What is cobex


2007-07-25:Hiya. I've now imported the project into subversion to make it a little bit easier to work on. The first improvment is that th build system is updated, thanks to Mike Frysinger. As I mentioned earlier, my current phone (the K550i, the W880i I sold to my father) doesn't support cobex. So, if you would like to work on the project, contact me, and I'll give you SVN access.

When importing the project into SVN I found a change that was not included in v0.2.13, regarding what Obex target to connect to. So it might be an idea to update from SVN if you experience problem when connecting to either.

2007-06-27:Hello there. Just wanted to drop in and let you know that the project is still here. Also, recently I got my hands on not one, but TWO new SonyEricsson phones, a K550i and a W880i. Neither of them support Obex over cable. Sorry. They are really cool phones, though.

2006-10-30:Yes, ol' Gil is back again... Yay... This time with v0.2.13.

Anyway... I'm continuing to fix cobex so that it handles national characters properly, and this release adds support for national characters in cobex_put. Also, I've come to nurture a hate against the Linux implementation of iconv. If you're on HP/UX and would like to submit a patch to cobex for a decent version of iconv, feel free to do so.

When I'm testing this version, I seem to stumble on some kind of bug regarding putting files with a certain name, often short ones like two characters. I'm not sure if it's related to a bug in cobex or in the phone. If your phone restarts when you put a file, and you can reproduce this error reliable, email me.

2006-09-28:Hrm... So this is what happend. After the last release, cobex was able to create files and folders with national characters in them. Obex uses UTF-16BE in all it's name headers, so a conversion is done from what is set in the environment to that.

Folder listing works by fetching an XML document from the phone, and that XML is in UTF-8. Since my terminal is also in UTF-8 everything looked fine, so I just thought it worked. Stupid me, data encoding is part of what I do for a living. A simple test with a terminal set to ISO-8859-1 revealed that I didn't have a clue. And here we are, version 0.2.12 with updated support for national character in folder listings also.

Oh yeah, if the phone has files with Unicode characters that are not printable in the encoding that your terminal is using, strange things will happen, probably truncations. I will work on that. Som other day.

2006-09-24:Yeah, yeah, yet another release. This time I've implemented national character support in filenames. You can now create files and directories with letters like å, ü and ñ. It should work if your environment is set up correctly, it uses the standard functions from locale.h, langinfo.h and iconv.h. I even got to close my first feature request in the cobex tracker.

In other news, the Debian maintainer of the cobex package, Mario Iseli, wrote to tell me that cobex will be on the CDs of the next Debian release. Tres cool! We now actually have distribution support...

2006-07-30: As mentioned below I sometimes do some "egosurfing" on cobex. It's nice to see that people are using it, but it's a pity that so few of you email me with your success-stories, suggestions or patches. Those who do, it's much appreciated!

Anyway, one new page that I found recently is from the site. As a change from the regular newssites, who just re-post the RSS feeds from sourceforge and freshmeat, they've actually made some original content. But why, for the love of your favourite deity, did they take screenshots?

2006-07-29: cobex 0.2.10 is out. Isn't that amazing? This time I fixed a lot of cool things, like now you are able to put a file not just to the root/Inbox, but to anywhere in the hierarchy. Putting an MP3 in the Image folder is no longer just a dream... Yes...

Well, anyway, a code cleanup and better handling of what Obex target to connect to is implemented. But biggest news is probably the inclusion of cobex_mkdir! Yes, now you can create new folders on your phone, well within limits of what the phone allows anyway, my K700i doesn't seem to allow more than 3 levels depth, then I get an Unauthorized.

Also, it should be noted that modelDb is gone. I wasn't using it, and noone contributed signatures to it, so it wasn't very useful and thus removed.

Debian folks, it looks like you should be able to apt-get cobex from some repository now. When doing searches on Internet, I found that cobex is in one of the Debian repos since 0.2.8. And with packages for some 8-10 platforms, yay! Don't ask me about Debian though, I'm a Fedorian myself.

Package maintainers (yes, I'm looking at you Debian and Ark), feel free to drop me an email and say hi. And, of course, to submit changes to cobex. Man-pages anyone...?

In the description for the cobex packages at Debian, it says, and I quote "It works with most devices of Sony Ericsson and Nokia, even with those ones based on Symbian OS". Awl-right, cool! Could anyone who actually tested this step up to the plate and tell me about it, what models etc.?

2006-07-05: cobex 0.2.9 is out. You didn't think it was possible, but now it's here: cobex-0.2.9, yay! Most important new feature: Interrupting an obex session, like when doing a file transfer, actually works now. That is, you don't have to powercycle the phone before you start a new obex session.

2006-05-28: The is the full list of phones that I have full or partial success reports for so far: T300, T310, T610, K700i, K750i, K508i, K300i and J300i. I've only tried T310, T610 and K700i myself.

