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Perl for Windows Mobile ?

by renodino (Curate)
on Jul 01, 2006 at 17:02 UTC ( #558803=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

renodino has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

My cell phone is ready for a tech refresh, so I'm looking into a fancy PDA w/ semi-real keyboard. And of course, I'd like to run Perl on it.

Many moons ago, I managed to get Perl + DBI + a DBD running on the Sharp Zaurus via WiFi, and a friend got it running on a WinCE cell phone over a 3G network. But that was about 4 years ago, using Perl 5.6. I'd like to get 5.8.8, and have it run on the latest Windows Mobile edition. I found the perlce page at, but the contents seem a bit dated, and I was hoping it might be possible to find a binary ? I've also seen a few recent p5p posts wrt WinCE support, but am not clear what the complete story is.

Can anyone shed some light ? Are any binaries of 5.8 available for common WinMobile platforms ? Or do I have to roll my own ?

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Re: Perl for Windows Mobile ?
by vkon (Curate) on Jul 02, 2006 at 04:05 UTC
    you described situation quite exactly.
    Now I add my knowledge a bit. is a bit outdated with two ways: its wiki become read-only due to site reorganization, and there are no fresh builds there.

    But things are not fully stagnated, because development branch of Perl receives updates WRT 'wince' from time to time. Also, mailing list there still used a bit, so there are people who try doing a builds from time to time.
    I hope "perlce" mailing list will be created soon at

    As for newer build - perl588 could be built with few modification to perl source tree (changes did not got through maintenance release), so better approach is to use 5.8.2 version, or build your own - this is all doable, see for example this message from perlce ML archive

    In the current development branch there were some reorganizations, but mostly things are the same.
    So may be even better bet could be to build current development snapshot, it should go more smoothly.

    Still, you can try existing binaries, just check your processor with, and get proper binaries.

    I am planning uploading newer binaries to within approximately a month.
    But there are no build of perl/Tk for perl-5.8+ releases, because porting this monster is a great amount of work. perl/tk is available for perl 5.6, and there's no Unicode there.
    So only Tcl/Tk-8.4+ (which is freely usable from perl) is available for WinCE platform.

      OK, sounds like I've got some work to do. Will your binaries run on Intel XScale CPUs ? (I'm hoping to get a Verizon VX6700)

      FWIW: my need has nothing to do w/ building pTk, or GUIs of any type. My need is actually much simpler/utilitarian: I've built up a spam killer script over the years that does a pretty good job at killing most of the garbage (esp. the more dangerous variety). On my laptop/desktop, I run both that script and Thunderbird, so I'm pretty safe.

      Alas, to the best of my knowledge, the only email client for WinMobile is LookOut!, so my paranoia level is pretty high, and makes running my spamkiller script pretty critical.

      Update: found some other email clients, so now I've got even more work to do <sigh/>

        I think this is not very realistic, due to OS limitations.
        Perl build is based on CELIB, which also isn't very robust.
        Mostly you'll be able to run toy scripts, but no daemons etc.

        BTW Is your WinCE version free of Serious Design Limitations?

Re: Perl for Windows Mobile ?
by vkon (Curate) on Jul 02, 2006 at 10:12 UTC
    My afterthought is to agitate you to do build for yourself, and then add your comments and send patches with fixes to p5p.

    This is how development work - you want => you do => all use :)
    The technology now works, but the more people will go the path - the wider path will be

Re: Perl for Windows Mobile ?
by Moron (Curate) on Jul 03, 2006 at 03:50 UTC
    Is there any specific reason why it has to be Windows? I notice that mobile Linux is becoming popular - probably because it can be configured much lighter than Windows for limited memory devices - has more robust system software; and for at least the last 5 years embedded Linux PDAs have been available. In addition, Linux is a more natural platform for Perl with more versions supported.

    Update: I also note that later versions of the PDA device you mention, the Sharp Zaurus, can be bought with embedix, an embedded linux variant, although there are clearly loads of choices out there and I'd look at


    Free your mind

      Is there any specific reason why it has to be Windows ?

      Like it or not, WinMobile has pretty much captured the PDA/SmartPhone market (at least in the US). I actually looked into the Nokia 9300 (running Symbian), but the US model has neither WiFi nor a camera. I occasionally hear of Linux phones, but they never seem to show up w/ any of the major carriers.

      Having been an early adopter of the Z, and then getting burned by spotty support, and start/stop product releases, (not to mention extremely low battery life), I'm very reluctant to buck trends in that arena any more. I'm certainly not going to try to negotiate w/ my cell carrier to activate an unsupported phone. The Z was nice for loading up Perl and other *nix tools...but if I'm going to have to do self-support, I'd rather do it for Perl than every other aspect of the OS.

      And other than the Perl support issue, I really don't care about the OS, as long as it does what I need and is painless to acquire and support. I can walk into my local Verizon store, hand my CC, and walk out w/ an activated VX6700 running WinMobile5 using my current phone number. And if things break, I can call VZ and bitch until they fix or replace it.

2008 - Perl on Windows Mobile 6?
by m.e (Initiate) on Jul 26, 2008 at 05:18 UTC
    Old thread, new PDA. Is there a Perl for Windows Mobile 6?

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