Write Palm Apps in VB with AppForge Toolkit

AppForge will soon be releasing a new plug-in for Visual Basic that will allow users to more easily develop Palm apps using VB. The apps will require that the AppForge virtual machine (about 300k) be installed on the Palm to run. AppForge Toolkit also uses Ingots, special ActiveX controls that provide all the functionality one would normally expect from standard VB Components. Ingots can be placed onto a form and are specially built to be used in the embedded space. Every standard Ingot has code that also runs in the AppForge Runtime. It will be available December 11 for $300.

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More Runtime Bloat

Brad Clarke @ 11/27/2000 5:09:59 PM #
A 300K runtime file? That makes the kvm & J9 java runtimes look tiny in comparison. VB made it possible to make crappy apps for Windows; now it will be easier than ever to make crappy apps on the palm too!! Use a real language to develop Palm apps - leave the crap on the windows side.


I.M. Anonymous @ 11/27/2000 9:34:28 PM #
$300? Too expensive.

VB and Me

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/28/2000 5:14:36 AM #
Why ? is C that difficult ?

Let's think about this, this cost $300 bucks
plus visual basic, another $175. if your a student.

or I can get a free compiler, and several great
Visual Developer kits, for about $70 buck, write in
a more compact fast efficient language. Where the average app is about 25-100 K. compared to 300K plus app say 140k.


COUNT ME in! What a deal! ... my checks in the mail..


RE: VB and Me
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/28/2000 6:44:59 AM #
There are many many developers out there that don't know or care to learn C. C may not be that hard but why learn another language if you don't have to. You can also write crappy program in C, you don't just need VB. Its the how the code is written that makes it crappy not the language that is used!

Anyone who writes VB apps, already has VB so you can count that cost. Yes $300 is still to expensive and the 300K runtime is still to large. Why not wait and see what this product has to offer before bashing it.

RE: VB and Me
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/29/2000 12:05:07 AM #
Why not use CASLPro from http://www.caslsoft.com instead. It is as easy as VB (if not easier), generates c code (use FREE GCC compiler or Code Warrior) that is compiled into a single .prc file without any runtimes.

I've been using it for over a year now for Palm Development and it's progressed in new capabilities in the past several months. Including syncing to ODBC Databases on the PC, Bitmaps, etc.

No runtimes needed (but this is an option, if you so choose). It can make calls to external applications, run as a Windows App, supports the Symbol SPT1500 and much more. Best of all, the Pro Version is about $65 ($235 cheaper and has been around the block ;).

I'm a long-time VB Programmer (10 years or so). I love VB on the Desktop, but it makes little sense to carry the associated overhead(i.e. runtime/VM) to a machine that is quite limited (in comparison) in memory. With a 300k runtime library, it's highly unlikely that any truly professional applications would get off the ground with such requirements.

Even with earlier versions of CASL I had to distribute my applications with a 40k runtime library (prior to the Pro Version). I got allot of flack from customers when I distributed a 100k total program size (runtime + app). 300-600k is impossible for commercial use. Even with today 8MB machines.

Slim it down (by about 400%), make it able to generate c code and sell it for less than a $100 and I may consider looking at it. Otherwise, I'll stick with CASL. However, it's good to have an option when it comes to development tools. Perhaps, someone else won't be turned off my the memory requirements of AppForge. Although, I have been wrong once before :)

Just my .02 worth...

RE: VB and Me
Ed @ 11/29/2000 8:44:09 AM #
You are perfectly correct, I don't think VB is the way to go for shareware or commercial Palm software. However, I think AppForge's target market is companies, not individuals. I'll use mine as an theoretical example. I can see us deciding that our sales force needs more access to company info and deciding that Palms are the best way to go. We already have a group of VB developers who write apps for internal use. With AppForge, they write a VB app that works with some of those internal apps. The company buys a bunch of Palms and gives them to the sales people with the VB app already on them and trains the salespeople to use it.

The company doesn't care that the app is bloated. As long as it will fit on the Palm, that is small enough for them. We make this compromise every day. All our internal apps are bloated and run a bit slow because they are in VB but VB is easier than C and the developers get paid less. Most companies will happily take lower costs and faster development time if the cost is only bloated internal apps.

Palm Infocenter

RE: VB and Me
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/29/2000 9:55:05 AM #
I started with VB 1.0 and everyone said, writing programs in Visual Basic will NEVER go anywhere. To slow, to big, crappy programs! Many companies made a lot of money writing VB apps. And many VB programmers are making alot of money. There are many many programs written in VB. Yes some are crappy, but there are many crappy programs also written in C. No you will not get a database program or a spreadsheet program or a word processor written in VB, but you can get many utilites, games, vertical market programs written.

RE: VB and Me - Get VB for Free!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2001 2:17:40 PM #
Did you know that the working edition of Visual Basic is Free with the VB for Dummys book. You can use this version of VB with AppForge to create Applications. You will need to download Visual Studio Service Pack 4 or 5 from the MS web site/(the books costs $24 at Amazon)

Why this will fail

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/5/2000 6:08:19 PM #
A) A 300k runtime is like asking yourself to limit users to only the people with 8mb of ram.
B) If you are going to develop for a platform with about 32kb of dymanic heap with VB, you're insane.
C) How slow is this going to be?
D) People willing to spend $300 will get a book and learn c++.



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