Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1.    #1  
    According to Sun, there is a Java 2 Micro Edition out/coming out that is designed for handhelds, and was supposed to be on display at Palm Source. It's upwardly compatible to Java 2 Standard and Java 2 Enterprise editions.

    Anybody know anything about it, able to slip me a copy (alpha, beta, released, other)?

    Other than that, what's a good (free or cheap) way to program the palms? I know C, C++, Assembly, a little Java, Perl (would be cool but perl/tk sucked the last I saw it), and a few others. I saw one guy who had a Forth compiler, but I don't know Forth.

    I'd like to write some stuff for work (I work in manufacturing, and I think an interface to a LIMS, MES, or similar system would be useful), and to add to the variety of freeware out there.

    Speaking of freeware, is there anybody out there doing open source palm stuff out there? The springboard being open source was one of the reasons that I bought my Visor. Maybe we could start the GNP project (GNP's not Palm :-)
  2. #2  
    Go to and your find plenty of resources.

    There are versions of Basic (CBASPAD), C (Pocket-C), Forth (QuartisForth) and Java (Jump). As well as CASL which was discussed on VC a while back.

    VisorCentral Staff
  3. #3  
    J2ME or the KVM is going to let you use Java to program on the Palm...

    There is a developer release available at but it's still in a very early (0.1) state...

    You might want to wait a bit before starting on a KVM app...
  4.    #4  
    Well, I'm downloading the KVM right now. With it being 0.1, I'll be happy if it unzips. Hopefully I can get at least up to snuff with what they are up to.

    Now if I can just get perl for palm. With 8 megs it should be able to fit. And it is written in C. Hmmm. Anybody want to work on it?

  5.    #5  
    Well, I've been looking at the code and such (I didn't load the IR Sync program so I have to wait to play with it until I get home). But I'm impressed. They have all of the 1975 games as their demos (pong, starship). According to their documentation, they think that it should run ok on 25 Mhz systems. The only ones of those that I know are WinCE devices, which are CPU pigs.

    Who knows, maybe I can use this to get another job (see post in Accessories). When asked to show what I've done I can pull it out of my pocket and say "check this out".

  6. #6  
    Well, the Visor might have 8 MB, but you don't get all of that for running your programs. You actually get a rather small portion of it; the rest is used for program and database storage.

    The Palm OS enforces the division between storage and runtime memory; as far as I'm aware, there's no way to tell the OS that you want to devote more memory towards running applications, as opposed to storing data. Your dream Perl port might be a bit difficult.

    Given the size of the memory that Palm OS allocates for running applications, I'm really surprised that they have Java in any form running on the machine. I'll be surprised if Java turns out to be practical for *any* of the Palm OS handhelds currently available.

    Far better, if you want to program for the machine, is to learn C and the native Palm OS API calls. You can download the free GCC development tools for Windows or Linux, and all of the documentation is available at Palm's developer website.

    I recommend the "Palm Programming" book by McKeehan and Rhodes, published by O'Reilly as a good introduction to programming on the Palm. However, you must realize that it can't replace the Palm docs.

    I'm learning Palm programming now. I started with the O'Reilly book, but when I'm actually writing code I find myself looking at the Palm docs most of the time. Fortunately, the Palm OS documentation is high-quality, and easy to read. (And yes, my Palm applications will be open source).

    [This message has been edited by mportuesi (edited 11-02-1999).]
  7. #7  
    You're absolutely right about the division of storage and heap space... With the current KVM it is quite easy to write a simple app that overflows the heap... This is being worked on by KVM developers as there are other ways of doing (storing classes in the storage area instead of heap) like Wabasoft does with it's Java-like WabaVM...

  8. #8  
    I am not a programer. I don't even play one on TV...

    That said, I have a Java program on my PC (Chinese language character flashcards) that I would love to have on my visor. Anyone know if there's a way to "convert" it (i.e. make it work)?
  9. #9  
    Re: chinese language character flashcards

    Are you sure there isn't already a PalmOS program to do this? I think I might have seen something like this in the archive surfing I've done lately.
  10.    #10  
    Well, Perl would be pushing it, especially since the GUI is well, awful.

    But, the KVM should be practical. I'm not nitty gritty familiar about the innards of PalmOS. Are you saying that you can't have an 3 meg executable run? Is there some sort of .DLL equivalent?

    I've played a little with PocketC, and if I ever get home I'll get the main C compile going.

  11. #11  
    You CANNOT have a 3MB executable... The dynamic head is only about 64k on the Visor (PalmOS 3.5 puts dynamic heap on a sliding scale vs. RAM so devices can have much larger heaps)...

    There has been much discussion of this on the KVM mailing list and there are many proposed solutions... We'll see how it ends up...

    One thing is for certain... Sun knows that people need to be able to write apps that are at least as complex as their C/C++ counterparts if the KVM is to be taken seriously.
  12.    #12  
    64k is all you get? That sounds like another magic number, say, 640k? That's really lovely on a 16 meg capable device. Dammit Jeff.... :-) I noticed that I could crash the "ManyBalls" program if I put too many balls out there. At least it crashed gently (Basically an out of heap space error) instead of needing a reset.

    How does C handle it? I see that KVM takes up 152K as a program in the Visor. Or is that the maximum that a program can allocate? I guess the executable doesn't sit on the heap in the memory model.

    Can anybody recommend a good book on the C programming going from getting started to getting deep and ugly? Most of the books on Palm Programming on were panned pretty badly by their reviewers.

  13. #13  

    You have to remember that the Palm was not intended to be a general purpose computing machine like Windows or Mac. It is a very small environment that's intended to run very small, highly focused apps.

    The memory limits that you get are determined by the OS, but there's no barrier like the PC's "640K limit" which is fundamentally burned into the system architecture.

    PalmOS divides the memory in the unit into two parts. One stores programs and data, and it is actually write-protected, so that flaky programs can't wipe out data belonging to other apps (like your address book, for instance). The other portion of memory is space for runtime programs. The PalmOS designers decided (naturally enough) to give most of the memory over to program/data storage, and to provide enough runtime RAM for the kinds of apps they envisioned the device would run.

    Personally, I think Java, from the Palm OS point of view, is big, bloated and has no place being on a Palm unit, but others obviously disagree.

    Anyway, there's a thread over on the VisorCentral Developer's board called "Where to start" (or something like that) where I've posted my thoughts on the Palm programming manuals, and where you can download the offical Palm documentation. The offficial Palm docs are a free download, and you will find them very enlightening.
  14.    #14  
    Well, Java is a bit big (compared to C especially). But I suppose that having the same code for Palm and CE does have advantages. And multithreading is a nice feature. The speed seems reasonable.

    I'm guessing that HackMaster might allow for writing to extra memory. But that wouldn't be too Palm friendly.

    Besides, better Java than ActiveX :-)

    Thanks for your insights.

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