This book is part description, part reference, part case study and part
history. My goal in writing it has been to try to make Symbian OS more
accessible to a wider audience than has been catered for to date. I hope
there is nothing dumbed-down about this book,
but at the same time
I have tried to make it accessible to those who are interested, but not
expert, in the topics it covers, as well as useful to a more hands-on
As Symbian OS becomes more mainstream – a volume product and
not just a niche one – I hope this book will serve as a primer for the
curious and a way in to a deeper understanding of what Symbian OS is,
where it came from and why it is currently riding high.
Certainly there is material here which is useful to Symbian OS developers
– both seasoned and novice – and which has previously been hard
to find. However, this book takes a different approach to that of most
Symbian Press books; it is not so much a ‘how to’ book as a ‘what and
why’ book (and to some extent also a ‘who and when’ book).
Part 1 is a Symbian OS primer, a rapid introduction that sketches
the background of the mobile telephony market, traces the emergence of
Symbian OS and Symbian the company, conducts a rapid tour of the architecture
of Symbian OS, and provides a refresher – or introduction – to the
key ideas of object orientation (OO) in software.
Part 2 begins the more detailed exploration of the architecture of
Symbian OS, following the Symbian OS System Model layering to provide
a complete, high-level, architectural description of Symbian OS.
Part 3 returns to the historical approach of the primer chapters, and
presents five case studies, each exploring some aspect of Symbian OS, or
of its history and evolution, in depth. Drawing on the insights – and therecollections – of those who were involved, these studies trace and try to
understand the forces that have shaped the operating system.
Appendix A contains a component by component reference, ordered
alphabetically by component name, which is definitely intended for a
developer audience. It also includes a color pull-out of the System Model
for the current public release, Symbian OS v9.3.