[Python-ideas] python on mobile

Fetchinson . fetchinson at googlemail.com
Sun Dec 28 22:30:41 CET 2014

On 12/27/14, Russell Keith-Magee <russell at keith-magee.com> wrote:
> Hi Daniel,
> I've been working on this problem recently; I posted about the idea to this
> very list a few months ago:
> https://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-ideas/2014-October/029856.html

Thanks! This was a great read, I haven't noticed it before. You
addressed all the issues (and much more) I thought about. And
basically I got all the answers from the follow up posts.

> At the time I posted, I had posted Python builds that work on both Android
> and iOS:
> https://github.com/pybee/Python-iOS-support
> https://github.com/pybee/Python-Android-support
> and template projects that get you to "hello world" on a mobile platform
> without much effort.
> https://github.com/pybee/Python-iOS-template
> https://github.com/pybee/Python-Android-template

Thanks again, I'll take a look, it all seems pretty encouraging.

> I've also tackled the cross-language bridging issue:
> https://github.com/pybee/rubicon-objc
> https://github.com/pybee/rubicon-java
> and wrapped native widgets up into a cross-platform widget library:
> http://pybee.org/toga/
> Now - I'm not claiming that these are anywhere near production ready -
> they're proof of concept at best. However, I completely agree with your
> original premise that Python needs a story on mobile platforms, and I'm
> interested in working on that story. If you go back and read the
> Python-ideas thread from a few months ago, it looks like there was broad
> support for the idea, but it would all hinge on the specifics.
> So, that's what I've been working on. Since I posted to Python-ideas in
> October, I've been focussing on getting the patches necessary for Python's
> own build system. However, I've been distracted by work life etc, so I
> haven't made as much progress as I would have liked. I'm hoping the
> Christmas/New year break will give me a chance to make some headway.
> As far as Kivy goes - I have tinkered with Kivy; I've even used Kivy's
> tools as a starting point for some of my own efforts. However, to me, Kivy
> is focussing too far up the stack - their toolchain appears to be based on
> getting *Kivy* working on mobile, not *Python*.

What do you mean by this exactly? I thought kivy = python + some
libraries. So if kivy works on android that necessarily means that
python itself works as well, doesn't it? I thought I'd use kivy even
if I don't need any of their fancy libraries only a basic python
installation, but you'd say this is not a good approach?

> This is an entirely
> reasonable approach if Kivy is what you want at the end of the day - but
> it's not what *I* want. I've been taking a much more atomic approach. The
> Kivy toolchain is also anchored in old versions of Python 2; something that
> definitely needs to be addressed.

As far as I'm concerned python 2 is perfectly okay. If I don't need to
worry about python 3, what drawback does kivy have, if any, according
to you?

> Ultimately, I want to get these patches in to Python's trunk; but I'm still
> a way off that being a reality. If you're interested in collaborating and
> helping me get to that point, please get in touch - there's plenty of work
> to do, and if you're keen to help, I'm happy to share what I've got so far.

I'm afraid I don't have the necessary expertise unfortunately. And I
was under the impression kivy will bring me a working python
environment on android, but please feel free to set me straight on
this one :)


> Yours,
> Russ Magee %-)
> On Fri, Dec 26, 2014 at 6:34 PM, Fetchinson . <fetchinson at googlemail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi all, maybe the best list would be python-dev but I don't dare
>> waking the sleeping lions there :)
>> So my question is this: is there a coherent mobile strategy among core
>> dev people? I mean you guys release python for linux/macos/windows and
>> the question is if there are any plans to do the same for a mobile
>> platform. It doesn't have to be android or ios just anything that the
>> core dev team chooses and sticks with.
>> I've been developing python apps for smartphones (mostly hobby
>> projects though) using sl4a but that seems like is dead. Now people
>> suggest me using kivy which seems to be alive but who knows how long.
>> There are some other projects qpython, etc, which are small and
>> equally not so reliable at least looking from the outside. Is kivy now
>> an officially blessed distribution? Since google was so integral to
>> both python (through employing Guido) and android I'd think it would
>> make sense for google to have an official python environment for
>> android in cooperation with the python dev team.
>> Does the PSF has an opinion on this? It would be great if there would
>> be something for mobile phones that we could rely on not going away
>> just as with linux/macos/windows.
>> Or there are some issues which preclude this from the start?
>> Cheers,
>> Daniel
>> --
>> Psss, psss, put it down! - http://www.cafepress.com/putitdown
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