Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Manual Pages


home | help
PERLSYMBIAN(1)	       Perl Programmers	Reference Guide		PERLSYMBIAN(1)

       perlsymbian - Perl version 5 on Symbian OS

       This document describes various features	of the Symbian operating
       system that will	affect how Perl	version	5 (hereafter just Perl)	is
       compiled	and/or runs.

       NOTE: this port (as of 0.4.1) does not compile into a Symbian OS	GUI
       application, but	instead	it results in a	Symbian	DLL.  The DLL includes
       a C++ class called CPerlBase, which one can then	(derive	from and) use
       to embed	Perl into applications,	see symbian/README.

       The base	port of	Perl to	Symbian	only implements	the basic POSIX-like
       functionality; it does not implement any	further	Symbian	or Series 60,
       Series 80, or UIQ bindings for Perl.

       It is also possible to generate Symbian executables for "miniperl" and
       "perl", but since there is no standard command line interface for
       Symbian (nor full keyboards in the devices), these are useful mainly as

   Compiling Perl on Symbian
       (0) You need to have the	appropriate Symbian SDK	installed.

       These instructions have been tested under various Nokia Series 60
       Symbian SDKs (1.2 to 2.6, 2.8 should also work, 1.2 compiles but	does
       not work), Series 80 2.0, and Nokia 7710	(Series	90) SDK.  You can get
       the SDKs	from Forum Nokia (<>).  A very
       rough port ("it compiles") to UIQ 2.1 has also been made.

       A prerequisite for any of the SDKs is to	install	ActivePerl from
       ActiveState, <>

       Having the SDK installed	also means that	you need to have either	the
       Metrowerks CodeWarrior installed	(2.8 and 3.0 were used in testing) or
       the Microsoft Visual C++	6.0 installed (SP3 minimum, SP5	recommended).

       Note that for example the Series	60 2.0 VC SDK installation talks about
       ActivePerl build	518, which does	no more	(as of mid-2005) exist at the
       ActiveState website.  The ActivePerl 5.8.4 build	810 was	used
       successfully for	compiling Perl on Symbian.  The	5.6.x ActivePerls do
       not work.

       Other SDKs or compilers like Visual.NET,	command-line-only Visual.NET,
       Borland,	GnuPoc,	or sdk2unix have not been tried.

       These instructions almost certainly won't work with older Symbian
       releases	or other SDKs.	Patches	to get this port running in other
       releases, SDKs, compilers, platforms, or	devices	are naturally welcome.

       (1) Get a Perl source code distribution (for example the	file
       perl-5.9.2.tar.gz is fine) from <> and unpack
       it in your the C:/Symbian directory of your Windows system.

       (2) Change to the perl source directory.

	   cd c:\Symbian\perl-5.x.x

       (3) Run the following script using the perl coming with the SDK

	   perl	symbian\

       You must	use the	cmd.exe, the Cygwin shell will not work.  The PATH
       must include the	SDK tools, including a Perl, which should be the case
       under cmd.exe.  If you do not have that,	see the	end of symbian\
       for notes of how	your environment should	be set up for Symbian

       (4) Build the project, either by

	    make all

       in cmd.exe or by	using either the Metrowerks CodeWarrior	or the Visual
       C++ 6.0,	or the Visual Studio 8 (the Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition
       works fine).

       If you use the VC IDE, you will have to run symbian\ first
       using the cmd.exe, and then run 'make' to generate	the
       VC6 makefiles and workspaces.  "make vc6" will compile for the VC6, and
       "make cw" for the CodeWarrior.

       The following SDK and compiler configurations and Nokia phones were
       tested at some point in time (+ = compiled and PerlApp run, - = not),
       both for	Perl 5.8.x and 5.9.x:

	    SDK	    | VC | CW |
	    S60	1.2 | +	 | +  |	3650 (*)
	    S60	2.0 | +	 | +  |	6600
	    S60	2.1 | -	 | +  |	6670
	    S60	2.6 | +	 | +  |	6630
	    S60	2.8 | +	 | +  |	(not tested in a device)
	    S80	2.6 | -	 | +  |	9300
	    S90	1.1 | +	 | -  |	7710
	    UIQ	2.1 | -	 | +  |	(not tested in a device)

	(*) Compiles but does not work,	unfortunately, a problem with Symbian.

       If you are using	the 'make' directly, it	is the GNU make	from the SDKs,
       and it will invoke the right make commands for the Windows emulator
       build and the Arm target	builds ('thumb'	by default) as necessary.

       The build scripts assume	the 'absolute style' SDK installs under	C:,
       the 'subst style' will not work.

       If using	the VC IDE, to build use for example the File->Open
       The emulator binaries will appear in the	same directory.

       If using	the VC IDE, you	will a lot of warnings in the beginning	of the
       build because a lot of headers mentioned	by the source cannot be	found,
       but this	is not serious since those headers are not used.

       The Metrowerks will give	a lot of warnings about	unused variables and
       empty declarations, you can ignore those.

       When the	Windows	and Arm	DLLs are built do not be scared	by a very long
       messages	whizzing by: it	is the "export freeze" phase where the whole
       (rather large) API of Perl is listed.

