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Palm programming

Does it sound like a good idea to learn Palm programming? I do web programming and have possible requests for Palm applications. I think it might be hard to learn but don't mind as long as there's a lot of demand for it.
I "know" C but don't have any real business experience with it. I have a feeling I can learn fast enough but then again won't know until after spending time on it.
In other words, my question is: is there really a lot of demand for Palm applications, is that demand likely to continue for long, and can someone who is not used to worrying very much about memory limitations learn it in a reasonable amount of time?

Sunday, December 1, 2002

I think the latest pricing moves by Dell in the PocketPC arena, assuming they are copied by the other PocketPC hardware vendors, is going to pretty much kill of the Palm hardware platform in the next 12-24 months, except (maybe) for the extreme sub-$100 Palm throw-aways.

Given this hypothesis, you might want to consider learning the PocketPC platform instead.  Get this <cymbal crash> - the tools for PocketPC are all free from Microsoft.

I've developed for both Palm and PPC, and with the recent developments in PPC hardware, I don't see much of a future for Palm, so any future PDA development for me will be for the PPC.

Agnus Moorehead
Sunday, December 1, 2002

I primarily do mac OSX programming, and server-side java programming. I am working on something for a hospital, and want to create a handheld version of the client. And that dell device is just what I need.

this might be more related to Marvin Motherboard's post, so I apologize for redundant questioning.

1) What tools do I need? (Agnus says they are free. What exactly should I download?)

2) What type of dev box shoud I get? I can theoretically spend about $2K on a dev machine, but am paying for my experiment out of pocket , so I would like to minimize costs. thus if I can get what i need for $599, great!

I get paid a lot and can write off equipment, so I don't want to get a pile of crud just to save money, but I will ONLY be using this machine for pocketPC development.  Any suggestions are appreciated!

Sunday, December 1, 2002

Primarility the unsexy but highly profitable side of palm programming is doing data capturing or providing crucial information to a business's mobile force.

To do this requires two skill sets:

1. Familiarity building "conduits" (palm speak) which glues the mobile devices with a web services. Simply post changes and form fills made to a PDA up to a web service where the final business logic is applied and wait for a response which in turn the conduit use to update the PDA. (See the article "Developing Conduits for the Palm OS" on

2. The palm programming side is not unlike building simple VB programs. Just read a few PDF-based manuals on AppForge and you are good to go. (

David Chen
Monday, December 2, 2002

"1) What tools do I need? ..."

You're going to want to download Microsoft eMbedded Visual Tools 3.0 which will allow you to build in C++ or VB.  I'm not sure if this includes the Pocket PC 2k2 SDK or not, but you'll probably want to get that too.

Tuesday, December 3, 2002

You can do Palm programming using Java if you use the JUMP compiler.  It converts Java bytecodes to palm assembler, and works pretty well.  Other open source tools let you use C or C++ (The GNU-palm toolset can be used. Your code is not open-sourced just because the compiler is)

Java for Palm:  and

Palm Programming FAQ:

The PocketPC UI continues to suck.  It's a neat toy, but it's the Palm I carry with me everywhere.  I wouldn't write off Palm just yet  - it isn't as gee-whiz, but it is more useful.

As to whether it is worth learning Palm programming:  it is not that different from programming in Windows 3.1 -- it is all done with resources and event loops.  It shouldn't take you long to figure out how to build apps in the environment once you have gathered the right tools.

Christian Mogensen
Thursday, December 5, 2002

If you want the lowdown on getting started with Palm programming go straight to the source:

There's links on everything you need to get the tools and get started.

Dunno Wair
Thursday, December 5, 2002

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