Home > 3rd edition, 5th Edition, Aquisitions, Nokia, Press Release, S60, Symbian > Symbian Foundation websites closed

Symbian Foundation websites closed

As mentioned in Jay’s previous post in November, today marks the official close of the Symbian foundation websites. While most of our readers likely never had much experience with or exposure to these websites, they posed a major resource for a lot of curious cats like myself who wanted to keep track of progress on Symbian development as well as contribute ideas for improvements and/or features that we wanted to see in the platform. Nokia has created their own Symbian blog which in due course is expected to be populated with news etc. concerning the platform progress, releases and projects being undertaken that are related to Symbian.

However, all indications point towards a more closed system of development being undertaken.Whether this is done in a similar manner to the Google Android method where code dumps are made regularly and changes made at the whim of the company overseeing development remains to be seen. This, however, is both a positive and negative in that the closed system has somewhat less red tape and bureaucracy standing between ideas/concepts and the realization and productizing of these concepts. Unfortunately this comes at the cost of valuable community feedback and input. Simply looking at the number of great and well supported ideas that were submitted to the Symbian Ideas site (now unavailable of course) is testament to the benefit of using collective intelligence and outside ideas.



Statement by Tim Holbrow, Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation after the break:

“In 2009, we established the Symbian Foundation to make the Symbian platform available open source and royalty-free. In November 2010 we announced that the foundation would ramp down its operational activities as a result of changes in global economic and market conditions.

We are now well underway with transitioning the foundation from a non-profit organisation responsible for governing the open development and curation of the Symbian platform, to a licensing entity with no permanent staff. Moving forward, the foundation will be responsible only for specific licensing and legal frameworks put in place during the open sourcing of the platform.

The Symbian platform will continue to evolve under Nokia, who have committed to make the future development of the platform available via an alternative direct and open model.

Due to this transition, many of the operations and services the foundation provided to the Symbian community have now ceased. With the exception of this blog site, the foundation’s public websites have closed, along with open access to the Symbian source code.

However, much of the foundation’s data is available to the public via FTP until 31 March 2011. For access to this content, please e-mail contact@symbian.org. Some content is still controlled under certain licenses; Symbian Foundation members will continue to have access to Symbian Foundation License content.

Specifically, the FTP site will allow access to:

  1. Current platform source code
  2. Platform Development Kits:
    • S^2 PDK 2.0.3 (parts of S^2 are only available to current Symbian Foundation members)
    • S^3 PDK 3.0.4
    • S^4 PDK 4.0.a
  3. Databases:
    • Database exports from Bugzilla, Wiki, Forums, Ideas and Symbian Horizon.
      NOTE: all private, personal information has been removed
  4. Documentation:
    • HTML source for the platform reference documentation and public mailing lists

Access to the FTP site will cease on 31 March 2011; by this date we anticipate a new model for hosting Symbian code will be available from Nokia.

You can find more information on Nokia’s plans for Symbian at http://symbian.nokia.comForum Nokia is the best place to access developer support for Symbian, including tools, documentation, technical support, and discussion boards.

We would like to extend our deepest thanks to everyone who contributed to the major milestones achieved at the Symbian Foundation. We can all be proud of these accomplishments – some not seen before in the history of computing, such as the completion of the largest transition to open source of any commercial codebase in software history. We would also like to extend warm thanks to the entire member community for their continued commitment to the Symbian platform.

We are confident that these are absolutely the right changes in the context of today’s market and economy, and we look forward to watching a new era of success for the Symbian platform unfold.”



  1. December 17, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Man, 17th December has come so soon. What’s very interesting as you have noted is Nokia’s own Symbian blog.

    I’m not too worried about community feature implementation; I think there can be some great participation between Nokia and its users to drum up ideas on where new features should go.

    • Andre
      December 17, 2010 at 11:54 pm

      I really hope so…. input from the community is a vital part o making a GOOD- to-GREAT product.

      Only a few (Apple) have made it without doing so.

  2. Cod3rror
    December 17, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Good, screw the foundation, Nokia alone being in charge will accelerate the development by a lot, hopefully.

  3. David
    December 17, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Its also a good way to stop your competition finding out good sources. Lets hope this helps continue to build the present Symbian!

  4. Average Joe
    December 18, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Even when the foundation was open, Symbian was de-facto closed. Less closed than Android in some aspects (feature planning was done in the open and the code repositories were freely accessible, not “revealed”), and more closed in others (having to order a compiler via mail from ARM ltd was a ridiculous requirement for a project seeking community contribution).

    As a result of this, the feedback I saw on the symbian.org pages was more bikeshedding than helpful contribution. And when people working on real devices went there looking for help, they were redirected to Forum Nokia anyway, because marketed products were outside of the foundation’s scope.

    Still, the geek in me is sad that the half-open Symbian ended up becoming fully-closed instead of fully-open. But I do understand that this might be the only solution to keep Symbian standing up against its competitors.

  1. December 21, 2010 at 12:59 pm

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