       Once the	build is completed you need to create the DLL SIS file by

	    make perldll.sis

       which will create the file perlXYZ.sis (the XYZ being the Perl version)
       which you can then install into your Symbian device: an easy way	to do
       this is to send them via	Bluetooth or infrared and just open the

       Since the total size of all Perl	SIS files once installed is over 2 MB,
       it is recommended to do the installation	into a memory card (drive E:)
       instead of the C: drive.

       The size	of the perlXYZ.SIS is about 370	kB but once it is in the
       device it is about one 750 kB (according	to the application manager).

       The perlXYZ.sis includes	only the Perl DLL: to create an	additional SIS
       file which includes some	of the standard	(pure) Perl libraries, issue
       the command

	    make perllib.sis

       Some of the standard Perl libraries are included, but not all: see
       "HISTORY" or symbian\install.cfg	for more details (250 kB -> 700	kB).

       Some of the standard Perl XS extensions (see "HISTORY" are also

	    make perlext.sis

       which will create perlXYZext.sis	(290 kB	-> 770 kB).

       To compile the demonstration application	PerlApp	you need first to
       install the Perl	headers	under the SDK.

       To install the Perl headers and the class CPerlBase documentation so
       that you	no more	need the Perl sources around to	compile	Perl
       applications using the SDK:

	    make sdkinstall

       The destination directory is C:\Symbian\perl\X.Y.Z.  For	more details,
       see symbian\PerlBase.pod.

       Once the	headers	have been installed, you can create a SIS for the

	    make perlapp.sis

       The perlapp.sis (11 kB -> 16 kB)	will be	built in the symbian
       subdirectory, but a copy	will also be made to the main directory.

       If you want to package the Perl DLLs (one for WINS, one for ARMI), the
       headers,	and the	documentation:


       which will create	that can be used in another Windows
       system with the SDK, without having to compile Perl in that system.

       If you want to package the PerlApp sources:


       If you want to package the perl.exe and miniperl.exe, you can use the
       perlexe.sis and miniperlexe.sis make targets.  You also probably	want
       the perllib.sis for the libraries and maybe even	the perlapp.sis	for
       the recognizer.

       The make	target 'allsis'	combines all the above SIS targets.

       To clean	up after compilation you can use either	of

	    make clean
	    make distclean

       depending on how	clean you want to be.

   Compilation problems
       If you see right	after "make" this

	   cat >makefile
	   'cat' is not	recognized as an internal or external command,
	   operable program or batch file.

       it means	you need to (re)run the	symbian\

       If you get the error

	       'perl' is not recognized	as an internal or external command,
	       operable	program	or batch file.

       you may need to reinstall the ActivePerl.

       If you see this

	   The system cannot find the file specified.
	   C:\Symbian\...\make.exe: [rename_makedef] Error 1 (ignored)

       please ignore it	since it is nothing serious (the build process of
       renames the Perl as to avoid confusing it with
       a of the SDK).

       The PerlApp application demonstrates how	to embed Perl interpreters to
       a Symbian application.  The "Time" menu item runs the following Perl
       code: "print "Running in	", $^O,	"\n", scalar localtime", the
       "Oneliner" allows one to	type in	Perl code, and the "Run" opens a file
       chooser for selecting a Perl file to run.

       The PerlApp also	is started when	the "Perl recognizer" (also included
       and installed) detects a	Perl file being	activated through the GUI, and
       offers either to	install	it under \Perl (if the Perl file is in the
       inbox of	the messaging application) or to run it	(if the	Perl file is
       under \Perl).
       In the symbian subdirectory there is utility which can	be
       used to package Perl scripts and/or Perl	library	directories into SIS
       files, which can	be installed to	the device.  To	run the
       utility,	you will need to have the 'makesis' and	'uidcrc' utilities
       already installed.  If you don't	have the Win32 SDKs, you may try for
       example <>	or

   Using Perl in Symbian
       First of	all note that you have full access to the Symbian device when
       using Perl: you can do a	lot of damage to your device (like removing
       system files) unless you	are careful.  Please do	take backups before
       doing anything.

       The Perl	port has been done for the most	part using the Symbian
       standard	POSIX-ish STDLIB library. It is	a reasonably complete library,
       but certain corners of such emulation libraries that tend to be left
       unimplemented on	non-UNIX platforms have	been left unimplemented	also
       this time: fork(), signals(), user/group	ids, select() working for
       sockets,	non-blocking sockets, and so forth.  See the file
       symbian/ and look for 'undef' to find the unsupported APIs (or
       from Perl use Config).

       The filesystem of Symbian devices uses DOSish syntax, "drives"
       separated from paths by a colon,	and backslashes	for the	path.  The
       exact assignment	of the drives probably varies between platforms, but
       for example in Series 60	you might see C: as the	(flash)	main memory,
       D: as the RAM drive, E: as the memory card (MMC), Z: as the ROM.	 In
       Series 80 D: is the memory card.	 As far	the devices go the NUL:	is the
       bit bucket, the COMx: are the serial lines, IRCOMx: are the IR ports,
       TMP: might be C:\System\Temp.  Remember to double those backslashes in
       doublequoted strings.

