- Series: Professional Developer's Guide Series (Book 1)
- Paperback: 381 pages
- Publisher: Wiley (January 15, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0471390879
- ISBN-13: 978-0471390879
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,815,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Advanced Palm Programming: Developing Real-World Applications (With CD-ROM)
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From the Back Cover
Graduate to the next level of Palm programming
Advanced Palm(TM) Programming Professional Developer's Guide
If you've been looking for an expert guide to Palm programming that goes beyond the basics, here it is. This book shows you how to create real-world applications that will put you at the forefront of development for the most rapidly growing OS in handheld computing. Pioneering Palm software developers Mann and Rischpater walk you through the source code for their programming examples, teaching you both about algorithms that solve problems specific to the Palm OS and more general purpose application-level programs. In stand-alone chapters designed for easy reference, they provide:
* A practical modest-precision trigonometric library
* Routines for floating-point data entry, formatting, and conversion
* An application to create Palm database (PDB) files on the desktop
* Map display applications with rich graphics support
* Simple yet powerful global searching techniques for Palm devices
* Guidance for building a transport-independent communications API
* Solutions for quickly accessing records in large databases
* Debugging techniques for the Palm OS
The CD-ROM contains complete source code for all the programming samples in the book.
Professional Developer's Guides The Professional Developer's Guide series provides the first in-depth look at recent or emerging programming technologies. Experienced programmers and developers will find comprehensive coverage of new programming standards as well as code, sample programs, developer's tools, and applications that will make learning a new programming language much easier.
About the Author
STEVE MANN, bestselling author of Programming Applications with WAP (Wiley), is President of Creative Digital Publishing, a leading provider of technical information and software for the handheld and mobile computing industries. Mann released the first freeware application for Palm and is the creator of the most widely distributed Palm travel application, WorldFAQ .(TM) He is also the former publisher and editor of Handheld Systems magazine. RAY RISCHPATER is a consultant and writer formerly at Sun and Spyglass who participated in the development of Internet technologies for the Palm OS and other handheld devices. Rischpater has written for such publications as Handheld Systems, CQ VHF, and Apple's Develop.
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If you have the Neil Rhodes book from O'Reilly and/or the PalmOS Programming Bible from Wiley, then don't bother with this title at all.
"Read the SDK. Hey look at these code samples. Details are boring. So here are some more code samples. You want details go read the SDK."
Poorly written and horribly organized.
I'm still looking for a good Palm OS book.
For example, when I wrote a calculator program, I wish I had the chapter on floating point conversion and formatting. The PalmOS is designed to be compact and efficient and therefore, doesn't support floating point very well. Mann and Rischpater present routines with 15 digit precision, localization, and left and right alignment.
Regarding graphics, the authors discuss bitmaps, and panning and zooming techniques. If you're looking for sample video games, you'll have to look elsewhere. The authors frame their discussion with mapping software.
The chapter on reading from and writing to Palm's native databases (address, datebook, todo, memo) is interesting. While some developers have done this by studying Palm's source code (like myself), the authors offer an alternative API they call a property interface. This API hides the internal details, simplifies the task, and generally saves time. If Palm changes the underlying database schema, the API will isolate those changes and prevent your code from breaking. But you will have to depend on the authors to update their API, or know enough of the internals to update it yourself. I haven't worked with the API enough to render a verdict. There is one other way to write to Palm's address, datebook, and todo database that the authors did not mention: use the vCalendar and vCard format. These public formats, however, are no help when it comes to reading the databases.
The book covers many other advanced topics so be sure to check out the table of contents. Most of the examples require Palm OS 3.1, Codewarrior 6, and the Palm SDK 3.5. Unix and the gcc toolchain are not used in this book. Nevertheless, the writing is clear, as are the examples, so developers on Unix can still benefit.
It helps you with the solutions to concrete real world problems you encounter and guides you around mistakes every programmer made at some time ;)
It has not only complete, easily readable sourcecode but also describes the structuring of an application for a certain task from the abstract problem up - and this for every single chapter. That is, you have 8 completely functioning applications and not only 8 stages of one boring one (as in O'reilly's ;).
Extremely helpful was the java application to build Palm databases on the desktop which saved me a lot of time.
If you know the API already and C is your language - this book is for you.
The better chapter would be the 'App-centric Networking'. It mentions some web connection with the Palm. But this book still have no discussion with the HotSync, a important part of Palm development.
Most of the contents just help you develop stand-alone programs. I agree that you can read the SDK documentations for more information, or the Palm OS Programming Bible.