My previous post on the topic generated quite a discussion about Open Document Format (aka ISO 26300) documents on mobile platforms. My argument was that ODF support on most mobile platforms is still poor compared to the proprietary counterparts. From the discussion that happened on I learned about a quite decent Symbian reader for ODF files, called Office Reader. I tested it using Funambol email push and sync client on my Nokia E71 and the results are quite good. You can see from the screenshots below (taken from a pretty complex ODT test file) that the text rendered correctly.  I’m confident that I would be able to get an idea of the attached document and, if it was a press release, for example, I think I would OfficeReader would present enough information to approve it or not. This is the  if you want to compare to the mobile version. I’ve tested also a couple of ODP presentations and spreadsheets: they are rendered good enough to get an idea of what kind of document it is, but not as well as the text file.

I downloaded and installed OfficeReader directly from the phone’s browser, but of course all other options are valid. Check the FAQ if you can’t install or run it (I had to allow your phone’s operating system to run unsigned apps).

PS I took the screenshots with the free software Screenshot application (GPL license but the install screen says ‘freeware -not to be sold’ ?!?).

I honestly cannot understand the fear of forks that is spreading within the Symbian community. Since Symbian Foundation released the full source code of the operating system under the Eclipse Public License I’ve read few comments like the following:

I sincerely hope that we don’t see various manufacturers forking the code, and thus creating a veritable zoo of Symbian variants.

But then I ask: what can be worse than the current variants of proprietary Symbian? Even Nokia uses at least three Symbian versions, largely incompatible between each other.  Proprietary Symbian is a nightmare for developers, and I cannot see anything in the free software Symbian that can make things worse. The only risk I see for Symbian is to be successful at this point and win the hearts of the developers. What do you think?

via The risk of opening Symbian – All About Symbian Feature.

I’ve just received from Funambol’s Engineering a request for a Symbian developer. announcement remembering that I became Funambol’s Community Manager after reading Roberto’s blog.

Here is the announce:

The development team is looking for a motivated, highly-technical Symbian developer with excellent development and problem solving skills. You will join a dynamic team responsible for the development of the Funambol client on the Symbian platform. The successful candidate will join our Client Software Team in Pavia(Italy). The candidate must have good knowledge of C++ and a genuine enthusiasm for software development. This is a unique opportunity to work in Italy for a fast growing Open Source project.

Apply here. Good luck.