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Palm OS 5.2 Dev Information Posted

PalmSource has made information about new features and updated included in Palm OS 5.2. Palm OS 5.2 has already been made available to licensees and they in turn may decide to make the update available on new devices or via an OS upgrade. Palm OS 5.2 includes a small set of new features and modifications, most notably a new handwriting recognition engine, Graffiti 2.

Alongside this release is a minor update to the 68K OS, Palm OS 4.1.2. Palm OS 4.1.2 is Palm OS 4.1 with the addition of the Graffiti 2 handwriting recognition engine. Neither Palm OS 5.2 nor 4.1.2 development require a new SDK. For testing purposes, a new version of the Palm OS 5 Simulator with Palm OS 5.2 is available on the Simulator web page, and new Palm OS 4.1.2 ROM images for the Palm OS Emulator are available from the PalmSource developer program.

Graffiti 2
The biggest addition to Palm OS 5.2 is the new Graffiti 2 handwriting recognition engine. Graffiti 2 is a new character recognition engine that replaces the Graffiti engine that had been used in the past. PalmSource liscenened and enhanced Jot from CIC. Graffiti 2 was added to make learning data input on the palm os easier for new and inexperienced users, PalmSource feels it allows for a more natural and intuitive method of data input. There are some things developers should be aware of about Graffiti 2 and PalmSource has posted a Graffiti 2 Compatibility Tips FAQ.

Virtual Graffiti, or Collapsible Input Area API
With OS 5.2 PalmSource has committed to building a unified API for a collapsible Input area, commonly referred to as "virtual graffiti." This feature is still in development and has not been added into the OS. Another feature added is an internal flag to check for built in mobile phones, useful for detecting smartphone and/or wireless capabilities.

Some of the more technical bugs fixed include (More Here):

  • Formatting some 128MB and larger SD cards may freeze the device
  • Memory leak occurs if sound played asynchronously does not terminate before exit of application
  • Algorithm which computes the interval between two repeat events is incorrect
  • Values returned by SysBatteryInfo() function are wrong
  • Transparent color cannot be set on version 2 bitmaps with16 bit color by calling BmpSetTransparentValue() and BmpGetTransparentValue() from 68K application
  • Noise is heard (for Unsampled Data) if a blank sound is inserted on one channel while the opposite channel has sound.
  • Crash in low-memory situations in the square-wave emulator

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Well then what are the manufacturers saying...

SaabCaptain @ 1/20/2003 11:11:12 AM #
The question of the day then is... are the current Sony and Palm OS 5 machines going to get this update? I am sure they are playing close to the vest but maybe someone can take someone out for some beers and ya know...

owned: Pilot 5000, PalmPilot Pro, Palm V, IIIc, m505, Sony T615, TUNGSTEN T!!
RE: Well then what are the manufacturers saying...
frauen1 @ 1/20/2003 11:24:45 AM #
I think Palm will provide an upgrade. Sony seems to consider their devices to have a short shelf life, and their only upgrade attempt was fairly awkward and expensive. (All of this is IMHO, of course, based on past observations about upgrades.)

I hope Palm, Inc gets this right

Smartmoose @ 1/20/2003 11:33:33 AM #
<rant>
Last time Palm Inc. provided an update (for OS 4.1), users of WinXP and MacOS X couldn't install it. (You can read the warning midway down the page here: http://www.palm.com/support/downloads/palmos41.html ).

Hopefully, they'll change their installation process - or whatever was preventing WinXP and MacOS X users from performing the update - so that all users can have the option update their handheld to 4.1.2 (or 5.2 for you lucky T|T owners out there).
</rant>

RE: I hope Palm, Inc gets this right
gilbas99 @ 1/20/2003 12:14:37 PM #
The 4.1 upgrade was posted to american users. Customers with EFIGS versions are still waiting...

RE: I hope Palm, Inc gets this right
cbowers @ 1/20/2003 12:29:47 PM #
It'd sure be nice if the rest of the PalmOS world would handle updates with the same functionality as Handera does.

No PC is required for the update.

-You just backup to CF or SD
-put the downloaded OS image file in the root directory of the CF card
-hold Datebook button and reset.
-Choose the OS image (if more than one resides on the card)
-Press the todo button to begin the flash. It first verifies the files integrity, then flashes the OS.
-Then use the backup app to restore your personal data

The whole process takes only a few minutes. The process can't easily be botched as the built-in flash app is part of a separate small-rom (also flash updateable).

RE: I hope Palm, Inc gets this right
Agonistes @ 1/22/2003 1:20:13 AM #
Handera? Are they still around? Where can i get one?

OS 5.2 Sim

edeab220 @ 1/20/2003 11:45:16 AM #
I'm using the simulater right now...and to tell you right now...DO NOT UPGRADE! Graffiti 2 is too weird and hard.

