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Porting to the Symbian Platform: Open Mobile Development in C/C++ by Mark Wilcox

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Chapter 4. Standard APIs on the Symbian Platform

The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from.

Andrew S. Tanenbaum

This chapter is about the standard C and C++ APIs that are available on the Symbian platform. I start by describing the APIs that are available and the versions of the operating system on which you can use them. I then go on to explain how you can use them with some simple examples. I finish the chapter by describing some of the limitations of the API implementations and ways to work around them. The standard APIs described in this chapter are the most important aid to porting available on the Symbian platform; they can save a significant amount of time compared to porting direct to native Symbian C++ APIs and, in many cases, make the difference between a porting project being feasible or otherwise. However, it's important to note that the APIs discussed in this chapter don't allow you to create a graphical user interface; for that, you need to write hybrid code (Chapter 5) or use Qt (Section 6.4).

Whatever your preferred development platform, there are a number of APIs that you consider 'standard' on that platform. As this is a book about porting, we are only concerned with cross-platform standards. Since we are primarily talking about porting from one operating system to another, we are most interested in the Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) defined by IEEE standard 1003.1. POSIX was originally designed to unify the various ...

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