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Before getting started on palm programming


Determining your capabilities will be the first order of business.


Are you a programmer?

Are you a windows or unix programmer comfortable working in C, Assembler, Java, or Basic? You should have little trouble adjusting to working on the palm.


Are you learning to program?

Are you just starting out as a programmer? Starting with the palm will likely make your learning curve a steep one. You should spend a few weeks in windows or unix programming first. Try programming in BASIC first (as it is the simplest and will give you an understanding of programming in the shortest time) before moving on to programming in C. There are many good books and online tutorials for BASIC and C available.

Are you a database developer?

Are you a database developer comfortable working with Microsoft Access or other database design programs? There are similar solutions on the palm to help you develop your own apps. Are you a presentation designer? Can you create slideshow presentations with Powerpoint? You should be able to design some simple applications using the simpler application development environments.


Determining the Palm's capabilities comes next.


For programmers: There are few limitations to the kind of application you can write as a full fledged programmer. Databases, games, wireless apps, operating system modifications, are all possible. The largest and most imposing limitations all have to do with memory limits and small screen size. A creative programmer will find new "smaller" ways to do things that avoid the limits. We will be discussing some of these techniques in our Concepts and Strategies section. Your programming skill level will determine the limits of what you can do more than anything else. And you MUST be efficient as the Palm is a VERY SMALL computer - Bloatware need not apply.


For database developers: Don't expect to write the next hot arcade game, but you can expect to churn out your companies order entry forms and product database lookups in a jiffy.


For presentation designers: Your options will be limited to the simplest of tools from the database developers group. Limiting yourself to the less complex functions of the tools should still allow you to create a useful application for displaying information or doing simple data collection.


Do your capabilities and the palm's fit your needs?

After reading the sections above, do you feel that your skill level and the environment that is right for you on the palm will allow you to create an application of the type you need? If so, you can move on to Obtaining the tools of the trade .