Archive for the ‘news’ Category

Nokia N8 is shipping

October 1, 2010

The first Symbian^3 device is now shipping: the Nokia N8.

Pictures of the first devices leaving the factories can be seen at


NTT DOCOMO contributes again

July 14, 2010

I integrated a second contribution from NTT DOCOMO last week to fix a bug in one of the Symbian SQL test harnesses.

The bug (bug 3170) concerned the handling of end-of-line characters in an input file for the t_sqlperformance4 test. The input file contained a sequence of SQL statements executed during a Music Player application use case. These statements are parsed and executed by the test harness to measure performance.

The bug was only reproducible when the source code was obtained from Mercurial because the input file would have UNIX line-endings (line feed) rather than the traditional Windows line-endings (carriage-return followed by line feed). We didn’t spot the problem ourselves because the clients for our internal source code management systems automatically convert to Windows line-endings.

The problem is that the test assumed that the line endings for the text file would follow Windows conventions leading to the SQL statements being truncated when only line feed character was used. The fix allows both formats to be handled.

This type of problem was anticipated by William Roberts in May 2009. He wrote an excellent post about the handling of line-endings in Mercurial repositories called “A dilemma at the end of the line?” on the Symbian blog. It’s worth a read.

Thanks to NTT DOCOMO, INC for identifying this bug and contributing the solution to the community!

Image Symbian_31 by Symbian Foundation used under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike licence.

Happy 10th birthday, SQLite

June 1, 2010

Birthday Cake

Ten years ago, on 29th May 2000, D. Richard Hipp made the first check-in of the SQLite code.

The SQLite development team, led by DRH, has enhanced SQLite’s capabilities whilst preserving the compact size of the library, improving reliability and optimising performance. They made 7114 check-ins over ten years – an average of 2.1 check-ins per day.

SQLite is a hugely successful project. It is probably the most widely deployed SQL database engine in the world and an essential part of the Symbian persistentdata package.

I’d like to thank Richard and his development team for SQLite and congratulate them on this important milestone.

Happy Birthday SQLite!

Image Birthday Cake by Theresa Thompson used under a Creative Commons Attribution licence.

Persistentdata news summary: April 2010

April 30, 2010

The work needed to allow the Symbian platform to compile with a free toolchain (Software Freedom Fighters) continues. The bugs in persistentdata relate to our usage of the offsetof macro. Lars Kurth has submitted a proposal how to resolve the issues with the macro to the Architecture council. We wait for their response.

We reviewed the report from the Unslow static analysis tool. We found that all issues except one were false positives. See bug 2227 for our analysis. A new bug has been created to track the changes we’d like to make to central repository (bug 2467).

Pete created a Getting Started page on the wiki to describe how to build the persistentdata components and run their unit tests. Let us know if you get stuck.

I participated in the Contacts package test day to find out about the Symbian Bugsquad. We’ve decided to organize our own test and bug fixing day in the next couple of months. Please join the discussion about it in the persistentdata-dev mailing list.

Nokia announced its first Symbian^3 device: Nokia N8.

I discussed how we can improve the information available about the platform and met some familiar faces at the last couple of London Stammtisch events.

I met with Victor Palau and Sebastian Brännström from Symbian to discuss their ideas about assessing the health of a package from a community point of view. The package scorecard concept proposed looks promising to me. More information can be found in Victor’s forum post.

We doubled the default size of the central repository cache to 200kB to avoid CommsDat from being continuously evicted and reloaded. Combined with changes from selected central repository clients, Browser performance on Symbian^3 has improved.

Introducing Pete Sanders: our new committer

March 12, 2010

I appointed the first committer for the package this week: Pete Sanders from Nokia.

Pete joined Symbian Software Ltd in 2000 as a Technical Consultant. In this role, he worked closely with a number of Symbian Licensees and Partners contributing to their Symbian devices. He is currently working at Nokia, as a member of the Persistent Data Services package team.

Pete will be helping me to maintain and develop the package and is my deputy for package owner responsibilities.

NTT DOCOMO contributes to persistentdata

March 3, 2010

I accepted the first external contribution to the package today.

Bug 1915 SQL server panics when using long column type strings

The contribution was a defect fix for Bug 1915. This defect would cause a USER 11 panic in the Symbian SQL server if the RSqlStatement::DeclaredColumnType() API was used to retrieve a column type definition longer than 19 characters.

The defect was found and fixed by NTT DOCOMO as part of their development work on Symbian^2. Their contribution included the code changes to fix the defect and new regression test cases.

I’d like to thank NTT DOCOMO for their contribution, Lars Kurth and Antti Enqvist from the Symbian Foundation for their support with the process, and my package team colleagues Alex and Pete for their technical review.

I hope this will be the first of many contributions from the community this year.

Wiley publishes Inside Symbian SQL

February 26, 2010

Inside Symbian SQL: A Mobile Developer's Guide to SQLite

Inside Symbian SQL, by Ivan Litovski and Richard Maynard, was published by John Wiley & Sons today.

You can find out more on the Symbian blog and by visiting the Inside Symbian SQL wiki site. The site contains a sample chapter, links to further resources, example code and a promotional discount code from the publisher.

Symbian is open: Join our package team today!

February 5, 2010

Symbian is open

The entire Symbian platform is now available under the terms of the open source Eclipse Public License.

This is fantastic news, and I’m excited about what it means for the future of the package and the Symbian platform. Next week I will write about how you can get started with the persistentdata code and suggest some activities you can help us with.

You can find more information in yesterday’s announcement on the Symbian blog and the official press release.

Open sourcing the Symbian platform is a major achievement. It was reported in the mainstream and technical press. Several examples below:

Image Project 365 #303: 301009 Blink And You’ll Miss It! by comedy_nose used under a Creative Commons Attribution licence.