Pandora Standard File Format?


Game Developer
Jan 26, 2006
Is their going to be a Pandora specific executable file format like .gpe/.gpu? Or is it just using all the formats for the default distro (and will that distro exe format compatible/standardized in all distros that will most likely be used with the Pandora)? My mind is asleep from working all day, so excuse me if this sounds like a stupid question.
The extension is usually not very important in the unix world, as ELF executables usually do not have extensions.

It's been said that it will accept standard debian arm packages, so that means standard ELF executables.
It all comes down to the launcher used, which will most likely choose a method based on speed. How fast will reading a directory to find executables based on extensions be compared to opening every file to determine if it's an ARM ELF? Well, the first of course, so it's likely that there will become some standard form of file extension.
I was trying to get my package format adopted for the Pandora but Craig is being stubborn and doesn't think people are capable of copying a single file over (or having a system to automatically download that single file) ;).
I still think you should work on however, as even if Craig doesn't support, you can pretty much guarantee someone else will (probably whilst it's still under development :D)
Come on, people. It's a Linux computer; they don't need no steenkin' file extensions. Linux computers are smart enough to know on their own what they can run and what not.

And why not stick to simple ".deb" for installable packages? It works, it needs no complicated rewrites and is relatively idiot proof. I'd set up a safe "dumbass user" repository that contains packages the developers know will run on the Pandora. Put a good apt-get frontend (synaptic's nice...) on the Pandora and point it by default to that repository. Anyone smart enough to figure out how to change that, is likely also smart enough not to frak up their Pandora either.
I would prefer the .pex or .pxe extension.

I think it would be useful to add an extension to have faster executable recognition on the default launcher, as Squidge said before.
atari_eric said:
What, no .box ? ;)
I'd have thought somebody with a name like yours would be backing .prg as a sane extension :p
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A univesal extension have to be choose! We all hope for a full Linux Distro, but if a basic interface is choosen (most likely), a universal extension is a must, filtering extension allow nubie not getting lost! just my 2cents
I totally understand that linux is smart enough not to need one, but I'm kinda looking at this from a console perspective and for the sake of new devs if you think about it. .pan FTW!!!
I doubt this would help from a compiled program, but you can use "test -x" in a shell script to test to see if a file exists and is executable.
I still believe mimetypes are enough for this. Speed is not an issue, they get cached by the os and initial recognition is a few cycles long.

They would have a specific icon in the shell (file browser or whatever else it'll have) and anyone that can use a terminal doesn't need anything more than ls -al |grep
But the Pandora isn't for Linux geeks, it's for dumbasses too ;)

The simple launcher needs a way to filter out non-executables - opening every file to find out whether or not it's an executable would be a bad idea IMO, and there might be some executables that the developer doesn't want to appear in the menu, so a file extension is really a requirement. Of course you can create another launcher that doesn't care about them, but I think the simple launcher really needs one just for simplicity. I don't want to have to force the menu to rescan everytime I put something else on the sd card (or swap the card).

Personally, I like .PEX, it's kinda self-explanatory. The choice however is where to store the icons for the launcher - we could probably include them in the elf exe, or perhaps have a seperate file to make it simpler (.ico ?) to store the icon information. Less required tool = easier to use and less questions on the forum.
A launcher doesn't need to open all files itself in order to check if they're executable. The file utility can check the mimetype of a file.

And then there's the issue of scripting languages that can't be compiled to an executable (runtime duplication with things like py2exe is useless overhead). The launcher would need to check the mimetype anyway since a file with the executable extension could be either a binary or one of the several types of scripts.

I'm more in favor of a package management system like apt which allows for simple to use and clean installation/removal. When installed, each package can make links to the proper executables or .desktop files (which would solve the icon issue) and put them in the place where the launcher looks for them.

Also, .pex would probably create some confusion, since windows .exe's are actually called poartable executables (dunno why since they aren't portable at all).
Quote: .pex would probably create some confusion, since windows .exe's are actually called poartable executables (dunno why since they aren't portable at all).

you don`t think like Redmond, they`re portable across all MS OS`es silly ;)

seriously I like .pan, you could have a little satyr as the default executable icon :D