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The Symbian OS Architecture Sourcebook: Design and Evolution of a Mobile Phone OS (Symbian Press) Paperback – July 24, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0470018460 ISBN-10: 0470018461 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Symbian OS Architecture Sourcebook is part description, part reference, part case study and part history: quite simply, it's a what and why book. It shows the origins of Symbian OS, and how it has evolved and provides a model for understanding what it is, how it is put together, how to interface to it and work with it.In addition, Ben Morris reveals why design decisions were made, and brings those decisions to life in the words of Symbian's key architects and developers.

The author describes the OS architecture in terms of the Symbian System Model. He highlights how the model breaks down the system into parts, what role the parts play in the system, how the parts are developed, what motivates their design, and how the design has evolved through the different releases of the system. .

The Symbian OS Architecture Sourcebook is organized into four sections:

Part 1 is a rapid introduction to Symbian OS, which sketches the background of the mobile telephony market, traces the emergence of Symbian OS as well as of Symbian the company, conducts a rapid tour of the OS architecture, and provides a refresher-or introducion-to the key ideas of the object-orientation in software ('OO' for short.

Part 2 begins the more detailed exploration of the OS architecture, following the Symbian OS System Model layering to provide a complete, high level, architectural description of Symbian OS.

Part 3 returns to the historical approach of the primer chapters, and presents five case studies, each exploring some aspect of Symbian OS, or of its history and evolution, in depth. Drawing on the insights-and the recollections-of those who were involved, these studies trace the forces that have shaped the operating system.

Part 4 contains a component by component reference, ordered alphabetically by component name-and is definitely intended for a developer audience only. It also includes double-page colour pull-outs of versions of the Symbian OS System Model from v7.0 to v9.3.

Key system concepts are described; design patterns are explored and related to those from other operating systems. The unique features of Symbian OS are highlighted and their motivation and evolution traced and described. Readers will benefit from a substantial reference section itemizing the OS and its toolkit at component level and providing a reference entry for each component.

The Symbian OS Architecture Sourcebook is a must-have, technical introduction for the next wave of technical decision makers, seeking to evaluate and understand Symbian OS.


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Product Details

  • Series: Symbian Press (Book 11)
  • Paperback: 630 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (July 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470018461
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470018460
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,976,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Yong Zhi on January 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
Is this book worth the investment? The answer really depends on your purpose to read, it's neither a heavy-weight programming book, nor a detailed architectural book in a straight technical sense. Rather it's a book quite loosely organized, and filling with interviews, reflections, stories.

Non of the other Symbian books I read touched the motivation for using C++, the background behind unique Symbian features like active objects, two stage constructions etc. I appreciate more about Ecom and descriptors about finishing the book, worth mentioning is that the interviews with top Symbian figures like Colly Myers, David Wood etc also proved to be very insightful and worth a second read, to give you an idea, here is an except from chapter 3:

Charles Davies:

When I was interviewing people I used an example of a terminal emulation program. Here is a program that indisputably gets events not just from the user. The normal, naïve way of writing an interactive application at that time would be to wait for a keypress, see what keypress it was, and respond to it; was it a function key, was it any other key? You'd have some horrible case statement responding to a keypress. So I would ask, `How would you write an application where you don't know whether your next input is coming through the serial port or from the keypress?' And if they had a good answer to it they got hired, and if they didn't, they didn't.


The only reason that I did not gave it 5 stars because it barely touches the shortcomings of Symbian's treatment and decisions in the whole sphere of the OS arena, such as the performance tradeoff between microkernel and monolithic.

BTW, this book was written in late 2006 and the latest SOS version at that time was 9.3, the current Symbian OS version I am using is v9.6.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ming Zhu on October 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
I cannot believe that someone gives a book 1-star rating just because (s)he didn't find the ToC of a book. This is not fair to a decent book. I read this book while completing a research paper on comparison of mobile computing platforms. The chapter that introduces the architecture of Symbian OS and Symbian C++ development framework is very clear and comprehensive. Given the many components of Symbian platform, I would say it's worth reading.

I rate the book as a 5-star one to counteract the first comment. Seriously this is a 4-star book.

Btw: Amazon normally does not put the ToC of a book online. You can search for ToC on the publisher's website.
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0 of 15 people found the following review helpful By AfterTau on January 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
It should be an expectable book for Symbian fans. but even the table of content is not available online. less than sample chapters.
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