Symbian fully open-sourced ahead of schedule

The Symbian Foundation, which has made all its source code available for free, says the migration to open source was the largest in software history

The mobile operating system Symbian has been completely open-sourced, comfortably within the two-year timeframe set for the migration project in 2008.

On Thursday, the Symbian Foundation — the not-for-profit industry group set up by Nokia and other manufacturers to open up and give away the OS — said all Symbian source code, comprising 108 packages, was now available for free under the Eclipse licence and other open source licences.

According to the foundation, the transition of the Symbian code from proprietary to open source marks the largest such migration in software history.

"When the Symbian Foundation was created, we set the target of completing the open-source release of the platform by mid-2010, and it's because of the extraordinary commitment and dedication from our staff and our member companies that we've reached it well ahead of schedule," Symbian Foundation chief executive Lee Williams said in a statement.

The latest version of the platform is Symbian^3, which the foundation says will be "feature complete" during the first quarter of this year. Symbian^1 is better known as version 5 of Nokia's Series 60 platform, while the Symbian developer wiki lists Symbian^2 — a version for which no handset has been released — as the "first open version" of the platform.

It is unclear what the user interface of the new mobile platform will look like. The Symbian Foundation has shown off several concept UIs, but has not yet announced the final version.


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