Write Code On The Pandora


txd

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I was wondering if it would possible to write code and stuff on the pandora, using the built in keyboard, that would mean it could be possible to make games or software on the go, which i believe is a great idea.

I'm aware that its probably gonna be feasible, but will it be a good idea?

So please post any ideas you have on this subject.



I<3 :pandora1:
 

ledow

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Possible - almost certainly. You could program on the GP2X if you were sadistic enough to do it through STerm of similar. (I have in fact written shell scripts around some of my games using my GP2X's joystick and STerm!)

Practical - almost certainly not. For a start, programming in some languages requires some very unusual characters (semi-colons, hash-marks, asterisks, percents, dollars, tabs etc.) and the Pandora keyboard isn't really suited to typing a lot of them in. Have a look at it here:

http://www.openpandora.org/bigone.jpg

It's also pretty small which means that trying to write hard code on it (which is like writing a novel) is going to hurt after more than a few minutes. I dare say some nutter will want to do it but you'll have a hard time doing serious work on it. There's nothing to stop anyone, even in the more exotic languages, but it's just inconvenient and most of the time there's not much that beats developing on a seperate, serious development machine.

In terms of software availablity, processing power etc. there's nothing stopping you - it looks easily capable of running gcc and similar compilers in a reasonable time (I develop on a 600MHz laptop and I don't even notice). But I can't see people whipping it out on a long train journey and compiling in C unless they are very bored and have nothing else on them.
 

txd

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Yeah okay thanks for your honest reply. Thats kinda what i thought already. But of course someone are gonna try it ^_^


btw are there pandora emulators for dev work?
 

Blah

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Yeah, coding on the go has been part of the design since day one pretty much.

I don't think there's an Pandora emulator though besides the ARM linux emulators that already exist, which should be sufficient.
 

MilanC

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The final keyboard isn't the one on the renders, though; that was just a mock-up.
 

azmodean

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I actually DID do some debugging of a gp2x app once in STerm, I wouldn't recommend it, especially since Pandora will be easier to work with as far as not having to reboot every time you want to update the source. (I know, use a serial console, I never got around to setting one up, I haven't done much embedded development at home (Ironically since that's all I do at work...) )
 

mindlord

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I personally plan on backpacking a hacker-sized USB keyboard and trackball when I know I'll have time to do some programming on the go. My backpack goes with me just about everywhere as it is, so no big deal there.
 

tazg

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Milander said:
using the built in keyboard, that would mean it could be possible to make games or software on the go

I can't imagine anyone coding with their thumbs "on the go"... just use bring a foldable keyboard along with you
 
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ashdjones

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I've programmed on my 200LX and found it quite enjoyable! If you get the keyboard right, it's not too much of a chore to do long typing sessions - I wrote on it for about three hours the other week, the only problem I had was that when my brain got tired, wrong characters started appearing.
 

benjymous

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tazg said:
Milander said:
using the built in keyboard, that would mean it could be possible to make games or software on the go

I can't imagine anyone coding with their thumbs "on the go"... just use bring a foldable keyboard along with you
A foldable keyboard is only any use if you've got a surface to use it on - i.e. no good when sat on the bus / tube / etc
 
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tazg

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benjymous said:
A foldable keyboard is only any use if you've got a surface to use it on - i.e. no good when sat on the bus / tube / etc
I don't mean the flexible kind. There are ones that just have a couple hinges that lock, and you should be able to use them on your lap.
 
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benjymous

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Milander said:
btw are there pandora emulators for dev work?
It should be possible to get Mamona (OSS Clone of the OS running on the Nokia Tablets) under QEMU, but the steps look horribly complicated

If you did get it working though, you'd get an environment roughly similar to what the Pandora will be like.

Hopefully once it's more mature, somebody will set up an official package for QEMU running the real Pandora OS, so we can just unzip and play, without any of that fiddle!
 
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TrevorBradley

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I'm guessing it might be advantageous (or perhaps just easier) to *compile* code on the Pandora to make sure all the libraries are right. Honestly I'd rather do this via ssh, wireless and a decent keyboard on a desktop though.

(I'm sure my fear of compiling for Pandora's processor on an x86 system would go away once I actually try it and see it working.. :)
 

sindbad

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Trevor Bradley said:
I'm guessing it might be advantageous (or perhaps just easier) to *compile* code on the Pandora to make sure all the libraries are right. Honestly I'd rather do this via ssh, wireless and a decent keyboard on a desktop though.

(I'm sure my fear of compiling for Pandora's processor on an x86 system would go away once I actually try it and see it working.. :)
There's really nothing special about cross-compiling. Everything will work if you use the proper toolchains.
 
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adsharma23

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if i ever really need to i plan on making some sort of a dock for my pandora on my keyboard (really slim apple bluetooth) so that i won't through my pandora against a wall because i pressed the wrong character
 

scrag_10

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I imagine the key board would be great/decent for 1 handed typing. But I guess it depends on the individuals dexterity. I also imagine programming doesn't involve typing ridiculously fast, don't you need time to think?
 

ledow

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I think that the problem with programming directly on the Pandora to "check it has all the libraries" would actually work against you. No doubt you'd have development libraries on the thing in order to program in the first place, and hence something might work perfectly on YOUR Pandora but not on other people's without installing some random libraries. And anyone trying to take your source and recompile would no doubt end up missing some critical header file, or library version, and fail to do so. You're not going to want to wipe your Pandora / SD Card to get it back to a clean state.

This is why I like to keep my programming-target clean. Otherwise you run the risk of missing off libraries, compiling dynamically against different library versions etc. without realising.

When I do stuff on my GP2X, I program on a PC and then make myself manually transfer just the files I've changed and test the new version. Every few versions, I also make a clean dir and copy across what I "think" I need. The amount of times I've missed off a vital PNG, font, or other dependency... and I even have scripts to build a distributable version because of the dependencies - doing a test on a clean machine /folder means that I spot the problem and end up tying it into my usual scripts.

Luckily, I stick to one version of the SDL libraries, one version of glibc and one version of gcc otherwise it would turn into an absolute nightmare.

This is one of the problems I see with Pandora - my Linux PC's already have a bit of dependency hell - the dependency tracking on a portable device that may not always be connected to the Internet is a bit of a turn-off for me. I want to just download a hundred games, slap them on something and test them once I'm on the move, like I do with my GP2X. I don't want to have to wait until I can get somewhere with WiFi to download library X to make the games work. I can see a lot of programmers getting lazy with this and we'll end up with several programs needing packages X, Y and Z.

Sure, there'll be a package tracker with full dependency tracking either at release or slightly later but I quite like that the GP2X is a static target and "wipes itself clean" on every boot.
 
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