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Perl on Familliar Linux.

by frankus (Priest)
on Aug 31, 2001 at 17:30 UTC ( #109377=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I've recently converted my 32Mb iPaq to Linux (familliar). The Perl distribution, works and appears to fit in less space than Python. It comes with GTK.pm and core files. The only reservation I have at present is that perl -de0 doesn't work as it can't find dbperl.pl.

If you can code your own PIM tools and do without WinCE's utilities it is possible to run Linux, Blackbox, Bash, ssh, msql, vim, a web-browser, irda modem and Perl in the palm of your hand. Administering a Linux system on 16Mb (the other 16Mb is wiped on shutdown) is an enlightening experience.

There is Perl for WinCE, and it works well... but WinCE lacked the configurability of Linux. The conversion process from WinCE to Linux is daunting at first, but pretty easy to follow and only one stage may reduce your iPaq to an expensive paper-weight, however this can be rectified (apparently :), it is possible to return to WinCE too. There is also a cluster of ARM servers to compile things on, if you require C libraries and stuff. I'm impressed.

Is is practical to code on an iPaq? I can't say. My hope is to write bespoke tools for stuff I want to do, and load the scripts to the machine across the network. Typing things Perl on an any touch-screen organiser will be fraught, unless anyone wants to collaborate on developing and alternative key-binding for xkbd or some such? It is fun oh yes:)

Are there any more iPaq Perl hackers out there?

--

Brother Frankus.

¤

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Re: Perl on Familliar Linux.
by marcus (Scribe) on Aug 31, 2001 at 20:13 UTC
    Hey.

    I've also got a ipaq running familiar. I didn't find the perl distribution earlier tho, so I rolled my own, but it didn't exactly work too well, so it's great to hear there's a distriubtion that provides all that stuff.

    I think it would be a great idea to support the pimPAQ project, but I sorta feel that familiar lacks a window manager properly suited for a handheld. Also, I'm somewhat disapointed by the handwriting recognition, it''s hard to type fast on the virtual keyboard, so if I want to program perl on the move, I think I prefer my Powerbook G4 :) But the notion that you could write your own utilities for the ipaq in perl appeals to me, so I think I'm going to look further into that :)

    Hopefully familiar has a future =)

    qw[marcus]

Linux on iPAQ
by elbie (Deacon) on Aug 31, 2001 at 21:00 UTC

    I put a couple different distros of linux on my iPAQ early on, and had a blast doing it. This was before familliar really started taking off. In the end though, I put WinCE back on it. As a result of my experience though, I have the following things to say about linux on handhelds:

    1. A good GUI is a must. No matter what cool tools you put on your PDA, it is a computer for displaying information first. I played around a bit with development, and other writing/typing intensive apps, and every textual interface is slow and cumbersome. (Although for writing plain English, Microsoft's Transcriber is useable on good days.)
    2. Programming in particular requires a far better user interface. How do you type <ESC> on an iPAQ? How 'bout key combos? With the interfaces I've seen, almost all the characters =~ m/\W/ were hard to get at.
    3. I know this is no longer the case, but at the time, the lack of a sleep mode was a big--. To shut the thing off, I had to log in as root, and issue a shutdown command. Yikes!
    4. Speaking of which, do people find it still acceptable to work as a non-root user? With so little real estate, having two windows open is difficult, and using the UI to type in a password (i.e. a hidden field) is always trouble for me.

    Now granted, I'm not as current as I'd like to be here. Maybe a lot of problems I had have been taken care of. (At least one major one, the sleep mode, has been.) But with the iPAQ, I still find I prefer things like I do with its bulkier cousins. I run linux on the box that lives in my closet and, at least for the most part, Window is my desktop.

    elbieelbieelbie

Re: Perl on Familliar Linux.
by elusion (Curate) on Sep 01, 2001 at 07:10 UTC
    I just ordered my iPaq last week. One of the monochrome ones. It was $150 after rebate with a compact flash card, a great deal. Unfortunately, it hasn't arrived yet. :-( It's great to hear about Perl on it though. I'd probably be willing to waste my time writing code on it, just because I can do it at school . :-) I'm going to at least experiment with Familiar.

    While on the subject, did a handheld version of PM ever get made? If not I may look at making one.

    elusion :

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