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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Symbian programming doodle

I decided to play around with the Carbide.c++ IDE from Nokia during the weekend to mod a few open source apps I found. I used the basic Express version since its free.

Having absolutely no prior programming experience with C++ though I did dabble with very simple C programming stuff, I found that it was quite easy to use the Carbide IDE which is based on the Eclipse IDE. The included tutorials are pretty useless and I think I learnt most of it through trial and error. I never did get far with Palm programming even though it was using the same IDE though.

The first program source I tried out was CMans SaySMS. This is a Flash SMS app where the SMS message will display immediately on the recipient's phone like a nag screen. I had two major nagging problems with this app that need some changing.

First is a cropped icon when viewed in the task manager which I had to compare the SVG graphic file with a Carbide sample app. It took a while before I found it was missing the viewBox attribute. This wouldn't be considered as changing the code since I could have extracted the original sis package and done it without the source. The other irritating thing is that it loads "Hi" as default in the input area and I have to clear it every time. I only had to search for the "Hi" string and remove it. I also tried to find a way to increase the font size for the SMS input text since they were ridiculously small but I couldn't locate the appropriate settings for these.

The next app I tried was horlogeParlante or simply a talking clock. It speaks the time when you press the volume key but the app is in French. This too was quite straightforward as variables used by the author were very clear which made localising it to English an easy task.

You can download my versions here:
Talking Clock
Both are S60 3rd Edition programs.

Note that you will have to sign them with your developer certs in order to install successfully. Since the codes are released freely by the original authors and one is even licensed under GPL, you may request for my source code of the changes by posting your request in the comments. All requests in the comments are moderated and will not be published so you do not need to worry about exposing your email address to spam harvesters.


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