Today, I evaluated an alpha version of Nokia’s Carbide.c++ Express for use on Series 60 3rd Edition (Symbian 9.1) development. Carbide.c++ Express will be the free edition of the Carbide.c++ tool family and should be available early in 2006. Here are my initial impressions of the alpha version…
Carbide.C++ is Eclipse 3.1 based and provides a Winscw compiler/debugger, project templates, project import and actually supports UIQ 2.1, 3.0, S80, S60 2nd and 3rd Edition SDKs.
The first thing I didn’t expect was for the installation to include Eclipse itself. Most plugins just add to the standard Eclipse install. The tight integration is probably a good thing as it will prevent Eclipse version conflicts as people try to install Carbide with different versions of Eclipse.
The release notes say relative paths and #if s are not supported when importing mmps, Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my Series 60 3rd Edition (Symbian 9.1) DLL mmp imported at all. Carbide couldn’t see my include or source directories no matter where I put the source or how I changed the mmp include statements.
I eventually gave up and created the Carbide project by hand via the IDE. I spent a while adding my source files, system and user includes and preprocessor definitions. Unfortunately, when I came to build, the IDE did absolutely nothing. Not even an error message.
I concluded, for alpha release, there are too many gotchas to be able to use Carbide without very close help from the Nokia Carbide team. Unfortunately, there’s no official support with the alpha. Maybe the Carbide team should set up a web forum or blog so that they can answer common questions? The effort required to set up projects is excessive unless you know the alpha’s foibles. I will wait for the beta which will hopefully be easier to set up.
As a technology preview, the alpha version shows that Carbide.c++ is set to provide a powerful development environment not just for the Nokia SDKs but also for UIQ.
If you are interested in alpha/beta testing the carbide.c++ then you can register via http://developer.uiq.com/. Note however that Nokia does not guarantee forward compatibility of projects created with the alpha version and they do not recommend its use on critical development tasks.