Application Development Tools



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Application Development Tools

Postby Robert Ruland » Fri, 17 Oct 2003 22:00:45 GMT

I have the need to create an application for Palm Pilots that will 
capture data for eventual synchronization with a Softvelocity (Clarion) 
data base.

I have limited programming experience. Any suggestion for a relatively 
simple to use program to create the PDA application. I have looked at NS 
Basic, Pendragon, PDA Toolbox, CodeWarrior (need C++ knowledge?).

Any suggestions?



Re: Application Development Tools

Postby Baxter » Sat, 18 Oct 2003 00:19:03 GMT

Have someone else write the program for you?  Seriously - consider how much
time you would have to put into learning and what that time is worth to you.

Re: Application Development Tools

Postby the Wiz » Sat, 18 Oct 2003 10:49:01 GMT

obert Ruland < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > wrote:

I use NSBasic because of familiarity with various versions of BASIC on different
operating systems, from 8 bit microcomputers (Z80 and 6809 based) to UNIX to DOS
to Windows XP, because its IDE is similar to VB, because it has excellent
support, and because it provides the most "bang for the buck" for the types of
programs I write.

There are a lot of options for creating Palm programs yourself and there are
always hungry developers looking for the next job - including me ;-)

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)?

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 free 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). 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 products 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

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++0) 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).

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 in at various times) is an
interpreter that's about as fast as some of the products that has PC-based
compilers and use a run-time - but there's no GUI IDE.

2. C programmers can use OnBoardC (free or PocketC (
$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.

More about me:
VB3/VB6/NSBasic Palm/C/PowerBasic source cod

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