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Symbian Moves Closer to Open Source, Releases the OS Security Package under EPL
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The Symbian Foundation is already known to plan on moving its Symbian operating system into the open-source area, and it seems that the first steps in this direction have already been made, as the first open-source software package has just become public. The new package, which comes under the Eclipse Public Licence (EPL), is the OS Security Package, as announced by the Symbian developer Craig Heath.

“The OS Security Package source code is now available under the EPL, and it is the very first package to be officially moved from the closed Symbian Foundation License (SFL) to be open sourced under the EPL,” Heath says. Moreover, he also adds that the security package will be able to bypass export regulations in the U.K. under the EPL, as the Symbian code is legally based in the country.

For what it's worth, the availability of the first open-source Symbian package proves to the world that the Foundation is set to go all the way with the process. At the same time, Heath also states that the security of the platform is also an important area for the developers of the operating system. Moreover, Symbian Chief Architect Daniel Rubio also adds that the Symbian kernel and the basic set of components and drivers are next on the opening scheme.

“The practical reason [for which this is the first to go through this process] is the export regulations in the UK, where the Symbian Platform source code is hosted. The rules and regulations weren’t really written with source code in mind, and we found that it wasn’t feasible to get an export license which permitted the SFL crypto library source code to be exported. Fortunately there is an exemption for software “in the public domain”, meaning that open source software isn’t export controlled, so moving it from SFL to EPL was the most straightforward way to make sure that the complete cryptographic functionality would be available to all,” Craig Heath states.

The next version of the OS, called Symbian ^2, should become available next year on handsets, as the beta testing phase is expected to be ramped up in the following weeks. According to the Foundation, the new platform is based on version 9 of the OS and features the integration of the S60, UIQ, and MOAP user interfaces. As many of you might already know, Symbian also announced earlier this year that it planned on releasing a new platform every six months, and that the Symbian ^3 OS should become available in the middle of the ongoing year.

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