Nokia prefers Python to Perl for smartphone scripting

Limited trial for pros, first

Nokia tells us that Python, not Perl, is the preferred language for scripting on its smartphone platforms. Last week Lee Epting, the VP responsible for developer programs, told us that an internal build of Perl for Series 60 would make its way into the wider world.

This is still the plan, but in a statement released internally, Nokia says "Within the context of a relatively new platform, Series 60, one implementation of a technology concept tool will actually involve the evaluation of Python as the scripting language, with the existing potential for Perl to be a strong evaluation candidate in a secondary phased approach."

"In order to get the best feedback into the viability of such technology concept tools, initial evaluation will be restricted within Forum Nokia to a limited group comprised of professional developers familiar with Nokia platforms and implementations."

What this means, a Nokia spokesperson tells us, is that the company won't simply fling it at the company's 1.3 million developers, but offer a more controlled access program.

We've learned of several projects outside Nokia which will may sate developers' appetites for building script-based applications, including a third-party Python.

David Frith tells us about his MobileBasic, which is a Java-based BASIC interpreter that can create Java Applets or MIDlets for phones. A BASIC running in a JVM may sound slow, but it has its advantages, says David, as it makes interrogating net applications pretty trivial - as this code sample indicates -

OPEN #1, "http://www.mobilebasic.com/HelloServer.php", "OUTPUT"
PRINT #1, "Name"
INPUT #1, N$
CLOSE #1

On the same theme, AppForge today announced that its Crossfire tool that brings .NET to PocketPC, Palm and Symbian UIQ and Series 60 devices would will eventually support additional languages to VB.NET. At $1,070 for a license, it isn't cheap but for Microsoft shops it's one of the quickest ways to deploy in-house apps across a range of devices. ®

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