Symbian Foundation will take source code offline on Dec. 17

Developers who can't download it all then will have to pay for a physical copy to be shipped some time next year

Symbian Foundation has started dismantling itself. On Dec.17 the organization will shut down its websites, and anyone who wants to get the source code for the current version of the Symbian mobile operating system should download it now or they will have to pay for a copy to be shipped on physical media in the future, its website.

Nokia will take over development of Symbian OS, the company said on Nov. 8. The Symbian Foundation will become a licensing operation only.

Part of the transition will include closing down Symbian Foundation's main site, developer sites, blog and the Ideas site, where anyone can suggest ideas for how the operating system can be improved.

The Symbian Foundation will find another way to distribute the source code, development kits, wiki, bug database and reference documentation that it currently hosts online. The most likely option is to distribute on a DVD or USB drive, for which it will likely charge for physical media and shipping, it said. That won't happen before Jan. 31 next year, though. However, as the platform is available online now, the Foundation encourages people to download it before Dec. 17.

This change and Nokia's takeover of development mainly affect companies that have helped develop the operating system, need access to the source code or use the operating system on their devices.

App developers targeting the Symbian platform will see little direct effect. The way forward for application developers is using the Qt application and user interface framework, which Nokia has decided to use as its sole application development framework going forward.

The application digital signing program Symbian Signed will continue to operate, according to the Foundation.

Nokia is still working out the details of how it will make the source code of future Symbian versions available, a spokeswoman said. But the company will work one-to-one with anyone that want to use the operating system on its products.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Tags telecommunicationconsumer electronicssymbianapplicationssmartphonesNokiaPhonessoftwareMobile operating systemsmobile

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Mikael Ricknäs

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