C++ 6 and messing with the weirdly packed SDKs etc. No integrated products like these. And Java development has been improved 2000% by the presence of Eclipse and Ant.

Actually, even though I downloaded CodeWarrior Wireless, I'm actually doing my J2ME development using Eclipse plus the Antenna J2ME Ant plug-in using Nokia's Series60 J2ME emulator to test. The Nokia emulator is pretty nice because I can add debug flags to the start up and then step through the code in Eclipse. This is something that CodeWarrior Wireless does right out of the box, but I know Java well and don't need to be hand-held by the IDE. I want to know the process a bit more deeply and am familiar with Eclipse/Ant, so this works well.

However, when it comes to C++ dev I'm a complete newbie. Having Codewarrior wrap everything up and present it to me in bite-sized pieces complete with HelloWorld apps, etc. is EXACTLY what I need. There's definitely an argument to be made for switching to CodeWarrior completely. If I got used to its UI, I could "live" in it to both develop Java apps as well as learn to program in C++ for Symbian's as well.

In addition to all this, I think if the rumors are correct, Symbian's going to release OPL - the "Organizer Programming Language" similar to Visual Basic - as an open source dev tool and maybe a runtime for OS 6.1+. This sounds like it wouldn't be anything special, but having a tool where you could simply create apps using a scripting language on your phone would pretty much rule, especially for the Series 60. Right now there's the choice of writing C++ native apps (a detailed process which is right now beyond me) or limiting yourself to J2ME Midlets which can arrive (OTA) Over The Air and are small and relatively easy to develop, but are limited to their sandbox. OPL would fit in rather perfectly. For the P800, I'd probably just use PersonalJava, but still, OPL would be a welcome addition.

We'll find out for sure in a couple weeks at the Exposium conference... but it's a good time to be a mobile developer!


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