The Symbian Foundation has completed its migration to open source four months ahead of schedule. The source code for Symbian’s application, middle and kernel layers is now available for free to both Symbian Foundation members and unaffiliated outside developers.
The complete source code was previously only available to Symbian Foundation members, which had to pay an entry fee of $1,500 and pass a vote to get into the organization. Symbian is the world’s most widely used smartphone platform.
“Symbian represents the most vendor-neutral organization today. We’re here to let a thousand flowers bloom,” says Symbian’s Head of Global Alliances Larry Berkin. “I don’t think that can be said of any other open source project.”
All 108 packages containing the source code of the Symbian platform can now be downloaded from Symbian’s developer Web site under the terms of the Eclipse Public License and other open source licenses.
The Symbian Foundation says the move will increase potential for innovation and speed time to market. The foundation has pledged complete transparency in its future plans, including the publication of the platform roadmap and planned features through 2011.
The foundation is calling the transition from proprietary code to open source the “largest in software history.” The transition began in 2008 when Nokia bought the Symbian platform and gave the technology to the Symbian Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of the Symbian platform.