The latest Symbian Community Newsletter links to a programming tool I have only just come across. Easy Mobile Programming is a simple programming language that allows simple Symbian applications to be created without any of the complexity of C++ programming. The author describes it as a prototype unsuitable for serious programming. Nevertheless, it allows simple programs such as games to be created.
Application tools that can produce simple ‘hobby’ type applications is currently an under-developed area. The value of this area should not be under-estimated. Freeware/shareware type applications bring much needed utilities to a platform. Useful applications also tend to ‘grow up’ into fully fledged applications. Also, such tools are also useful for ‘dummy’ mockups/demos for the early stages of a commercial project.
Current hobby tools include Python and OPL. Neither are currently available for Symbian 9.1 (Series 60 3rd Edition and UIQ 3.0). I suspect it will be a long time (if ever in the case of OPL), before these become available under 9.1. Apart from the actual code migration which is substantial, there are issues with platform security. If normal C++ applications can’t access certain phone features without being signed then should OPL/Python scripts be allowed to do so via the corresponding runtime? (thus opening the phone up to rogue usage). Conversely, requiring scripts to be signed (within a .sis file) would probably reduce the usefulness of Python/OPL for hobby/rapid development. It will be interesting to see how this problem is solved.