Symbian SDK and Carbide.c++ on Windows Vista (glitches)

(I sincerely hope that writing about Windows does not in the least harm my overly popular reputation of being a Windows-Hater and Linux evangelist.)

You will likely run into a few glitches trying to get Carbide.c++ and Symbian SDK to run on Windows Vista. The core of the problem causing the glitches I will touch lightly upon is the new permissions model introduced in Windows Vista which admittedly has come a long way in the right direction from what previous versions of Windows had to offer. The good news is there are easy, few-click fixes required to get everything jogging on the right track.

Symbian SDK requires Activestate’s Perl to be installed on the system with the PATH environment variable containing an entry to the Perl binary. The glitch is not with getting Activestate’s Perl installed: It is with setting the PATH variable. Activestate’s Perl installer is clever enough to automatically modify the global PATH variable, but, in Windows Vista, the operation fails as the permissions model in place does not allow applications not running as administrator to alter global environment variables (among other tasks). An immediate fix is to run the installer as administrator by right-clicking on the installer binary and selecting “Run as Administrator” from the drop-down options menu, but as far as I have looked, that option does not appear for the installer. The work around is, as JayWalker pointed out to me when I asked, to manually set the global PATH environment variable to point to the directory containing the installed Perl binary (this can be done by going into Control Panel > Systems > Advanced > Environment Variables, or through right-clicking on My Computer icon > Properties > Advanced > Environment Variables).

After installing Carbide.c++, you will notice that it will crash as soon as it is invoked with an alert to check a particular log file for information that caused the crash. The log file simply tells you that Carbide failed to find the Java swt package. That is baffling because the swt package is right there inside the plugins directory along with every other package under Carbide’s root directory. Reading the only result google came up with for anything matching this particular situation, I found out that this particular glitch is due to the permissions model of Windows Vista. The exact explanation what happens escapes me, but the quick fix is to run Carbide’s binary as administrator.

Apparently, Carbide, as well as Eclipse, is behaving errantly under Windows Vista. I suspect it is the JVM that is not playing nice with Windows Vista as it crashes every now and then.

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