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Introducing Carbide for Nokia Series 60 Development : Page 3

With a free (albeit poorly integrated) tool chain from Nokia and more capable IDEs from the likes of Borland and Metrowerks, and various initiative announcements over the last twenty-four months, choosing a tool chain for the new developer has been a Byzantine affair. With the announcement of Carbide.j and Carbide.c++, Nokia has just made the decision-making process much easier.

Building, Launching and Debugging
Every aspect of application building and debugging is performed within the Carbide.c++ environment, including options such as include paths, application UIDs, compilation of resources including the AIF and MBMs, and signing keys for the Symbian Self-Signing program.

Executing a project requires what the tool chain refers to as a "launch configuration" that lumps together the project name, which emulator to use, and any required environment variables. Once configured, the application can be built and executed using a single mouse-click, much like Microsoft Visual Studio. A second button option lets you build for debugging targets; the debugger is just as you'd expect, supporting source-level debugging with stepwise execution, breakpoints, and watchpoints.

Selecting the Right Version for the Job
Carbide.c++ is available in three versions: Carbide.c++ Express is free, while Nokia charges for Carbide.c++ Developer and Carbide.c++ Professional. The first is intended for casual Symbian developers, and has everything you need to create and package an application. If you're looking for a GUI designer, on-device debugging, or the ability to target specific CPUs, you need to purchase Carbide.c++ Developer. If you're looking to support unreleased devices, or are actually building Symbian-based devices, it's wise to invest in Carbide.c++ Professional, which includes support for R&D devices, system-level on-device debugging, and a performance investigator to examine resource use on-handset.

A Much-needed Overhaul
While perhaps not a replacement for Borland or Metrowerks full-blown SDKs for Symbian, Carbide.c++ Express is a much-needed overhaul of the previous tool chain offering from Nokia. A bona fide IDE built atop Eclipse, Carbide.c++ brings together the cumbersome command-line tools necessary for Symbian developers on a budget.

Ray Rischpater is the chief architect at Rocket Mobile, Inc., specializing in the design and development of messaging and information access applications for today's wireless devices. Ray is the author of several books on software development including "eBay Application Development" and "Software Development for the QUALCOMM BREW Platform," both available from Apress, and is an active amateur radio operator.
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