Palm OS - Application Development

Application Development

Palm OS Garnet applications are primarily coded in C/C++. Two officially supported compilers exist: a commercial product, CodeWarrior Development Studio for Palm OS, and an open source tool chain called prc-tools, based on an old version of gcc. CodeWarrior is criticized for being expensive and is no longer being developed, whereas PRC-Tools lacks several of CodeWarrior's features. A version of PRC-Tools is included in a free Palm OS Developer Suite (PODS).

OnBoardC is a C compiler, assembler, linker and programming editor that runs on the Palm itself.

Palm OS Cobalt applications are also coded in a variation of gcc, but the Cobalt compilers have fewer limitations.

There are development tools available for Palm programming that do not require low-level programming in C/C++, such as PocketC/PocketC Architect, CASL, AppForge Crossfire (which uses Visual Basic, Visual Basic.NET, or C#), Handheld Basic, Pendragon Forms, Satellite Forms and NSBasic/Palm (Visual Basic like languages). A Java Virtual Machine was previously available for the Palm OS platform, however on 2008-01-12, Palm, Inc. announced that it would no longer be available. Palm, Inc. further said "There is no alternate Java Virtual Machine that we are aware of for Palm OS." Waba and a derivative of it, SuperWaba, provide a Java-like virtual machine and programming language. A version of the Lua language, called Plua, is also available for Palm; however, due to the fact that it requires an additional runtime to be installed along with the application, it is only used for mainstream applications by a minority of software companies. Quartus Forth is an ISO/ANSI Standard Forth compiler that runs on the Palm itself. It also has an interactive console for dynamic development and debugging.

Two environments allow programming in Pascal for Palm OS. The free PP Compiler runs directly on the handheld computer, while PocketStudio is a Delphi-like IDE for Windows Computers that has a visual form designer and generates PRC files for being transferred to handhelds via HotSync.

As Palm has no connection drivers that enable the transfer of data with a server DBMS (Oracle, mySQL, MS SQL Server), the programmer can use Middleware software that enables this connectivity.

A roughly R4RS-compatible implementation of Scheme, LispMe, provides the Palm platform with a GPL-licensed onboard Lisp REPL with some Palm OS-specific adaptations, but although it is functionally a compiler it does not produce code that operates outside the development environment, so its use is restricted to prototyping.

A free development tool, LaFac, works directly on the Palm device, using the Memo Pad for source code editing, and provides support for a limited subset of C, Pascal, and Basic.

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