PiSA (PHP, iPhone, Sqlite, Apache)

I got my iPhone over the weekend ,thanks to Simon and Watt. In a word — it’s a technological marvel. After jailbreaking it and unlocking it, I went around mucking around its innards to see what I can play with.

I found out that some people have already ported some Unix tools and a command terminal on it. More importantly, I noticed an interesting web development stack has also already been ported over — Apache 1.3, PHP 5 and Sqlite3 (which I coined PiSA in a chat with Mech, with a nod to the LAMP stack). This really raised my interest level. There has been plenty of talk about iPhone web apps as well as iPhone native apps, with Apple intending on releasing an SDK in February 2008. But a web application running over a web stack right in the iPhone itself? Juicy!

Let’s see what are the possibilities of such a PiSA stack:

  1. Truly mobile web applications. Imagine carrying your web application around in your pocket and wherever you are, you can access it. When you’re connected to the Internet, anyone else can access it. With dynamic DNS you can have a domain name tacked on your iPhone PiSA app and voila(!) mobile web applications.
  2. Really peer-to-peer applications. My iPhone PiSA app talking to your iPhone PiSA app. Web services. iPhone PiSA web application mashups.
  3. Cool online/offline hybrid applications. Same (or partial) web application running offline in the iPhone, database sync to the main application.

It’s a brave new iWorld.

2 thoughts on “PiSA (PHP, iPhone, Sqlite, Apache)

  1. As exciting as this is, it’s actually nothing new. Vendors like Sybase (with it’s iAnywhere suite) and IBM (with Lotus Expeditor) has given folks the ability to run a full-fledged Servlet 2.4/JSP 2.0 container on their Windows Mobile or Symbian PDAs for a few years already. There are also many small-footprint (i.e. “mobile”) databases that support pretty much most of the standard SQL syntax and will run on the mobile device as well, which can be synchronized (using SyncML) with your data center. Web services support? Remote application provisioning? You betcha! I can even run an EJB on my Windows Mobile PDA, believe it or not! :)

    The iPhone definitely revolutionized user interface design, but the rest of the “iWorld” has actually been around for quite a while already… ;)

  2. Yup, I know abt Sybase from way back though I wasn’t aware of IBM’s offering :) But I think I probably didn’t make it too clear — PiSA is exciting not because of its technical innovation — heck, PHP, Sqlite and Apache has been around for donkey years.

    It’s the promise of the platform, the possibility to create and innovate and the capabilities of the hardware that makes it exciting. Do try to get your hands on an iPhone and you’ll see what I mean. I haven’t been so excited about a hardware platform for a long while now and it has even tempted me to go back to PHP after such a long while (no offence to PHP coders but I’m a hard-core Ruby fan).

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