May 9, 2009

Python for Series 60: Reinvent the ophidian addiction on mobile phones

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 9:31 pm

Remember the good old days when playing Snakes on mobile used to be about the most productive thing you could do in a classroom? Well, those days are back, but this time taking guise of another fun reptilian phenomenon: Python for Series 60. If you need to develop/prototype applications on Series 60 devices while having some real fun, you might find PyS60 to be the best thing Nokia did since 1100.

In past, I have tried demystifying the beast known as Symbian development. Truth be told, I really ended up wishing that I had never attempted to do so in the first place. The whole development process was:

  • Extremely bloated: You need about a supercomputer to crunch out one innocent little SIS file without waiting for eons.
  • Error prone: Put the SDKs in a non-standard path and you’re foobar-ed.
  • Intimidatingly cryptic: For a beginner (and by beginner I mean beginner to Symbian, C++ experience apparently proves to be of no help over here), reading Symbian C++ is more or less like reading Perl. Especially since the humor that has developed over the decades resembling Perl code to line noise doesn’t lose any of its appeal here either.

For example, to create a simple notification which would read “Spam and eggs”, I would need to spend about 8 hours downloading, configuring, compiling, comprehending, troubleshooting the development tools. Further 4 for trying to understand how to accomplish something so simple in Symbian code. Granted, such painful development procedures might be required in some scenarios (e.g., where speed is a factor or where masochistic programmers prevail); in PyS60, producing the notification was as simple as:

Python for S60 on Nokia N72

import appuifw
appuifw.note(u"Spam and eggs", "info")

A mammoth two lines of code which I can easily understand without even referring to a book — I feel so cheap.

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1 Comment

  1. […] statistics about my cell phone’s inbox. This is where PyS60 comes to the rescue. In my previous post I praised Python’s s** appeal. Here’s the […]

    Pingback by SMS Inbox statistics for Series 60 mobile phones | Inspirated — May 10, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

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