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Palm Programming: The Developer's Guide by Julie McKeehan, Neil Rhodes

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Who This Book Is For—C Programmers

If you know C and you want to write applications for Palm devices, then this is the book for you. It doesn’t matter if you own a Palm and are an avid user, or if you are only now thinking about getting one. You can be a wretchedly poor student who wants to mess around with a PalmPilot in your spare time using free development tools, or a programmer in a Fortune 500 company who just got told that you have to write an application for the 5,000 units the company is deploying in the field next month.

We have tried hard to make sure that there is useful information for everyone, from beginning Palm programmers to those of you who have already danced around the block with these lovely little devices. If you want to write an application that reads barcodes, we help you; if you want to write an application to deploy a sales force, we show you what to do.

Do You Need to Know C++?

It doesn’t hurt if you know C++, but it isn’t necessary, either. C is just fine for creating a Palm application. C++ does come in handy if you are going to write a conduit (we will talk more about that in minute).

Do You Need to Be a Desktop Expert to Write a Conduit?

Writing a Palm application can be a two-part adventure. You may want to create an application for the handheld device and a desktop application that will talk to the Palm application. If you want to write a conduit (the code that handles the exchange of data between the Palm and the desktop), then you will need to know about the desktop (Windows or Macintosh). We tell you how to write the conduit, but not a lot about how to create a desktop application. For that you will need some outside resources.

Which Flavor Conduit Do You Want—C++ or Java?

You can use either C++ or Java to write a conduit. We discuss some of the issues and help you figure out which path you want.

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