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Developing Kit For Palm

Last response: in Cell Phones & Smartphones
April 10, 2004 9:27:01 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot (More info?)

Hi All,

What Developing Kit is most programmers using
to make a program for the Palm OS?
You don't have to get to technical.


More about : developing kit palm

April 11, 2004 6:27:01 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot (More info?)

"Byron Collins" <> wrote:

>Hi All,
>What Developing Kit is most programmers using
>to make a program for the Palm OS?
>You don't have to get to technical.

Long boiler-plate answer on programming for the Palm ;-)

If you want to write your own software, consider the following:

What programming language(s) do you know or want to learn? If you already know
a language, then you'll only have to learn how it's used on the Palm OS. If you
don't know a language, then you'll have to learn the language you choose and
it's implementation on the Palm. The implementation includes things like
remembering that your files are in RAM, so there's no need to read data into an
array for faster access (standard procedure on a platform with disk storage).

Do you want an in-hand solution (Palm-based) or an external solution (runs on a
desktop machine [PC/Mac/Linux])?

Desktop solutions are typically more powerful and compile faster than Palm-based
products (with the possible exception of Pocket Pascal, which is reported to
compile very fast on the Palm).


The following list includes freeware and shareware/commercial programs. Some of
the shareware is under $20.

1. C is the "standard" for the Palm : CodeWarrior from ($$$
PC & Mac) or the free PRC-tools from (PC/Linux). (if
they're still around) has an IDE for the GCC compiler and tools.

2. AppForge has an add-in ($800) for Visual Basic 6 ($$$ and harder to find
since the release of VB.Net). NSBasic has a stand-alone compiler ($149) that
runs on PC's (they also have compilers that produce programs for Pocket PC's and
the Newton). Both AppForge and NSBasic have a GUI IDE.
Both generate tokenized programs that require a run-time library on the Palm.
NSBasic's runtime and executables are smaller and a little faster than
AppForge's. Their new native ARM runtime is reported to be appreciably faster
on the ARM-based devices.

3. CASL is a database scripting product ( that starts
at $85 (runtime version) and has a $200 compiler upgrade. has a comparison of
CASL, AppForge, and NSBasic.

Handheld Basic (HB++) If it lives up to its hype (native 68000 compile), it
should be faster than the other Basic versions and competitive with the C
compilers. It's the most expensive development tool ($1500 for all the options,
pieces are available separately).

There are also Pascal and java products.

In-hand solutions can be either interpreters (HotPaw Basic) or compilers.

1. HotPaw Basic (also known as ybasic and cbaspad at various times) is an
interpreter that's about as fast as some of the products that have PC-based
compilers and use a run-time - but there's no GUI IDE.

2. C programmers can use OnBoardC ("real C", produces stand-alone executables -
or PocketC ( "sort of C", requires a runtime $18.50 for
in-hand version, $30 for PC version, $45 for both).

---------------------- has a list of application development links
(about halfway down the page). has a brief review of most of the
products listed above.


I've used C on platforms from DOS to OS9 to UNIX, and C++ in Windows, but
decided against C on the Palm because it isn't "standard" C, due to differences
in the OS implementation.

Having programmed in dialects of Basic on platforms including a Z-80 with 2K
RAM, UNIX, DOS, the Tandy Model 100, Windows 3.x through XP, and VBScript for
ASP pages, I opted for NSBasic as the best tool for the types of programs I
write. Many of the things that the base language lacks are available in add-on
libraries, most of which are free (even DES encryption). The product is solid
(except for the glitches in any ".0" software release - but they get bug fixes
out quickly), the company is responsive to user requests, there's a very active
forum on Yahoo (and a company rep reads alll the posts daily), and some
extremely knowledgeable and helpful people on the forum.

My only relationship with NSbasic is as a satisfied user.

Your mileage may vary ;-)

More about me:
VB3/VB6/C/PowerBasic source code:
Freeware for the Palm with NS Basic source code:
Drivers for Pablo graphics tablet and JamCam cameras:
johnecarter at@at mindspring com. Fix the obvious to reply by email.