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Jonathan Erickson

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Back In the (Motor Scooter) Saddle Again

June 04, 2008

Never again will I board an airplane without thinking of Hugh Thompson crashing the infotainment system. That's what was on my mind when leaving Barcelona.

 It used to be easy to forget about this stuff, back when "personal" infotainment systems were restricted to Business Class. Back then, those of us packed in steerage with a chicken on one side and a goat on the other had little access to personal anything. But these days, every seat has a personal infotainment system to wile away the hours--and be reminded of Hugh's idea of a good time.

Putting aside Hugh's proclivity for havoc, it was a grand time in Barcelona, first at the Forum Nokia Innovation Summit, and then at the S60 Summit. I'll try to wrap up a synopsis:

  • I sat in on a session where Trolltech CTO Benoit Schillings talked about the future of software development. Focusing on the Qt Framework in particular, Schillings said that Nokia's Webkit would be integrated into Framework. He also expects that we'll see a merging of Web and C++ programming, and that multi-core processors and graphic accelerators will be commonplace in mobile devices.
  • Everything Paul Coulton said was absolutely fascinating. Coulton, a senior lecturer in Mobile Games and Social Networks at Lancaster University, spoke at both events. When he passed around the 3D glasses at Forum Nokia, I knew we were in for some fun. And his "In Search of the Mobile Teen Tribe" talk was enlightening, especially when hearing how email is passe amongst the teen crowd.
  • Learning how someone walked away with Mo'Blast's Kevin Leong's suitcase while he was reading a map was, well, educational.
  • Akos Viktoriusz's demo of the NaviSpeech project was very cool. Nice job.
  • After working with Dr. Dobb's author Pablo Santos of Codice Software for a couple of years now, I got to meet him face-to-face. A real treat.
  • Nokia said that the themes of the events were "Reach, Innovate, and the User Experience." But from where I sat, the real themes were open source, location-based, and Python.
    • Heikki Norta, Nokia's SVP of corporate strategy, adamantly stated that "open source is a must for industry growth," adding that "open source is the key to accelerating innovation." He went on to say that "the value is shifting from hardware and operating systems to services and applications...We believe the next wave of mobile development is going to be a lot more solution-centric than the latest one."
    • Location-Based Services. According to Marc Naddell of Navteq, a digital map data company recently acquired by Nokia, the future of mobile devices is all about knowing who you are, where you are, and what's around you. I would have heard more, but I got lost on my way to the session.
    • Python is now an official part of the S60 toolchain. Hurray!
  • And finally, watch out when the menu says "cock's comb" because it really is that red thing on a rooster's head. I should have stuck with the tofu.

    Oh yes, the motor scooters. I can't forget the scooters.

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