2006-02-20: cobex 0.2.8 is out. Crazy good! Now with full support on K700i/K750i and better handling of the uucp lockfile system.

2005-07-19: cobex 0.2.6 is out (finally). Better interrupt handling, better path handling. Tested on SE K700i.

2004-09-10: cobex 0.2.4 is out. Added better handling of filepaths in cobex_get.

2004-07-01: cobex 0.2.1 is out. Added XML parsing of the folderlisting output.

2004-06-16: I now know of two semiprojects that is using cobex to communicate with the phone, I'll give more info when those projects surfaces.
There is a new version of cobex waiting on my harddrive that does XML parsing of the folder listing using Expat, but I'll wait until I have done some more work.
For those of you who are using ARK Linux, there seems to be RPM packages of cobex.

2004-03-13: New version. The 0.2.0 can upload and download files from the phone. Also, a small utility for listing directories on the phone is included.

2003-11-23: First of all, my nice, new employer has given me a SE T610, and I'll be looking into extending cobex if the T610 has better obex support. Also, I suspect that the software release R3B for T310 might have better obex support. I might go and upgrade my T310 to see...

2003-09-09: I have been emailing Ericsson regarding OBEX GET and the T310. Today they answered that what I observe, ie. that the OBEX server hangs when I try to do an OBEX GET, indeed is the intended behaviour. They also said that they have no plans on changing this. Bummer.

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What is cobex?

Cable-obex, or cobex for short, is a small implementation of Obex, the OBject EXchange protocol, as defined by Infrared Data Association. The primary focus is Obex over cable with an SonyEricsson T310 or T300, the cable in my case being the infamous DCU-11 USB-to-serial adapter.

Currently the project consists of a couple of headerfiles and some sourcefiles, which results in a small executable that can be used to send files to a SonyEricsson T3x0, and probably other SonyEricsson models. Fetching files is NOT implemented. In fact, it's not even implemented (or at least not working) in the phone...

It's not a full-scale, foolproof, ironclad implementation of Obex. Check out OpenObex instead. They even have a v1.0!

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For all your downloading needs, check out the Download page at sourceforge

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It seems most of the documentation previously available on the Obex been locked away and requires membership in different organisations. Therefore, the links I previously had here doesn't work and has been removed.

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There are several other interesting links regarding Obex and/or SonyEricsson phones.
cobex@sourceforge The project page at sourceforge
SonyEricsson Makers of cool phones.
The SonyEricsson manager A gtk/Gnome application for managing your phonebook, sending SMS etc.
OpenObex The openobex project, with lots of stuff for talking to various Obex enabled devices.

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Frequently asked questions

Q: Is this really an FAQ?
A: Nope. Noone asked me any questions yet, but I'm proactive...

Q: So, with cobex_put I can upload things to my T310. How do I download things, f.ex. images I took with my camera?
A: I don't think you can, Obex GET doesn't seem to be implemented in T3x0. Even worse, if you try to GET something, the Obex server becomes unresponsive and you have to powercycle the phone.
If you have a working IrDA port on your computer, you can use OpenObex to beam the things you want. "Beaming" through the cable is a no go.
You can of course email things, but that costs money.

Q: So, cobex doesn't support getting files from a phone? At all?
A: It sure does, if the phone supports it, which as I said T3x0 doesn't. See the section in the README file on what phones I've gotten reports on.

Q: What is the license for cobex?
A: It's GPLv2. I use another library,
ezV24, for doing serial communication, and since ezV24 is GPL and cobex is linked with ezV24, cobex also becomes GPL.

Q: Why should I use cobex, now that obex-ftp from OpenObex supports SonyEricsson over serial links?
A: Good question! If obexftp works for you, then you should use it. I tried v0.18 recently, and while it does work, it's a little bit trickier to use than cobex. It doesn't seem to leave OBEX mode when it terminates, but it looks like it tries to enter OBEX mode again when you do another operation, which makes my K700i confused.
That being said, OpenObex probably has less bugs in memory management, return code validation etc., so if your business relies on OBEX you should probably go with them instead.

Q: Will this work with my SonyEricson ZPT1284621 and the BIDIDIBI-3912 SE Firewire-to-Serial cable?
A: I don't know. Why don't you give it a try and tell me?

Q: How do I contact you?
A: Email me at sorn73 at yahoo dot com .

Q: Hey! The DCU-11 is not supported under Linux. I know, I've had one for years and it doesn't work.
A: The kernel from version 2.4.21 supports it out-of-the-box, but you can modify the pl2303-driver to support it in earlier versions also. Basically you add the VendorID/ProductID to the driver and ... that's it. No biggie.

Q: Is this the most crappy webpage design ever?
A: Nah, I've seen worse.

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