Putting code where my mouth is

December 27th, 2007 Comments Off

So, I decided to try some mobile development during this break, while I have some free time. So, since I own an S60 device why not give that a try first? Well, I have my worries. Firstly, unless Nokia really goes to the whole 9 yards, revamps all of the S60 interface, and makes web browsing feel more real (mostly with a higher resolution screen) I don’t know if I’ll be buying another S60 device. With android on its way, and people beginning to copy the iPhone’s slick-ness S60 in its current state will be out of date in a hurry.

Also, while I do need to brush up on my C/C++ carbide is just telling me “go away, don’t try me”. The very first thing I have to do is look up my forum Nokia password. That’s annoying, why do I have to log in to download the SDK? Next a giant image is thrown in my face telling me that unless I pay an enormous amount I have to stick with a gimped version of the SDK.

OK, fine. I download the gimped SDK. It installs (windows only? Yuck) and then brings up a horrendously ugly website telling me I need perl 5.6.112 or something. Some version of perl thats 4 years old and would break half of my other perl projects on the machine. Anything newer than what they want won’t work. Lame.

I boot up carbide (which is really just eclipse with some plugins) anyway. Create a new project, following the screencast (which is nice). Holy woah. Maybe I’m just too new with C++ but I don’t feel like learning all 30 different functions and includes in my hello world app. I don’t like taking things for granted, and I would not begin developing until I understood all of the things going on in the sample app. Major turn off. At this point im using a gimped SDK thats windows only, I could try the others but i’de have to pay, i’de have to downgrade my version of perl and it’d be for a platform that I don’t believe will make it in the long run at its current pace. I’m done.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe nokia will find a way to come out of this and make S60 competitive in the new post-iPhone market, but I doubt the apps written right now will port over so easily.

So, now I decide to play with android. First impressions: this is what it should be like. Here is a plugin for your eclipse that you already have, here is a small (50MB) SDK that you can install on any OS, and your demo app? Its 10 lines. I’m still exploring but this just feels more “right”.