THE PLAN to make Symbian into an open source platform is going swimmingly and is ahead of schedule, according to the Symbian Foundation.
The organisation has released the system microkernel and supporting development kit under the Eclipse Public License nine months ahead of schedule.
"The release of the microkernel demonstrates three vital, guiding principles of the foundation: first, the commitment of many community members to the development of the platform - in this case, Accenture, ARM, Nokia and Texas Instruments Incorporated all made contributions; second, progress in fulfilling our commitment to a complete open source release of Symbian; and third, a tangible example of providing the most advanced mobile platform in the world," said Lee Williams, executive director of the Symbian Foundation.
The microkernel forms the heart of the platform using a multi-tasking architecture to manage all system resources and frameworks needed to make sure processes and applications run smoothly.
Symbian is also providing a free development kit, including ARM's high performance RVCT compiler toolchain, to help the community make the most of the new addition.
"It is essential that developers have access to the best tools which is why we have partnered with Symbian to enable widespread development using the ARM compiler toolchain. We are also pleased to join the Architecture Council of the Symbian Foundation and contribute to the long term success of the Symbian platform," said John Cornish, executive vice president and general manager of the System Design Division at ARM.
To date, 16 out of the 134 Symbian packages have been released into open source since the code was first made available on Symbian Foundation servers in April.
Symbian hopes this milestone will help spur the development community, be they research institutions, enthusiast groups or individual developers, to get creative with the code and drum up even more support for the platform.
The kit can be downloaded here. µ