The first day of WWDC was pretty nice. The keynote didn't really have any big surprises: iPhone OS 3.0 release date (June 17th) and the announcement of a new faster iPhone with a compass, a better camera and video. The voice commands thing looks cool, though: You'll be able to press and hold the home button on the new iPhone and then say "Call John Appleseed" or even activate Genius by simply saying "Play more songs like this". Nice. Also OpenGL ES 2.0 is supported by the new iPhone, the current one only supports 1.1.
Some Vista bashing was part of the keynote again as well which is always entertaining.
While I was waiting in line for the keynote, some people were handing out invitations for a Symbian hackathon across the street in the Metreon during the lunch break. It said you'd get a free Nokia 5800 smartphone. It sounded as if there had to be a catch to it but there wasn't: I showed up at 1 pm, was handed a "gift certificate", had to sign it and got a free Nokia 5800. Sweet. The guy who welcomed everyone to the event said there'd be prices like netbooks for people who actually build something for Symbian during the hackathon. But he didn't say where to get stated, were to get the SDK, if there's a simulator... nothing. I first set up PyS60 and wanted to port my old and abandoned Springenwerk XSS scanner to Symbian but it turned out that the Symbian Python implementation doesn't include urllib2. Not good.
So I looked if there's Ruby for Symbian and sure enough there is. It is only the core interpreter, though. It comes with close to none system classes. When you try to "require" any library (like 'net/http'), it crashes. Date is not available either. So I built a very very simple ap that prints out the calendar of the current month on the screen. It worked but didn't look good on the phone because it uses variable width fonts. Oh, and the Symbian simulator only runs on Windows. How lame is that? I mean they want iPhone developers to develop for Symbian and they don't even provide an IDE for the platform they all use. Also both the Symbian OS and the very sparse documentation and rudimentary development tools seem so far behind what Apple offers us in terms of tools and technologies. The event didn't attract me to the Symbian platform at all. Actually it discouraged me from developing anything for it.
But because most people just came to get the free phone, hardly anyone actually developed anything. I think only 6 people. The lady handed me a flip cam when I showed her my "app". Then I asked when the drawing for the netbooks would be. She had to go check, came back and asked: "Do you want to trade your flip cam for a netbook?" I said "Sure". So she handed me a brand new Sony Vaio VGN P530H/Q 8" netbook. Wow. That's a pretty nice price for about 15 lines of Ruby code. It run Vista, though. I don't really need it, so I'll see if I'll find someone at the conference who'd like to buy it. I hope I'll find someone quickly so I don't have to drag it around with me all day.
The last two sessions I attended were "Developer Tools State of the Union" and "Graphics and Media State of the Union". The contents is under NDA, so I can't talk about what they actually showed us, but I can say that some really cool stuff is coming your way if you develop for the iPhone or Mac. It's a great platform to develop on and for.
Johannes Fahrenkrug said...
Yes, if only it was always so simple ;-)June 13, 2009 07:48 AM
Thats a great hourly rate for a simple ruby app!June 10, 2009 05:46 AM