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Blackberry

Michael Preslar
A client of mine is wanting me to port some of our software to the
Blackberry handheld. Being that its Pascal code, I'd prefer sticking to
a Pascal compiler.. And since FPC is seriously cross platform, I have to
ask:

Are there any plans, or work towards, porting FPC to the Blackberry?

--
Michael Preslar
Landline: (402) 614-3551
Cell: (402) 990-8001

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Re: Blackberry

Michael Van Canneyt


On Wed, 5 Jul 2006, Michael Preslar wrote:

> A client of mine is wanting me to port some of our software to the
> Blackberry handheld. Being that its Pascal code, I'd prefer sticking to
> a Pascal compiler.. And since FPC is seriously cross platform, I have to
> ask:
>
> Are there any plans, or work towards, porting FPC to the Blackberry?

Currently not, but we would need to know what OS it runs, and what
the processor is. And it would most likely be a cross-compilation thing
only, it's doubtful that the compiler itself would run on a blackberry
device...

Michael.
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Re: Blackberry

Tomas Hajny
In reply to this post by Michael Preslar
On 5 Jul 06, at 8:47, Michael Preslar wrote:

> A client of mine is wanting me to port some of our software to the
> Blackberry handheld. Being that its Pascal code, I'd prefer sticking to
> a Pascal compiler.. And since FPC is seriously cross platform, I have to
> ask:
>
> Are there any plans, or work towards, porting FPC to the Blackberry?

I'm afraid this isn't really possible (unless we
provide back-end for Java bytecode generation -
see our FAQ for possible questions about Java).
As far as I know, all recent BlackBerry devices
only support Java code; even the operating system
is written in Java and no "native" binaries are
supported there. Old BlackBerry devices supported
native code, but these aren't available any more.

Tomas
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Re: Blackberry

Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho
In reply to this post by Michael Van Canneyt
On 7/5/06, Michael Van Canneyt <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Currently not, but we would need to know what OS it runs

It's a proprietary specialized os.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlackBerry#Operating_system

> and what the processor is.

ARM 7 or 9

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlackBerry#Hardware

> A client of mine is wanting me to port some of our software to the
Blackberry handheld. Being that its Pascal code, I'd prefer sticking to
a Pascal compiler.. And since FPC is seriously cross platform, I have to
ask:

To make this work on a reasonable time frame you will probably have to
get involved in some way. Since Free Pascal is open source you can
basically:

1 - Start a port yourself. The Free Pascal team can help you with any
questions about this.

2 - Pay someone to port it (
http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/index.php/Bounties )

3 - Wait until someone else needs this and do a port

Another option is to use Midlet Pascal. It isn't developed since
january, but is a great tool. It generates MIDP java bytecode from
pascal code, and that will run on Blackberry. One problem is that it
only supports non-object oriented pascal and it doesn't implement the
pascal run-time library, so your code will need extensive changes.

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Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho
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Re: Blackberry

Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho
In reply to this post by Tomas Hajny
On 7/5/06, Tomas Hajny <[hidden email]> wrote:
> only support Java code; even the operating system
> is written in Java and no "native" binaries are
> supported there. Old BlackBerry devices supported
> native code, but these aren't available any more.

Oh, that makes things harder.

Maybe he's client could change to Pocket PC and Windows CE? rsss

Free Pascal works well with Windows CE.
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Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho
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Re: Blackberry

Tomas Hajny
On 5 Jul 06, at 12:08, Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho wrote:

> On 7/5/06, Tomas Hajny <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > only support Java code; even the operating system
> > is written in Java and no "native" binaries are
> > supported there. Old BlackBerry devices supported
> > native code, but these aren't available any more.
>
> Oh, that makes things harder.
>
> Maybe he's client could change to Pocket PC and Windows CE? rsss
>
> Free Pascal works well with Windows CE.

Well, as BlackBerry owner, I wouldn't want to
recommend this to anybody using BlackBerry
(unless he doesn't need/want to use its main
advantages, which are in the communication area -
especially the e-mail support). BlackBerry is
really excellently designed device, and even if
you get the BlackBerry client working on Windows
CE for e-mails (and believe me, there's a _huge_
difference between using BlackBerry client and
something like MS Outlook on this category of
devices), you still don't get the HW fine-tuned
for working with e-mails.

