Palm OS Developer Suite Preview Available

PalmSource has released a preview of the new Palm OS Developer Suite. The suite (v0.1.1) is a new tool chain from PalmSource that provides software developers with a means to develop Palm OS applications for Palm OS 4 and all other versions up to Cobalt.

The new Palm OS Developer Suite is based on the Eclipse environment, an open-source, Integrated Development Environment (IDE) originally developed by IBM that supports software development in a variety of languages, including C, C++, Java and COBOL. The existing Eclipse IDE targets many platforms, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. However, PalmSource is focusing on the Windows platform for the initial release. They are looking for a few developers to help address the Linux and Mac OS X platforms.

The Palm OS Developer Suite integrates Palm OS SDKs and tools into the open source Eclipse IDE. The Eclipse platform is a foundation for constructing and running integrated end-to-end software development tools. The platform consists of open source software components that tool vendors use to construct solutions that plug in to integrated software workbenches.

With the new Palm OS Developer Suite, programmers will have a parallel development path for creating ARM-native software applications, and 68K software applications that run on Palm OS 4, Palm OS Garnet and Palm OS Cobalt, through PACE (the Palm Application Compatibility Environment). No other single development tool currently on the market provides these capabilities.

The 0.1.1 preview for windows can be downloaded here. You must be a member of the Palm OS developer program to download the toolset.

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sgingras @ 2/27/2004 12:00:38 PM #
Eclipse is free and free is good. :-)

The simulator is now available

speedracer5 @ 2/27/2004 1:00:26 PM #
The Cobalt simulator is now availabe as well now.

You may be a race car driver at heart if you refer to leaving your driveway as "Turn 1"
RE: The simulator is now available
I.M Anonymous @ 2/27/2004 2:31:18 PM #
Is anyone else a bit disappointed with the simulator? Resetting takes much longer (it has to load all the applications), the new tabbed PIM apps give you less usable screen space (due to the tabs), the address book still doesn't have a field for home page, screen name, or picture, and the virtual graffiti area doesn't have the classic home/menu/find/calc/graffiti view, and the "egg" easter egg seems to be gone.

That said, the new media player looks nice, although I couldn't actually get it to play any files in the simulator.

RE: The simulator is now available
rsc1000 @ 2/27/2004 4:45:15 PM #
>>That said, the new media player looks nice, although I couldn't actually get it to play any files in the simulator.

It plays mpg files fine - just create a subfolder called 'Video' in the 'Card1' folder thats part of the simulator files. I tried 8 files - 6 played fine (the others may have some weird encoding or some issue).

I know what you mean about the speed of the start-up/reset of the simulator. However, i think this would happen faster on an actual device because its not loading from a hard drive, its coming from ROM.

RE: The simulator is now available
bcombee @ 2/27/2004 5:58:27 PM #
(quoting from one of the PalmSource engineers)

You can speed up the startup of the Cobalt simulator by adding the lines "FASTBOOT=1" or "FASTBOOT=2" to the PalmSim.ini file.

If you add FASTBOOT=1, it will skip the welcome app and go straight to the launcher.

If you add FASTBOOT=2, it will skip the sublaunching of applications at the beginning, where you see the icons go by. Keep in mind that doing that means no apps are sublaunched at the beginning, so the everyone might not be be registered for the notifications or exchange transactions they want, so all kinds of things might not work. But if you don't need any of this, FASTBOOT=2 might be the way to go.

Ben Combee
Programming help at

RE: The simulator is now available
I.M Anonymous @ 2/28/2004 4:11:26 AM #
Hmm, for some reason, I can get mpg files to show up in the playlist, but when I press play, it switched back to the audio tab, and nothing happens.

Where does this leave CodeWarrior?

Scott R @ 2/27/2004 1:26:54 PM #
So is CodeWarrior now unnecessary?

- Tapwave Zodiac News, Reviews, & Discussion -

RE: Where does this leave CodeWarrior?
frauen1 @ 2/27/2004 1:50:44 PM #
I've been toying with the Developer Suite since the conference a couple of weeks ago. If you are developing existing applications for CodeWarrior then I would stick with it for now. CodeWarrior is more mature, and converting to the new environment could be painful. Also, you can use the Cobalt simulator with CodeWarrior if you want to see how your old code runs in the Cobalt PACE environment.

Also remember that the Developer Suite is not a production-quality thing yet. The PalmSource folks have only been working on the Eclipse environment since November. (That being said, all the problems I've had are due to the C Development Toolkit (CDT), which is an Eclipse thing, not the PalmSource code. I haven't stressed the new resource tool, however...)

If you're using PRC-Tools then it might be worth it, but I'd give the developer suite a little time to mature.

So far I have to say I'm impressed with the toolkit. For an early release it's pretty good. The PalmSource tools team deserves a lot of credit.

RE: Where does this leave CodeWarrior?
bcombee @ 2/27/2004 2:11:09 PM #
Even with the new Palm OS Dev Suite, CW will still be necessary for Tapwave Native Application development, as the TW SDKs are build against the CodeWarrior tools, and the TW loader looks for special structures in your PNO that the CW tools create. It may be possible to do TNA work with other tools in the future, but that depends mainly on Tapwave's ability to modify those tools to support their app model.

