What is OPL?
OPL is a Basic like programming language for organizers (OPL = Organizer Programming Language). It was created by Psion and came pre-installed on almost every Psion machine (WorkAbout, Sibo, Psion 5MX, Netbook, Revo etc). Since OPL is relatively easy to learn, a lot of applications (commercial, shareware and freeware) were developed for these organizers. After Psion stopped the manufacturing of their organizers, OPL became part of Symbian who released OPL as open source. The name OPL has now been redefined as Open Programming Language. Since then OPL has been ported to a lot of Symbian machines (Series 60, UIQ and Communicator).
OPL is an interpreted language. That means that the source code is compiled into intermediate code, which is read by a dedicated interpreter for a specific machine. This allows OPL programs to be ported to different machines very quickly.
OPL on SourceForge
The OPL language is now being maintained by a group of enthusiastic programmers (some are working for Symbian, but all are working on it purely out of interest and in their spare time) on SourceForge. For more information check the OPL project page at http://sourceforge.net/projects/opl-dev/. On the OPL homepage (http://opl-dev.sourceforge.net/) you can always find the latest downloads for OPL.
OPL development for the Nokia Communicator
Over the last couple of months I wrote a couple of OPL applications, OPL modules and OPX's. All of them are for the Nokia Communicator (9210, 9300 and 9500) although some of them may be usable on other phones as well. The stuff that is finished (or at least has a separate page for it) is listed and clickable on the left side of the screen.
Since I develop my OPL applications directly on the device it is important to me that I also have the tools handy to do most of the development tasks on the Communicator. For this reason I've created IconEdit, CombineMBM and RSCEdit and will continue to write other tools to make programming on the device easier. My end goal is to be able to develop an entire application from start to finish on my Communicator including the resources (graphics and text) and the installation package. Of course I won't reinvent the wheel. If tools are already available, I'll use those, but tools that aren't available, I'll try to write myself.
My name is Arjen Broeze. Although I'm not working as a programmer anymore, it's still my biggest hobby. After switching from a an Ericsson MC 218 (a brand labeled Psion 5MX) to a Nokia Communicator 9210i I was very pleased to find that OPL had been ported to the Communicator. But, a lot has changed in the operating system and OPL programs from Psion 5MX cannot run on the Communicator without modifying them. Fortunately, that's not very difficult.
In March last year I joined the OPL development project at SourceForge. Because of this, I got a lot more insight in what can and cannot be done in OPL and how to extend the language with OPX's. I try to keep an eye on all the newsgroups that have OPL discussion boards (see the Links section) to help other programmers make the most of this great language.
Apart from the OPL development project, I was also invited to join FreEPOC, a group of European programmers dedicated to providing high quality software for EPOC/Symbian for free. Most of the software of FreEPOC is written in OPL and most of my programs are also (or will be shortly) available from the FreEPOC web-site.