Computer scientists at Endeavors Technology have successfully developed a highly optimized, open source port of Python to the Palm OS(R) platform to stimulate interest in creating Python-based applications for Palm(TM) handheld computers and other devices that use the Palm operating system.
This complements Endeavors' peer-to-peer software development initiative to make "unequal" devices, such as PDAs, PCs, servers, information appliances, and Internet-ready phones, into peers so that software applications can potentially connect to billions of other devices through a common infrastructure.
Recognizing one-size doesn't fit all, Endeavors will work with device manufacturers and software developers to extend this small footprint, interoperable virtual machine (VM) across a multitude of hardware beyond the Palm. The Pippy VM is perfectly suited to scale across a variety of resource-constrained platforms. Pippy will make it easier for companies to build, port, and market new network-interoperable application programs while complementing other home automation (HAVi) and open services gateway initiative (OSGI) standards initiatives.
The Pippy project is a continuation of work previously released as a joint venture between The Aerospace Corp. and University of California, Irvine. Computer scientists Jeffery Collins and Michael Gorlick were principals on the joint venture and are now working for Endeavors Technology to bring the project to maturation.
The port, named Pippy, formed by appending the Python filename suffix ".PY" to the acronym PIP (Python In Palm), will reduce the effort of porting Python applications to small device platforms. Python is a useful and expressive object-oriented programming language often compared to Perl or Java and is widely used as a flexible and convenient scripting language. One of the challenges in porting Java or Python to small platforms is reducing their footprint to proportions suitable to the platform. Porting Python to the Palm allows developers to use a programming language and environment that was previously available only on much larger platforms. The Python Virtual Machine and libraries can occupy as little as 191 KB of storage memory and will execute in less than 64 KB of heap space.
"As a happy long-time user of Palm handhelds, I'm excited to see Python ported to this platform," said Guido van Rossum, author of the Python programming language and director of PythonLabs at Digital Creations. "This port will enable new applications for the Palm platform to be developed in much less time and for less cost. I'm very glad that Endeavors Technology decided to make this an open source project." Van Rossum will chair the 9th International Python Conference in Long Beach, Calif., on March 5-8 (http://www.python9.org/).
"Endeavors Technology is a recognized leader in championing open source development and has recently become one of the top tier companies delivering open standards peer-to-peer Magi infrastructure software," commented Brian Morrow, president and COO of Endeavors Technology. "With the development of the Python port, Endeavors' software continues to bring new capabilities to devices like Palm handhelds in a spirit similar to our ports of Magi to Win CE and the Compaq iPAQ."
Endeavors is making this port freely available to the developer community. It can be downloaded from the official Web site for Pippy at www.endeavors.com/pippy.html, which is hosted by Endeavors Technology.
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