       The Perl	DLL is installed in \System\Libs\.  The	Perl libraries and
       extension DLLs are installed in \System\Libs\Perl\X.Y.Z\.  The PerlApp
       is installed in \System\Apps\, and the SIS also installs	a couple of
       demo scripts in \Perl\ (C:\Mydocs\Perl\ on Nokia	7710).

       Note that the Symbian filesystem	is very	picky: it strongly prefers the
       \ instead of the	/.

       When doing XS / Symbian C++ programming include first the Symbian
       headers,	then any standard C/POSIX headers, then	Perl headers, and
       finally any application headers.

       New() and Copy()	are unfortunately used by both Symbian and Perl	code
       so you'll have to play cpp games	if you need them.  PerlBase.h
       undefines the Perl definitions and redefines them as PerlNew() and

       Lots.  See symbian/TODO.

       As of Perl Symbian port version 0.4.1 any part of Perl's	standard
       regression test suite has not been run on a real	Symbian	device using
       the ported Perl,	so innumerable bugs may	lie in wait.  Therefore	there
       is absolutely no	warranty.

       When creating and extending application programming interfaces (APIs)
       for Symbian or Series 60	or Series 80 or	Series 90 it is	suggested that
       trademarks, registered trademarks, or trade names are not used in the
       API names.  Instead, developers should consider basing the API naming
       in the existing (C++, or	maybe Java) public component and API naming,
       modified	as appropriate by the rules of the programming language	the
       new APIs	are for.

       Nokia is	a registered trademark of Nokia	Corporation. Nokia's product
       names are trademarks or registered trademarks of	Nokia.	Other product
       and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks or trade names of
       their respective	owners.

       Jarkko Hietaniemi

       Copyright (c) 2004-2005 Nokia.  All rights reserved.

       Copyright (c) 2006-2007 Jarkko Hietaniemi.

       The Symbian port	is licensed under the same terms as Perl itself.

       o   0.1.0: April	2005

	   (This will show as "0.01" in	the Symbian Installer.)

	    - The console window is a very simple console indeed: one can
	      get the newline with "000" and the "C" button is a backspace.
	      Do not expect a terminal capable of vt100	or ANSI	sequences.
	      The console is also "ASCII", you cannot input e.g. any accented
	      letters.	Because	of obvious physical constraints	the console is
	      also very	small: (in Nokia 6600) 22 columns, 17 rows.
	    - The following libraries are available:
	      AnyDBM_File AutoLoader base Carp Config Cwd constant
	      DynaLoader Exporter File::Spec integer lib strict	Symbol
	      vars warnings XSLoader
	    - The following extensions are available:
	      attributes Compress::Zlib	Cwd Data::Dumper Devel::Peek
	      Digest::MD5 DynaLoader Fcntl File::Glob Filter::Util::Call
	      IO List::Util MIME::Base64
	      PerlIO::scalar PerlIO::via SDBM_File Socket Storable Time::HiRes
	    - The following extensions are missing for various technical
	      B	ByteLoader Devel::DProf	Devel::PPPort Encode GDBM_File
	      IPC::SysV	NDBM_File Opcode PerlIO::encoding POSIX
	      re Safe Sys::Hostname Sys::Syslog
	      threads threads::shared Unicode::Normalize
	    - Using MakeMaker or the Module::* to build	and install modules
	      is not supported.
	    - Building XS other	than the ones in the core is not supported.

	   Since this is 0.something release, any future releases are almost
	   guaranteed to be binary incompatible.  As a sign of this the
	   Symbian symbol exports are kept unfrozen and	the .def files fully
	   rebuilt every time.

       o   0.2.0: October 2005

	     - Perl 5.9.3 (patch level 25741)
	     - Compress::Zlib and IO::Zlib supported
	     - added

	   We maintain the binary incompatibility.

       o   0.3.0: October 2005

	     - Perl 5.9.3 (patch level 25911)
	     - Series 80 2.0 and UIQ 2.1 support

	   We maintain the binary incompatibility.

       o   0.4.0: November 2005

	     - Perl 5.9.3 (patch level 26052)
	     - adding a	sample Symbian extension

	   We maintain the binary incompatibility.

       o   0.4.1: December 2006

	     - Perl 5.9.5-to-be	(patch level 30002)
	     - added extensions: Compress/Raw/Zlib, Digest/SHA,
	       Hash/Util, Math/BigInt/FastCalc,	Text/Soundex, Time/Piece
	     - port to S90 1.1 by alexander smishlajev

	   We maintain the binary incompatibility.

       o   0.4.2: March	2007

	     - catchup with Perl 5.9.5-to-be (patch level 30812)
	     - tested to build with Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition
	       (which uses Microsoft Visual C 8, instead of the	old VC6),
	       SDK used	for testing S60_2nd_FP3	aka 8.1a

	   We maintain the binary incompatibility.

perl v5.32.1			  2020-12-18			PERLSYMBIAN(1)


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help