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Introducing muxcons

Published on Friday April 15, 2011 by Tom Sutcliffe in QtCreator Symbian | Comments

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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