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Palm Programming Tutorial - Overview






Palm Tutorial 1: Hello
Palm Tutorial 5: DB
Palm Tutorial 8: Beaming
Palm Tutorial 2: Forms
Palm Tutorial 6: UI
Palm Tutorial 9: Serial
Palm Tutorial 3: Menu
Palm Tutorial 7: I18n
Palm Tutorial 10: Find
Palm Tutorial 4: Prefs

Palm Programming Tutorial - Goal

Palm Programming Tutorial was designed to help developers program mobile applications for Palm OS platforms. Programming a Palm application requires the developer to understand several programming concepts. Palm Programming Tutorial addresses the following:

  • UI (User Interface)
  • DB (Database)
  • System Integration (Preferences, Global Find...)
  • Beaming (Infrared)
  • Serial Communications

Developing applications for non-mobile platforms seldom requires the programmer to know that many concepts, not to mention that application development is often a teamwork, where each programmer has their area of expertise.

Not so for Palm OS development: YOU have to be the Architect, Programmer, Graphics Designer, Database Administrator, Database Developer, Tester, and... Project Manager! That's a lot for one guy, but that's just the way it is!

When one has to start developing for a platform s/he doesn't know, it's usually hard to get started:

  • "What is the best language to use for the kind of app I'd like to develop?"
  • "Where can I get the tools and documentation?"
  • "Cool, I've got all them toolz and docz... Er... They're so huge that I don't know where and how I should start"
  • etc.

After I found (most) answers to the questions above, I thought it might help other wanna-be Palm OS developers who want to get their feet wet. The purpose of Palm Programming Tutorial is only educational. Topics such as performance, portability, profiling, etc. have intentionally not been given the highest priority.

I hope you'll enjoy taking this Palm OS tutorial as much as I did when I wrote it!

Enough said... Let's start.


Each section of the Palm Programming Tutorial deals with a specific topic. We'll start with simple concepts and increase complexity each time we move on to the next section. There is no obligation to take each section. However, it's a good idea to complete the tutorial from beginning through end.

For each topic, you will get:

An objective

An overview of basic concepts

An exercise

A solution


In order to compile the applications of this Palm tutorial, you need to install Palm SDK 3.5, PRC-Tools, and PilRC. If you use later versions of the SDK, you may have to update the Makefiles of the tutorial. In order to test the apps, you also need Palm OS Emulator.

You have to be familiar with C, basic UI and DB development. Also, you should have three documents at hand: Palm OS Companion, Palm OS Reference (in Palm SDK), and PilRC User Manual.


Here's the big picture. Palm Programming Tutorial gives you the opportunity to develop the following apps:

Palm Tutorial

Each of those apps has its own section. Here they are, sorted by complexity:

Palm Programming Tutorial - Beginner
Section 1
Palm Tutorial
Section 2
Palm Tutorial
Section 3
Palm Tutorial
Section 4
Palm Tutorial


Palm Programming Tutorial - Intermediate
Section 5
Palm Tutorial
Section 6
Palm Tutorial
Section 7
Palm Tutorial


Palm Programming Tutorial - Advanced
Section 8
Palm Tutorial
Section 9
Palm Tutorial
Section 10
Palm Tutorial

Legal notice

Palm Programming Tutorial was written by Eric Poncet.
Palm Programming Tutorial is the exclusive property of Eric Poncet and shall only be used for educational and ethical purposes. Modification of any kind is not permitted.

Palm OS, HotSync and Graffiti are registered trademarks of Palm Computing, Inc.
Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.


Your comments on this Palm OS tutorial are more than welcome. It's rite here :)

Good luck!

[ Copyright © 2000- Eric Poncet - All rights reserved ]

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