built-in scripting languages

Derek Pressnall dpressnall at gmail.com
Mon Jan 22 23:23:43 CET 2007

Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik writes:
> Why is this even being discused... you have the ability to add anything to
> the phone once you get your hands on it

The reason is the same reason the device is being shipped with a given
kernel (Linux), a given set of libraries (glibc, gtk), etc.  So that
when a developer writes an application, it will be known to be able to
run on all shipped devices.  So, in this light, it may be benificial
to included a standard interpreted language that can be a known
The benefits to having an interpreter included (esp. one that has
hooks into the gui and other phone functions) are that more apps will
be made available -- there are more hackers that can code up quick
scripts than ones that will learn & code for a specific gui accessible
only from a compiled language.  And, the benefit of having a
particular interpreter is that when these little apps / scripts are
packaged up, you don't have a dependancy nightmare (even though this
can be somewhat mitigated by a good package management system, it is
only as good as the backend repository, and having self-contained
packages are the simplest of all).  Also, by settling on a single
standard, even if it is one that some developers may have to learn, it
makes it more worthwhile to learn a new scripting environment that is
widely deployed on your target platform.  But for these same reasons,
the interpreted language target will need careful consideration, lets
we get stuck with something that doesn't adequetly meet most needs.

As a secondary issue, if the included interpreter is easily
embeddable, then it would be nice to have it as the standard across
all the included applets that can use it (i.e., it would be good if
the email/sms client, phonebook manager, dialer, etc. were all

But whatever is decided on (if a single language is picked), a
function library should be developed for it that includes access to
all the phone specific features (in addition to the gui hooks).

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