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Why open-source?
Jun 4th, 2010 by Eugene Ostroukhov

The first questions developers ask about out new Mobile Web IDE is “why do we need another solution?” This question is really justified provided there are already several established alternatives in all shapes and sizes.

Our answer is that we wanted to have a completely open-sourced tools – and that leads to another question. “Why should we (as users) care?” Now that open-source is not that much of a buzz-word it used to be most users don’t really care if they can see the source code – they are more concerned with usability and ROI. This is what we hope to achieve with our project:

  1. Single all-in-one download for every platform. All you need to install our IDE is to download ZIP file for your platform and to unzip it anywhere on your filesystem.
  2. Use latest-and-greatest upstream projects available from the community. We use JSDT for JavaScript editing, Chrome Java SDK for debugging, W3C CSS validator for validation.
  3. Use our codebase for an effort to provide a reference IDE for mobile web development. We want to contribute our project to serve as a basis for Eclipse project that will foster development of similar IDEs for different runtimes. Currently all major mobile platforms provide a way to create and deploy applications using web technologies. Until this point there was a separate IDE for each platform and we hope our project will encourage cooperation and ultimately result in better tools and consistent user experience.

We have a lot of plans that should justify having “yet another” Mobile Web IDE even more:

  1. Support other mobile APIs. Currently we are working on out-of-box PhoneGap support but we will also consider other APIs and runtimes.
  2. Improve preview and simulation. We are working on support for more sensors and mobile APIs.
  3. Streamline UI.

So we encourage you to give the IDE a try. You can post your comments and suggestions to our forum. We would be grateful for any bug reports posted to our bugtracker.

Open Web Development Tools for Mobile
Mar 18th, 2010 by Eugene Ostroukhov

Here at Symbian Foundation we believe that one of the best way to attract users to a mobile platform is to have more/better applications. The best way to have more/better applications is to attract more developers. And one of the best ways to attract more developers is to provide better tools. And one of the best ways to provide better IDE is to build on top of Eclipse.

And that is exactly what we are aiming to do.

We took (in no particular order):

  1. Contributions from our member company (Nokia)
  2. Eclipse Platform from Eclipse Foundation
  3. JavaScript Developer Tools from Eclipse Foundation
  4. JS debugger from Google Chrome Developer Tools

and glued them together to produce a new IDE that will make web development experience for Symbian platform much more pleasant.

This is what you can do with our IDE:

  1. Create a new WRT (Web Runtime) application project from one of the predefined templates or using existing packaged WRT application (WGZ file) as a template.
  2. Edit HTML, JS and other files. This featureset is coming from WTP and JSDT in particular. We added validation for project metadata files and CSS files.
  3. Debug the application. Chrome browser is used as a runtime and Chrome Developer Tools are used for debugger UI.
  4. Package your application for distribution or deploy it directly to a device.

You can find the builds for different platforms on our downloads site. We plan to release the first version on March 31st.

Everybody is invited to:

  • Visit the project page to obtain the sources. Use “Eclipse for JEE Developers” bundle with installed XULRunner as a target platform. Target platform can also be downloaded here (single downloads for all platforms).
  • Try the IDE (there is a quickstart document)
  • Comment on our forums or mailing list.
  • Submit bugs to our bugtracker (like if there are any…).
  • Participate in the project.

At this point this project is very much focused on Symbian platform and WRT in particular. But we are planning to expand the scope – both to encompass increasing scope of web support in Symbian platform (cWRT is one example) and to supporting more libraries and runtimes that are not platform-specific.

I hope to share some development experience in this blog so feel free to ask any questions on implementation.

I would really like to thank developers from Eclipse.org project and Google Chrome Developer Tools for making available all the great frameworks and tools.

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