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Open C FAQ

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Created: Nokia Ron (15 Mar 2007)
Last edited: hamishwillee (27 Jul 2012)

Q: What is Open C?

A: Open C is a major extension to the C++ development environment. It is a set of standard POSIX and middleware C libraries for the S60 platform that increases developer productivity by enabling the reuse of existing software assets. Open C is part of the S60 3rd Edition, FP2 release, and is available as a plug-in that developers can use to create applications for earlier S60 3rd Edition devices.

Q. What is POSIX?

A: POSIX or "Portable Operating System Interface for uniX" is the collective name of a family of related standards to define the application programming interface (API) for software compatible with variants of the Unix operating system. The original POSIX standard was released in 1988. Although used mainly for Unix systems, the POSIX standard can (and does) apply to any operating system. Operating systems can be fully or partly POSIX compatible; they can conform to POSIX standards entirely or partially. source: Wikipedia

Q. Which libraries does Open C support?

A: Symbian supports a subset of nine C libraries :

libc: basic programming routines

libm: mathematical functions

libpthread: threads and concurrency management

libdl: dynamic linking interfaces

libz: compression library

libcrypto: data security services

libcrypt: data encryption and password management

libssl: secure sockets layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS)

libglib: utility library

Q. How does Platform Security impact these APIs?

A: The Open C API’s do not bypass Symbian platform security. The Open C API’s are bound by the same access controls and capabilities as any other Symbian native application.

It’s naturally important that developers coming from the desktop environment need to understand the different expectations of developing applications for a secure mobile OS.

Q. Will applications still need to be Symbian Signed?

A: Yes. Applications will still be installed via the SIS mechanism, rely on and still need to be Symbian Signed if they use sensitive capabilities. Developers can use self-signing to create prorotype applications with limited capabilities. Freeware signing process is free of charge.

Q. What effect does Open C have on performance?

A: The Open C libraries are middleware components that are tightly integrated with the underlying Symbian OS kernel. The performance of Open C components should be similar to that of other Symbian and S60 middleware components. Symbian is committed to maintaining consistent performance of all parts of OS.



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