Series: Symbian Press (Book 1)
Paperback: 826 pages
Publisher: Wiley (June 9, 2003)
Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.8 x 9.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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If you were looking for a deeper discussion of Symbian for Mobile Phones than the "Programming the Series 60 platform and Symbian OS", you've come to the wrong place. "Different" would be a more accurate word. Part of the problem is that it was put together by agglomerating works from various ( 18 !) authors. The writing style shifts from first to third person and back a lot.The book rather briefly mentions Series 60 ( still the predominant UI among symbian-based smartphones ) and Series 80 ( Nokia Communicators ), and then moves on. All sample code provided by the authors ( downloadable from the books website ), is targeted strictly towards UIQ.While the number of subjects covered( UI, file system, memory handling, Bluetooth, communications ) serve their purpose, the book just seems too haphazardly composed to be easily digestable. At least they did provide a few small applets which demonstrate some of the subjects ( strings, simple drawing ) covered, before they present their version of the classic Battleship game ( which in it's favor does implement a communication stack for multiplayer use ).My ONE strong suggestion to the authors would've been not to ignore the Series 60 platform altogether. The last book for Series 60 left a lot of room for the authors of this book, to have tied the loose ends that the SDK leaves open, together.
Having written software for 15 years for UNIX and Windows platforms, my move to the mobile space has been educational and humbling. Trying to learn to program for Symbian using the SDK and publicly available docs is daunting at best. The SDK docs are sparse, poorly written and provide a terrible search experience.In contrast, Symbian OS C++ for Mobile Phones provides a solid foundation for learning to program this relatively new breed of devices. It covers a lot of material in a fair amount of depth and will help newbies to ascend the steep learning curve. Without this book, those new to Symbian programming will need to scour the SDK docs, trawl the newsgroups, and rely on kind souls from the UK to help with their inevitable programming questions.I would have given this book 4 stars had it not been for several disappointing characteristics. First, there are too many authors. The writing style changes and information is repeated unnecessarily and in jarring ways. Second, the book sometimes repeats what's in the SDK docs, albeit in a consolidated form, without adding pragmatic insight and value. Third, it does not delve into some real-world, complex topics in any meaningful way. For example, the text quickly discusses messaging (SMS/MMS) but does not provide a digestible example of programmatically constructing an MMS. Fourth, it does not include Series 60 information, which is a shame given that the Series 60 is a very popular platform.All in all, this is a good book that provides relevant, helpful information that will flatten the learning curve considerably.
I ordered this book because I was new to Symbian/UIQ. I found it easier and more convenient to use than the SDK on-line doc.I appreciate the battleship case-study used to illustrate the basic and intermediate Symbian/UIQ concepts. It helped me a great deal. This book also focuses on UIQ application framework. But surprisingly, I found it very scarce (as much as the SDK) on some aspects of the application framework: embedded application programming, command-line parameters processing.However still good to have it close at hand for when I need a quick info.
My title says it all. The book starts relativly good by giving an useful introduction into Symbian Programming and introducing the basic programming paradigms. I also like the chapter about how to avoid common pitfalls and about descriptors.After the example section the book goes to introduce the basic functionality of some libraries, but stays too much on the surface to deliver some advantage over reading the official documentation.Some examples (for example in the file system services part) also seem to be outdated.Not so much work seems to have gone into creating an index - it is overbloated with useless page citings. It seems as if somebody just took a number of keywords searched the document and added them directly to the index, even if the keyword at a page is not relevant at all. For example the keyword "UIDs" points to 19 different pages!My recommendation: For an introduction take a look at S60 Programming - A Tutorial Guide by Wiley (same publisher). I found that to be organized better for beginners. If you are beyond that stage, use the internet forums or the Symbian documentation.
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