Code Releases and Symbian Packaging

I’m prepping my first actual .sis file release for the Symbian platform today. I’ve actually been doing it for the past couple days, but today is when I’m going to put in the brunt of the effort.

Most people don’t realize that for me, a release is a process, similar to the way any software company would do it. Prior to a release, I do many things, like checking in code to a revision control system, creating a webpage for the application, gathering screenshots, writing instructions and simple informational blurbs on a product, and so on.

It also leads up to me doing a markeitng blitz for the “product”, even if it’s free: doing my best to inform the persons who would be most interested in the newly released product that it is available. This includes posting in weblog, listing in IRC channels, etc.

Really, to create a full release, it takes me about a half day to get code from “Working on my phone” to the condition where I want to declare a release point, with ample documentation of what I’ve done, why I’ve done it, and why I think it might be useful.

This is going to be my first release using some new tools: specifically Py2SisNG, an *excellent* tool for creating .sis files out of Python applications. The documentation for the app is very good, and if you read the README in the distribution, it really does tell you step by step everything you need to do. I can’t thank the creators of this application enough. It has allowed me to turn my amatuerish Python script into an actual application, something I thought I’d never be able to do on a non-Windows platform.

Of course, there is still one limitation to what I can do: I can’t figure out how to create a .mbm image for the icon of the application. It seems like this little-used format is popular in the mobile world for storing multiple bitmaps in one file, but that there is little information on how to create these images under non-Windows platforms. I’m not sure if I’m going to delay the release until I have an icon for the application, but I’m considering it.

If anyone has any experience in creating .mbm images under non-Windows platforms, please let me know! I’d love to be able to put an icon onto my application to make it look just a little more complete.

3 Responses to “Code Releases and Symbian Packaging”

  1. Shermozle Says:

    What’s the release Chris?

  2. Christopher Schmidt Says:

    Had I been set to talk about it, I would have 🙂 I typically like to get things in shape for release before I talk them up too much — I hate having a project with no webpage, and it usually only takes about a half day to a day before I get a release and webpage set for it.

    But, as you can tell by my most recent entry, I’ve now released it: GPSDisplay, a Python program to let you use your mobile phone as a Bluetooth GPS Display screen.

  3. Rich Says:

    ImageMagick can make MBMs, as I recall.