The Symbian/Qt/Nokia platform. A total nightmare.

In June/July 2011 I had the misfortune to program for a Symbian/Nokia phone. Really bad experience. Below  a list of all the shit I had to go through to get QtCreator working somewhat.

  • crappy error messages. ‘a data abort exception has occured’
  • qml is a complete paradigm shift
  • unstable operating system. ‘it might be in an unstable state if you interrupt the working of this program’
  • version control unfriendly. Often a file added by somebody else must be readded in the repository which leads to duplicate entries in the project file.
  • memory mapping of large files doesnt work
  • memory requirements are too stringent
  • debugger doesn’t work. One always gets memorydumps without access to the symbols.
  • bloody slow compilation
  • the X7 Symbian 3 phone is slow.
  • Try to get the audiostream from a decoder. With phonon it should be possible but it doesnt work.
  • just click on the ‘documentation’ tab left. You get an error ‘Die Seite konnte nicht gefunden werden ‘qthelp://
  • sometimes code gets hidden and cannot be unhidden unless the project is opened and closed.
  • how can one create a subfolder ?
  • copying files to and from the phone more often than not does not work.
  • try to use phonon or qtmultimedia to access the decoded part of a video !
  • searching in all project files simply doesn’t work.
  • qt creator often seems to require compilation twice.  ‘build’ and then ‘run’, leads to a rebuild.
  • no linux, nor vmware. You must program in windows
  • QtCreator crashes when there are more than 4000 error messages from the compiler.
  • sometimes when adding a new file, it insists to add it somewhere in a subdirectory.
  • The arm processor in those phones is not fully functional. For instance the ‘smull’ and ‘adc’ instructions are not supported. Mainly because it is based on a too old model of the processor.
  • ‘piss-poor’ headphone volume; something many buyers noted as well
  • Filenames (without their paths) are used to identify files. So the same filename at twop different locations is treated by the make system as the same file.
  • How to set the volume of th phone ?  Yes a truly horendous hack by obtaining the address of a undocumented function and then hoping that it will actually point to the right thing !
  • No support from Nokia what_so_ever. Even if you are hired by them (which I inderectly was !)

I was so happy that I could stop programming for/on this utter swamp of a platform.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *