Porting GTK+ to Symbian OS?


I've been talking to a few people recently about the possibility of starting a community project to port GTK+ to Symbian OS.

It seems that GTK+ is the most popular toolkit in the mobile open source world right now with Maemo, OpenMoko and the Ubuntu mobile project.  At them same time the actual number of devices that open source developers can reach is still relatively small.  However there are around 100 million Symbian phones already out there that could probably support GTK+ based apps and that number is growing very quickly.

Nokia have already ported GLib to Symbian OS and (thanks to the LGPL) the source is available (they haven't released the source to any of the other libraries in their Open C plugin designed to make porting to Symbian easy).  As a first start - mostly just to get something running - I thought it should be quite easy use the cairo image buffer backend.  FreeType is also available on Symbian for use in Pango but is very slow so a native backend would almost certainly be required there.

However, my main reasons for posting to this list are to see if there's any interest in the project and also to ask some technical advice.  So my questions:

1) Is it just a crazy idea?

2) How much work do you think would be required:
a) Just to get something building and running so you can run a simple GTK+ based application?

b) To do a proper native backend? (experience from those who've worked on the other backends much appreciated)

3) Is performance with the cairo image buffer backend likely to be an issue?

4) From a bit of early research I get the idea that all the widgets use cairo now and GDK is just legacy, possibly even to be largely dropped in future??  Is that mistaken?

5) If I'm not confused/wrong on 4) then is it worth writing a full native backend for GDK or would it be better to do a cut down one - perhaps based on the DirectFB implementation?

6) Any other advice, tips, thoughts or suggestions?

I'm hoping to put together a proposal for this project as there's a reasonable chance it could get some funding or development effort from Symbian and/or some of the major device manufacturers.  Particularly since Nokia bought Trolltech, which kind of excludes the other device manufacturers from Qt (yes they could port the open version but are unlikely to now Nokia controls it).  I don't work for any of those companies but I have done in the past and have plenty of contacts.

Many thanks for you help,

Mark Wilcox

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