Sessions at Eclipse Summit Europe about Symbian on Tuesday 2nd November

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  • Mobile Development Symposium

    by ekke, Heiko Behrens and Peter Friese

    The diversity of mobile operating systems and application environments for mobile devices is constantly growing. From a developer's point of view it is getting more and more difficult to choose the 'right' platform. There are different criterias that have to be taken into account.

    Google's Android and Apple's iOS tend to become the major players in the mobile market, while Java ME is getting more and more into the background. Application vendors that target common mobile devices and that do not sell their own hardware may want to choose a wide-spread platform. For vendors that sell their own, mostly special-purpose, hardware bundled with software, distribution might not be that cruical for business.

    Basically, the more convenient a development environment is, the shorter are development cycles. As a result the application might be of higher quality and cheaper in development and maintainance. There are a lot of parts that make a development environment convenient: API, IDE, programming language, available tools.

    From a long-term perspective, portability is rather important. The mobile market may change (again) dramatically in the next 10 years, and wide-spread platforms may become out of date as it is currently happening to Java ME. However, Java might be a good option for portability even if the 'Write Once, Run Everywhere' cannot be fullfilled to 100%. Apple's iOS is great but application vendors must also consider the fact that choosing iOS leads to a Lock-In situation.

    In this symposia we want to present and discuss different mobile platforms:
    - Android
    - iOS
    - Palm WebOS
    - Windows Mobile
    - Blackberry
    - MeeGo
    - Symbian
    - Java ME
    - OpenMoko

    We want to discuss pros and cons of these platforms. Moreover, we want the participants to share lessons learned.

    At 2:00pm to 6:00pm, Tuesday 2nd November