After being inspired by Ross Light and Team 973's success in porting Lua to the cRIO (see the "Announcing FIRSTLua" thread), I have completed a port of Python to the cRIO, called RobotPy.
RobotPy is a fully functioning port of Python 3.1.2 that can be used for programming your FRC robot. The full set of WPILib functions, including CANJaguar, is available in Python via "import wpilib".
As with the Lua port,
- Python is easier to learn than C
- Live code reloads
- Errors won't crash the robot
- Python provides automatic garbage collection
- WindRiver isn't needed after the base code is installed. Just a text editor and an FTP client.
I've performed some initial testing on Team 294's 2010 robot, including running CAN bus Jaguars and compressors and pneumatics. Examples and installation documentation are available on the website and are also included in the download. Also, the download .zip file includes a prebuilt FRC_UserProgram.out, so you don't need to have any programming software installed to get up and running (just FTP a bunch of files to your robot)! Please report any bugs you find via the RobotPy website's ticket system (note: registration is required).
RobotPy website: http://www.tortall.net/projects/robotpy/
While the download .zip doesn't include the source code, it is available via a git repository. See the Download page on the website for details.
With the exception of modules with large dependencies (e.g. databases), almost all of the Python standard library is included. So yes, you can parse XML files with expat on the robot if you so choose
. Much of this is untested however (I have not tried to run the Python test suite on the robot).
Major thanks go to Ross Light and Team 973; this project would not have happened without them creating FIRSTLua first to inspire me to port Python. RobotPy uses the WPILib SWIG wrapper created by Ross, with the addition of CANJaguar. The idea of using a boot script to auto-reload the user code is also taken from FIRSTLua.