C++ for smart phones

Discussion in 'C++' started by JCR, May 15, 2006.

  1. JCR

    JCR Guest

    Hi,
    Programing for smart phones/pda/pocket PC... can be difficult because
    of the number of operating systems and the variety of devices. Is
    anyone aware of a cross-operating system/cross-device environment to
    write programs in C++. Open-source or not! Or maybe there is no such
    thing and the solution is to set up a specific project for each target?

    Thanks in advance
     
    JCR, May 15, 2006
    #1
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  2. JCR wrote:
    > Hi,
    > Programing for smart phones/pda/pocket PC... can be difficult because
    > of the number of operating systems and the variety of devices. Is
    > anyone aware of a cross-operating system/cross-device environment to
    > write programs in C++. Open-source or not! Or maybe there is no such
    > thing and the solution is to set up a specific project for each target?


    I believe this question is OT here, but giving at least short answer:
    simply give up, you won't find unified/common compiler + framework for
    various operating systems on mobile devices.

    Cheers
    --
    Mateusz Ã…oskot
    http://mateusz.loskot.net
     
    =?UTF-8?B?TWF0ZXVzeiDFgW9za290?=, May 16, 2006
    #2
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  3. JCR wrote:
    > Hi,
    > Programing for smart phones/pda/pocket PC... can be difficult because
    > of the number of operating systems and the variety of devices. Is
    > anyone aware of a cross-operating system/cross-device environment to
    > write programs in C++. Open-source or not! Or maybe there is no such
    > thing and the solution is to set up a specific project for each target?


    Unfortunately, I think you have to give up on using a cross-platform
    system for mobile device development. You cannot even use standard C++
    on mobile devices. The largest smart phone OS - Symbian is one of the
    problems. On Symbian you cannot use exceptions at all and are required
    to use two phase construction and a very problematic (and manual)
    cleanup stack. You don't have any standard library. Symbian uses a
    strange string descriptor model that can be tricky to handle. And
    Symbian has a very odd multi-tasking model of active objects (which are
    not active at all - in a preemptive sense - but rather a state machine
    of co-routines). Another problem with symbian is that is "hardwired" to
    a very old version of GCC (2.7 or 2.9 - don't remember) with bad
    support for templates and other standard C++ 98 features. And Window
    Mobile (or any of it's very similar, but different, setups of Windows
    CE-based operating systems) pushes the compact Dotnet framework.

    Porting C++ projects between Symbian and Windows Mobile is very
    difficult (in any direction). You need to rewrite even the core parts
    of most projects (or even start over). And then you may add Linux to
    the mix... (which doesn't allow external C++ development at all in many
    cases - only Java is supported by several vendors).

    Java would seem to be the solution but it's so seriously flawed on
    mobile devices that Sun is working on a completely new implementation
    together with Docomo, intended to be finished in a year or so. Today,
    to make a Java program work on a resonable range of multiple devices
    you need something like 100 - 150 profiles (slightly different versions
    of your Java program). And then you have all the limitations of the
    Java MIDP framework with a very strict security policy. You cannot
    store anything on the flash disk in MIDP 1.0 and only limited settings
    on MIDP 2.0 - there is no way to reach the file system or even start
    another Java application. Very frustrating! :)

    To summarize: Any type of mobile device development on several
    platforms is very tricky. An effort in the direction of a unified
    platform is the Tao Group's Intent platform. But the drawback is a high
    price (like ~$30,000 for the SDK) and no solid support for Symbian (at
    least a year ago when I checked last time).

    Good luck! (or maybe see it as a good opportunity for a new startup...
    :)
     
    =?iso-8859-1?B?UOVobCBNZWxpbg==?=, May 16, 2006
    #3
  4. JCR

    JCR Guest

    Thank you very much for the answers; greatly appreciated. If anyone has
    more experience about mobile development to share that would be
    welcome.
    Regards to all.
     
    JCR, May 17, 2006
    #4
  5. JCR

    Noah Roberts Guest

    JCR wrote:
    > Hi,
    > Programing for smart phones/pda/pocket PC... can be difficult because
    > of the number of operating systems and the variety of devices. Is
    > anyone aware of a cross-operating system/cross-device environment to
    > write programs in C++. Open-source or not! Or maybe there is no such
    > thing and the solution is to set up a specific project for each target?


    Many of the newer phones are beginning to use Linux as the main OS.
    The radio is still driven by something else but the UI is Linux and it
    looks to me like Qt. I just got a new cell phone and turns out its
    running Linux on an XScale...same as a PDA...

    In that case you would use basic C++ and Qt embedded.
     
    Noah Roberts, May 17, 2006
    #5
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