Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Python for Series 60

I've known that there has been a "secret" developer release of Python available for a while now from Nokia for Series 60 phones, such as my Nokia 3650 and 6600. However what I'd totally missed, was the public release of Python for Series 60.

I'd tried developing applications for the Series 60 using Java ME and found it hard going, despite having a fair bit of "normal" Java experience. It was especially hard going since I don't use MS Windows and couldn't take advantage of most of the infrastructre that has been written specifically to make things easier for the developer.

While I was struggling with Java the rumours of Perl for Series 60 leaked out of Nokia, I more or less stopped working on trying to get my head round Java ME at this stage, despite actually having a working toolchain and some tinkertoy level applications running. I was vastly disappointed to latter learn that Nokia was going to go with Python not Perl as their choice of high level language.

I've played with Python in past and I definitely prefer writing Perl. But even Python is a vast step forward over the intricacies of Java ME, so I was still somewhat cheered by the prospect of any decent high level language appearing for the Series 60 platform.

I'm currently downloading the SDK. I'm discouraged that it seems to be shipped in zip format, as I'm hoping the toolchain isn't platform specific. However, I've seen other people are talking about developing from Linux so I'm hoping I'll be able to do so from Mac OS X which is my prefered platform these days.

More information about the release can be found on the Python for Series 60 Wiki site.

Update: I managed to get Python working and developing under Mac OS X is quite simple. I even managed to get it to do something useful, well sort of, in a fairly short time scale.

Update: A version of Perl for Symbian/Series 60 has now been released...