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

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Chapter 7. Porting from Mobile Linux

How should I know if it works? That's what beta testers are for. I only coded it.

Linus Torvalds

In recent years, we have seen a massive expansion in Linux-related efforts – its presence in the desktop, laptop, netbook and mobile space has steadily and progressively grown. This is not a big surprise. Linux is a free, open source, highly customizable and mature platform. The healthy pool of developers with experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to develop for the platform is equally important.

Linux is typically offered to end users in what are called 'distributions'. Typically, distributions offer a similar set of core packages and distinguish themselves in providing installation support, customizations or branding. Some distributions focus on specific submarkets, such as servers, media centers, or headless, diskless or embedded systems. There are hundreds of distributions available, many more than necessary, however this segmentation has provided a crucial set of concepts and tools, allowing Linux to expand in many directions, including the mobile space.

One of the challenges in the Linux space is that there are usually several – often many – competing solutions for a specific problem. This is especially interesting from the point of view of porting to the Symbian platform; the amount of required effort is tightly related to which underlying libraries and frameworks are used by the application being ported. If all the libraries are available, porting ...

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