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Programming for the Series 60 Platform and Symbian OS (Symbian Press) Paperback – 29 Oct 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 550 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (29 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470849487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470849484
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 3.2 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,781,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

" an excellent book for Java and C++ programmers seeking to develop their knowledge of the series 60 platform " (M2 Best Books, 19 February 2003)

From the Author

Interview with the lead author of the book at Digia Inc. October 2002

Q: WHO IS THE BOOK AIMED AT AND WHAT VALUE DOES IT BRING TO THE READERS?

A: Mainly at Series 60 Platform based application developers. We believe that the platform will become a success, and as a result independent software companies, service providers, and network operators will want to develop their own applications for the platform. The book helps developers to learn to efficiently implement their applications on top of this platform.

The book will also be of interest to device manufacturers licensing the platform. It describes the possibilities and constraints of the platform and the principles of porting it to new hardware. We also took into account readers who just want to have a high level view of the whole platform. This kind of general view can be achieved by reading the introduction chapter of each of the four parts of the book.

Q: WHAT KIND OF BACKGROUND IS REQUIRED FROM THE READER?

A: The book is appropriate for readers with various levels of background and experience. Each of the four parts of the book starts with an introduction to a specific topic including framework, user interface programming, communications programming, and Java programming. Introduction chapters do not require in-depth technical knowledge and can be read by people who are not developing software for the Series 60 Platform themselves, but who have a business interest in the subject.

Q: SO HOW EASY IS IT TO START CREATING APPLICATIONS FOR SERIES 60 PLATFORM AND SYMBIAN OS BASED DEVICES?

A: In the beginning, theory seems to be more difficult than practice. Applications are actually software libraries executed by the Symbian OS application framework. These frameworks are different between UI styles, but it is very easy to learn a new one after being familiar with one of them. In practice it is possible to use the Application Wizard, which creates classes required by the framework for you. With makefile format it is easy to build software. After creating the framework classes, it is possible to start developing your own C++ code either using Symbian OS features or just ignoring them. We start the book by describing this process and the structure of the application framework using a rock-paper-scissors game as an example in the first chapters of the book.

The Series 60 application framework has been described in Chapter 8, which is a good starting point for developers having experience with Symbian OS. The chapter explains, in addition to the framework itself, how it differs from the frameworks of other UI styles. After knowing the basics, there is no need to read all the pages in the sequence. The reader may directly jump to a specific topic, for example, to grids, Bluetooth or UI design, if development requires special knowledge of any of these areas.

Q: HOW ABOUT CODE THAT HAS BEEN DEVELOPED FOR OTHER ENVIRONMENTS? HOW CAN IT BE MADE FUNCTIONAL ON SERIES 60 PLATFORM BASED AND OTHER, SYMBIAN OS BASED DEVICES?

A: The Symbian OS application framework has been designed in such a way that the user interface and other parts (engine) of the software are separate. Between devices it should be possible to use the same engine and the only required changes are made to the user interface part. It is important that new versions of software components are backwards binary compatible to ensure that the engine also works with future device releases. A central concept of the Series 60 Platform is that all applications can be directly run on any Series 60 Platform based device.

Q: WHAT IS THE NEXT GENERATION OF MOBILE COMPUTING GOING TO LOOK LIKE? WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE TEN YEARS FROM NOW?

A: One bottleneck of current devices is the bandwidth of the HCI (Human-Computer-Interface). You have sound, colour display with some resolution, and a keypad or full keyboard. One problem is the device size, if you want more bandwidth, you may need a bigger screen, a better keyboard, and so on. Given these constraints, I believe it is the user interface which must dramatically change before it is feasible to provide totally new types of services. The phone device itself could be a small box with one or zero buttons (to switch the phone on and off) which communicates with user interface devices wirelessly using a technology such as Bluetooth. The display can be integrated into e.g. sunglasses and may be stereoscopic. The glasses also have a microphone and earphones providing 3D sound making the sensation of being inside a virtual world more real. Keyboards can be replaced by speech recognition or a virtual keyboard, where the user sees the keyboard (and can customize it of course) in the display of the sunglasses. The glasses could include a camera integrated into the glasses recognizing a pen tip or user's finger position in the virtual keyboard. There are many ways to implement this.

When it comes to the applications, using an immersed HUD display as above, the 3D used currently in PC games could be brought to business use - instead of driving to work, stay home, switch on a virtual view of your office, and start working.

Wireless high-capacity short range network connects not only the user interface peripherals of the mobile phone but provides also a ubiquitous access to the user's environment. This should enable the share of personal data with other devices in a safe and secure way. In spite of imaginary devices, the value of mobile computing will not be the device hardware but the data it includes and this data is linked to the user.
Technically many of the problems have been solved, but the price of this kind of a system remains too high for consumer products. There are many issues affecting the road to 5th and 6th generation phones, but it will be an exciting ride.


Inside This Book

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First Sentence
The market drive towards advanced mobile services such as multimedia messaging and wireless access to the Internet sets high requirements for the terminals and networks. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book has an unfortunate handicap in that it assumes that there is adequate documentation provided by the OS designers to be used in junction with the book when writing programs. The book alone is not enough to write applications. Some sections on the AVKON api are dealt with is such little detail that they would be useless even with the API documentation to hand. For example, the books treatment of event handling is poor and difficult areas of UI development such as Forms are not really dealt with at all. I would have preferred not to have seen most of the first 150 pages would have prefered have the valuable space given to programming examples or more detailed architectural issues.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first 7 chapters of the book are just that, a brief introduction to software management, design and testing (with nice pictures about story-board testing an application, oh come on!!). Subsequently there is less than can be gained from the SDK documentation examples.
As a reference book it singularly fails to guide the reader through writing for Symbian series 60, the pitfalls and common practice. The competition: "Professional Symbian Programming: Mobile Solutions on the EPOC Platform", though quite difficult to work with at first, has proved a more valuable reference (even though it's out of date!).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
The book has some good information and supplements the very sketchy documentation that comes with the Series 60 SDK. But still after reading this book AND the SDK documentation, you have to learn many things by trial and error. The book is written by some kind of committee and I think that is the reason why it is anything but focused. It requires that you are already familiar with Symbian OS C++ programming and object oriented design, but on the other hand its talks pages and pages about basic software engineering principles. Half of the book is written for professional programmers and the other half for absolute beginners or business readers or who knows who... Still, it's the only book on Series 60 and that alone is worth something.
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