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

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Chapter 5. Writing Hybrid Code

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

Oscar Wilde

Wouldn't it be dull if every platform had exactly the same software environment and API set? There would be no porting required and once someone had written a good application for a specific task, it would just work on all platforms everywhere. Perhaps this is the future? Computing hardware could become so cheap, powerful and efficient that it makes sense to run everything in a standard virtual environment, abstracted from the actual hardware implementation. Perhaps this will be taken to the extreme that everything runs in 'the cloud' with a simple browser-based interface on the device. Alternatively, storage space may be considered sufficient to provide most, if not all, popular libraries on every platform. We are nowhere near this 'ideal' and the future is likely to include web and native hybrids as well as pure web applications. I suspect that getting the software development community to agree on a single common standard is likely to take far longer than it will take for issues of computing resources and battery life to become irrelevant.

The current situation is that there are three popular platforms for desktop computers: Microsoft Windows (with a massive majority of users), Mac OS X, and Linux (although there is a lot of fragmentation with different distributions of Linux). It is not generally possible to target all of these with a single native application,[94] despite very similar ...

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