Introducing muxcons

Published Friday April 15th, 2011 | by

One of the most frequent questions regarding development on Symbian is “why isn’t it easier?” or “is there a tool to help me do xyz?”. Some of those questions were helped by the release of fshell six months ago. That helped a lot, but there’s a limit to how excited you can get about about a basic command-line interface, even one with lots of really useful tools and features. Since then (in addition to maintaining fshell) I’ve been working on an improved GUI to replace the usual VT100-based terminal that is normally used to communicate with fshell. It’s aimed at making it easier to use fshell, and easier to debug Symbian devices in general.

I started writing it in Qt, as you’d expect, and recently I got involved with Qt Creator and it turned out to be a simple task to integrate what I was working on directly into Creator itself. It’s finally ready for a public airing, so here is muxcons in action, integrated into Qt Creator and using the CODA debugger connection to talk to fshell running on an N8:

Hopefully the video speaks for itself, but to summarise some of the useful features of muxcons:

  • Doesn’t require Qt Creator or CODA, but can integrate with them if available.
  • Is cross-platform (obviously!)
  • Supports drag-and-drop SIS install and file upload/download.
  • The ability to run programs on device from your PC’s command-line (like runonphone, but without needing exclusive access to the USB port).
  • Multiple fshell sessions at once.
  • Port-forwarding supported, so you can connect a phone to your PC via USB then connect to that PC from anywhere via TCP.

It’s only a beta at present but I’m working on it when I can, and all feedback is welcome. Either post bugs/comments/feature requests in the sourceforge tracker or forums or ping me (tomsci) in #qt-symbian on freenode IRC.

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Posted in QtCreator, Symbian

13 comments to Introducing muxcons

Chris Browet says:

Flabbergasted… The dream tool for symbian/qt developers… :-)

BTW, what is this XBMCRemote in qml? ;-)

Nils says:

I’m confused. Why’s Nokia killing Symbian? Stuff like this + the recent Anna reviews make me think that the platform might not be that dead. I’m even tempted buying the first Nokia device in years.

Daniel Molkentin says:

@Chris A first version of a Port of XBMCRemote for Android based on QML that a colleague and I started as a Creative Friday project.

TheBootroo says:

Why can’t we have the same for direct debugging on N900 and Linux ?

Daniel Molkentin says:

@TheBootroo: the N900 has MaddeDeveloper, which allows access to the device via SSH including becoming root via the gainroot command (if installed).

Veikko says:

Awesome! Keep up the excellent work. I’m a mobile programming lecturer, this tool helps me a lot in presenting things for the students.

Conny says:

Fantastic! I didn’t even know about fshell, which already looks like my favorite Symbian app! And muxcons looks even better. Thanks!

secretNinja says:

You are God! :)

Tom Sutcliffe says:

Thanks for all the positive comments folks! Keep the feedback coming.

Lucio says:

Really great job, but Symbian is gone…
I think it would be better to look to the future of Qt and, in my opinion, the future of Qt is ANDROID!
We need an ufficial port of Qt for Android.
It’s not so hard.
Please Qt people, focus on that.
I love Qt and I can’t see this framework die with Symbian and Nokia.
Think about…

Tom Sutcliffe says:

@Lucio: You don’t need to worry about this having taken time away from other projects, I can assure you it hasn’t :)

No Qt engineers or their schedules were harmed in the making if this project.

Luiz says:

Hey any code on a git repo for the XBMCRemote (QML based)? I’m a XBMC user and would be very interested in it. Thanks.

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