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Is there any way to do some level of actual programming directly on the Surface RT? I expect that (just like with iOS) you need a "real" PC to develop actual apps for it, but perhaps there are some scripting languages available that run directly on the Surface, so for example my son can do some programming exercises on it?

Or would I need to use a web service for that like ideone?

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few years ago i believe it was technically possible to program python apps on symbian smartphones.. It should be technically possible to get atleast scripting languages to work though it might not be ideal – Karthik T Nov 27 '12 at 6:58
I do have Python 2.7.3 installed on my iPhone, too. Something like that would be great for Surface... – Tim Pietzcker Nov 27 '12 at 7:07
Online IDE's. eg: Cloud 9, etc. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 27 '12 at 12:27
up vote 3 down vote accepted

No, there is no App currently available to "practice" programming on Surface RT. Even if an App comes up for this purpose, it will be very controlled and would not be able to match up the features available in a Desktop environment.

And as you said, Ideone seems to be ideal for this purpose and should work in Metro IE without any problems.

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My Surface RT just arrived, and I'm pleased to find that PowerShell is included. I guess that's not really a programming language for beginners, but it's a start.

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If it's not too late and you don't mind waiting a few months (or dropping extra cash), you can return the RT and purchase the Surface Pro when it comes out.

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Thanks, I haven't bought the Surface yet, and I know about the Pro, but I really want to try the Surface RT (lighter, cheaper, longer battery life, Jeff likes it...) – Tim Pietzcker Nov 27 '12 at 8:17
I wouldn't be surprised if they port VS to the Windows RT at some point, I think the public will demand it :-). The Pro is just too thick and heavy for my tastes. – gzak Nov 27 '12 at 8:21

Yay, my favourite language has been made available on Windows RT (by none other than Python guru Martin v. Löwis): Python 3 for Metro

Here's a related question on StackOverflow.

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I found an app called codebox that can compile and run programs in many languages for Windows tablet. I just tested it so don't know what are the limits...

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