Tomas
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Re: Blackberry

Michael Preslar
In reply to this post by Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlackBerry#Operating_system
....
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlackBerry#Hardware
>
>> A client of mine is wanting me to port some of our software to the
> Blackberry handheld. Being that its Pascal code, I'd prefer sticking to
...
> Another option is to use Midlet Pascal. It isn't developed since
> january, but is a great tool. It generates MIDP java bytecode from

First, I suppose I should say what project they want ported.. Remember
the bbs door game Legend of the Red Dragon? Aye, that. I'm the developer
(have been for the past 5.5 years, and thanks to FPC, Ive got a Win32
binary)..

Theyre wanting to expand into the hand held market. The suit in charge
has a Blackberry, and thats where that particular idea comes from.

Writing for WinCE could be a possibility, assuming it can do online
communications (I know nothing about hand helds.. My last hand held was
a Palm 3 that I toyed with for 2 days then shelved)

The hardest part for me, I think, will be getting the hardware. Call me
foolish, but I'm not buying a new piece of equipment to develop software
for someone else, since what theyre paying me doesnt make it worthwhile :)

But rewriting in Java bytecode for Blackberry scares me. Gameport has
made it very clear that the source cant be distributed in any form.. I
know there are java decompilers for PCs.. I'd be there are ones for
Blackberry as well.

Which makes me lean towards WinCE that much more.
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Re: Blackberry

Tony Pelton
On 7/5/06, Michael Preslar <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> But rewriting in Java bytecode for Blackberry scares me. Gameport has
> made it very clear that the source cant be distributed in any form.. I
> know there are java decompilers for PCs.. I'd be there are ones for
> Blackberry as well.

compiled java source (.class files) aren't "platform specific", though
they may be JVM version (1.1, 1.2 ...) specific.

so, a decompiler, available on any given platform, can decompile
.class files for any device or platform.

a couple of comments :

*) some people use obfuscators for compiling their java code. these
work by preprocessing your source code into equivalent source code,
but with your symbols changed to consistent but "human meaningless"
values.

the theory goes that this makes decompiled .class files, generated
from obfuscated source, very difficult to read/understand.

*) is obfuscated, decompiled java source comparable to dissasembled binaries ?

i suspect in practice, that the level of dedication required to
reverse engineer either is about the same, assuming the individual has
the skills and expertise for either.

>
> Which makes me lean towards WinCE that much more.

because you think it will be harder to reverse engineer and "steal"
your "door game" software ?

a strange line of thinking if you ask me ...

Tony

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Re: Blackberry

Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho
In reply to this post by Michael Preslar
On 7/5/06, Michael Preslar <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Writing for WinCE could be a possibility, assuming it can do online
> communications (I know nothing about hand helds.. My last hand held was
> a Palm 3 that I toyed with for 2 days then shelved)

Sure it can do online communication. Windows CE even runs on some phones.

Free Pascal is also being ported for Symbian OS and PalmOS, so more
devices should be available on the future.

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Re: Blackberry

Marco van de Voort
In reply to this post by Michael Preslar
> Theyre wanting to expand into the hand held market. The suit in charge
> has a Blackberry, and thats where that particular idea comes from.

I think step one would be if e.g. there is a gcc targeting Blackberry.

Copying support is easier.
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Re: Blackberry

Matt Emson
In reply to this post by Michael Preslar

> Writing for WinCE could be a possibility, assuming it can do online
> communications (I know nothing about hand helds.. My last hand held was
> a Palm 3 that I toyed with for 2 days then shelved)

I would suggest writing it in .Net and using something like Chrome (
http://www.chromesville.com/index.asp? ) Chrome is Object Pascal based -
but with a lot of nice enhancements. Chrome is fully integratable into
Visual Studio 2003 and 2005, but also runs from the command line. AFAICT,
the command line version is free and can be used for any purpose. It can
target CLR 1.x and CLR 2.0. It can target both Desktop and Handheld
(Windows Mobile 2002 is supported, for example - I use an creaky old PPC
2002 MIPS based Siemens and performance is good.)

Hope that helps!

M

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Re: Blackberry

Tomas Hajny
In reply to this post by Marco van de Voort
Marco van de Voort wrote:
>> Theyre wanting to expand into the hand held market. The suit in charge
>> has a Blackberry, and thats where that particular idea comes from.
>
> I think step one would be if e.g. there is a gcc targeting Blackberry.
>
> Copying support is easier.

Well, gcc cannot emit Java bytecode, can it?

Anyway, BlackBerry is primarily used in enterprise area (because its
advantages can be fully used there). I'm not sure if that application
really fits that market...

Tomas

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