CW still has other advantages, especially with large 68K app support, precompiled headers to speed builds, and C++ library support.

Ben Combee
Programming help at

RE: Where does this leave CodeWarrior?
a3 @ 2/27/2004 2:11:22 PM #
It's nice to hava a free, one download developer software. Obviously Codewarrior is superior but since this one is free and easy to install, then I can definitely give it a try...

Current fan of a 320x480 tablet shaped PDA with built in BT+Wifi for less than US$500

Can't Download

ben_riga @ 2/27/2004 8:38:08 PM #
I'm having trouble loggin into my PalmSource account. Anyone else having problems? I've tried the password they emailed me but it doesn't work. When I asked them to send me my password again they sent me a blank password which doesn't work.

Can someone email me (or put it on an ftp site somewhere) the Dev Suite as I'd really like to play with it.


RE: Can't Download
jjsoh @ 2/28/2004 2:18:50 PM #
I've had a similar experience with Mozilla Firefox (my default browser). I got around registering problems by filling in the forms through Internet Explorer.

Did anyone else have problems using another browser?


RE: Can't Download
jjsoh @ 2/28/2004 2:24:07 PM #
I'm sorry, I misread the parent post. I thought ben_riga was having registration problems.

Unfortunately, I have no answers as to why you can't download.


RE: Can't Download
mopcodes @ 2/28/2004 11:50:55 PM #
Hey Gang...

How do we know this guy is a registered Developer with Palm?

Remember actual members need to be leary of posts such as this one. After all we all signed up for access to the web site signing various agreements, etc.

No one should make these kinds of things available outside of Palm for anyone. Let them join up and if they are a member then let them work out their own problems with Palm.

RE: Can't Download
ben_riga @ 3/1/2004 12:49:04 PM #
Funny! No, this is not part of a terrorist plot. :)

I am, in fact, a member of the developer program. It's free to join so why would I go to all this trouble when I could get it direct.

Still can't login to download and no response from the site webmaster. I'm going to try joining the program again with a different email address.


RE: Can't Download
ben_riga @ 3/1/2004 2:09:59 PM #
OK. I joined the dev program again with another email address and was able to DL the dev suite (240MB!!!). I guess I'll get twice as much spam from them now. :)


The simulator

Verteron @ 2/27/2004 9:13:07 PM #
OK, here's my initial reckoning on Cobalt:

- Although not much enhanced, the Date Book, To Do List and Memo Pad applications have been throughly cleaned up. I'm sad to see there's no colour coding in the Calendar (this feature is extremely useful in the T3's PIM applications).

- The new networking looks impressive, although I couldn't figure out how to get it working in Windows.

- The EFIGs ROM is only 5.7MB, contrary to previous reports. However, the simulator doesn't seem to like me setting the resolution to 320x320 rather than 320x480, possibly indicating that a VG form factor is required?

- There is a new "Heap Based RAM Disk" alongside the traditional RAMDISK provided for the emulator. Does this mean that Cobalt has a built-in RAM disk feature allowing people to load any file onto the device?

- The Prefs screen is very sparse. There's no options to change the colour scheme of the interface or to enable writing on the screen. This is concerning.

- The new font rendering looks pretty sweet. I look forward to it being adopted throughout all the default applications ASAP. At the moment, only slips, Media and the Applications Launcher seem to use it.

- I am concerned by the lack of a standards-complaint built-in web browser which we were promised, although I guess NetFront fits the bill (but may not be adopted universally by the handheld makers?).

Handspring Visor Neo --> Sony CLIE PEG-T665C --> palmOne Tungsten T2

Palm OS 6 (Cobalt) Simulator
cyborg @ 2/27/2004 11:02:39 PM #
I have 13 screenshots, you can view it at

Abraham Estrada
RE: The simulator
bcombee @ 2/27/2004 11:58:36 PM #
In the simulator, the ROM file only holds 68K applications and resources. All of the native applications and OS code is included in DLLs that live in the Simulator's folder. You can't compare the ROM size of PalmSim to the ROM on an actual device because of this.

Ben Combee
Programming help at
RE: The simulator
just_little_me @ 2/28/2004 12:25:33 AM #
The sim ROM files *aren't* real ROM files - they can't be installed on a real device and you can't compare the size, contents etc to a real ROM.


RE: The simulator
rory @ 2/28/2004 9:22:23 AM #
Hmm I don't want to seem down on PalmSource (heh, too late ;) but after looking at the screenshots I feel very underwhelmed. Even without the wizzy new GUI we were expecting, it doesn't look very exciting. That apps are going to have to reworked just to provide anti-aliased text support seems particularly lame. I guess when they bring out the new UI there is going to be a long transition period where we have to put up with both new and old style depending on which app we use?

Given that the built-in PIM apps on the new PalmOne devices look a lot better than these new OS 6 ones, you have to question (again) if spitting the company really was the right move. Given that each Palm OS licensee seems to be increasingly going their own way with regards to the default PIM apps and the general look and feel, I can see the platform becoming increasingly fragmented. This is bad news for developers and users imo and undermines the credibility of the platform as whole. Yes it's boring that every PPC looks damned near identical but there is still a lot to be said for a consistent user interface.

Visor Deluxe > iPod > Clie SJ33 > Zire 71 > ?



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