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Python for Series 60 pre-alpha release on Forum Nokia

There's a new pre-alpha release of Python for Series 60 available on Forum Nokia today! Since it's finally available, I thought I'd take a chance to talk a little bit about what's in this release, why it's not finished (ie., a pre-alpha) and what the version numbering scheme is all about.

The first Python for Series 60 release (the 1.0) was a final, stable, tested release. It was focused primarily on bringing the Python language and standard libraries to the phones. Since then, the team has been listening to feedback and feature requests on b l o g s - the wiki and the Python for Series 60 discussion boards and using this feedback to drive new API development and expanding the standard library collection. Some of these ideas were demoed at ETech and PyCon back in March, including PIM APIs (contacts and calendar) camera APIs, access to system information (like the IMEI number and free disk space) and even a new 2D graphics API for direct-screen drawing. All together this is a LOT of new functionality. But the trouble with adding all these new modules is that someone has to define the new APIs, and this shouldn't be done in isolation. So before all these new APIs are set in stone, we're packaging up a pre-alpha build so that everyone has a chance to give feedback and help define how this stuff should work.

It was suggested at PyCon that we setup a Python for Series 60 mailing list (hosted on which is a good idea but hasn't been done yet. (If you're thinking about doing this on your own, please wait just a tag longer as we're working on an alternate solution that should end up being a little more appropriate.) But even without a project mailing list, there are a couple good ways to give feedback. First, if you like the stuff you're seeing, blog about it. The blogoshpere has a way trickling good posts up for everyone to see, and even if it doesn't, posts about the project typically end up on or technorati at some point, so we generally see them.

If you have suggestions for improving the APIs, post to the discussion boards so that we have it documented in a single place. If you're uncomfortable with that, send me an email (<first_name> [dot] <last_name> [at] <company_name> [dot] com -- I'm sure you can figure it out.)

Now, about that version number. We're trying out a new version-number scheme. It's nothing too exotic, but it will use an even/odd system for differentiating between preview and stable releases. It's an 'x.y.z' system where 'y' is odd for preview/unstable/developer releases, or even for final/stable/tested releases. So, the release that came out today is 1.1.0, meaning, it's the first preview release for the upcoming 1.2 stable release. Make sense? Like I said, it's nothing fancy, but it gives us something to work with that actually has a little meaning behind it.