----------
Proud owner of...(dead) Visor, Visor Dlx, Palm VIIx, (dead) Visor Prism, and a Sony Clie NR70!!

Senior Editor at: www.pocketloft.com

RE: OS 5.2 Sim
frauen1 @ 1/20/2003 11:55:07 AM #
Wierd/hard is relative - it's different.

I haven't tried the simulator hyet (I will) but I've been using Jot for the past several days - I have at least 5 years of Graffiti experience (actually more - I used it on an old Sony MagicCap device!), I have problems with some of the input (I keep trying to do graffiti for some strange reason ;) ). On the other hand, we've tried it with some beta testers of our software and have gotten positive feedback. I may not like it, but I don't think it's going to significantly hurt the market. The point is moot, anyway - those licensees who want to support the old graffiti will still put it in, those who want to use "graffiti 2" will put in the new version.

Either look at it as an "opportunity" or as a pain. Truth be told, we really don't have much choice.

RE: OS 5.2 Sim
colinhowlett @ 1/20/2003 11:55:27 AM #
It also looks like a fair amount of stuff will be broken if you look at the FAQ
RE: OS 5.2 Sim
thenightfly42 @ 1/20/2003 12:07:04 PM #
That FAQ is downright scary. The first paragraph:
"In Graffiti 2 handwriting, the first stroke of a multi-stroke character might match the stroke for another character. In this case, the Graffiti 2 engine first enqueues the single-stroke character followed by a backspace and the multi-stroke character. For example, The first stroke of a "k" character matches the stroke for the "l" character. When the user draws the first stroke of the "k," the Graffiti 2 engine processes that stroke and sends the "l" character to the key queue. When the user draws the second stroke of the "k," the Graffiti 2 engine sends a backspace to erase the "l" and then sends the "k" character. If your application has processed the "l" in the meantime, it has done so in error."

Think about the issues here. Or, better yet, read the FAQ for all the issues this will cause. Even if Sony releases 4.1.2, I don't think I'll get it.

RE: OS 5.2 Sim
The Phantom @ 1/20/2003 1:08:51 PM #
Mmmmm.... I've just been playing with the 5.2 simulator and to be honest Graffiti 2 doesn't seem vastly different to the old Graffiti. A few letters are now using multiple strokes, a couple have different single stroke forms (notably Q and Y) The majority of the changes seem to be among the 'shift' characters, things like @, ", TM.

It doesn't feel that weird really. I'm sure it'll only take me a few days to get used to it.

I wouldn't say it's an improvement particularly, just different. Considering it's a forced change for legal reason's it could have been a lot worse.

I notice the colour themes are still there in the simulator too. Wonder if they'll make it to the OS release.

_________________________
The Phantom Strikes again

RE: OS 5.2 Sim
dvoulgaris @ 1/20/2003 1:11:47 PM #
I tried the simulator and had a nice surprise. You have some choices with G2, and one is writing Caps letters, it´s very similar to Graffiti "1". The harder part will be remembering the accents and special characters. But we still have the keyboard and maybe some hack writer will give us Graffiti "1" as an extension...

RE: OS 5.2 Sim
I.M Anonymous @ 1/20/2003 11:44:01 PM #
My only complaint is that it now takes two strokes to input i, k, t, and x. This is an improvement how?

RE: OS 5.2 Sim
I.M Anonymous @ 1/20/2003 11:53:02 PM #
Even worse is trying to do a dollar sign. With grafitti 1, it was a two strokes (dot s). With Grafitti 2, it is 4 strokes (|S||).

RE: OS 5.2 Sim
amflores @ 1/21/2003 1:34:32 PM #
as far as I know, you´ve always needed 2 strokes for an "x" in grafitti....

RE: OS 5.2 Sim
tddisc @ 1/21/2003 3:10:04 PM #
In Graffiti 1, the x can be written with one stroke, it's the same stroke as the k, but reversed. ><> instead of <><

td

err - dumb user question...

M1 @ 1/20/2003 12:16:24 PM #
I'm sitting here waiting for 5.1 because I apparently need it for Web browser 2, the proxyless killer browser that was supposed to ship with OS5 and was the reason I bought the TT.

------------------------
See Palm FAQ entry below:

Q: What version of Palm OS does Web Browser 2.0 run on? Why doesn't Web Browser 2.0 work on Tungsten T?
A: Web Browser 2.0 requires Palm OS 5.1. Palm Tungsten T and Sony NX70V Clie come with Palm OS 5.0 installed. These devices both come standard with different browsers. Tungsten T is bundled with the Novarra Web Pro browser and NX70V comes with the Netfront Access browser.

------------------------

So while we're all saying 5.2 - what happened to 5.1.

Or am I waiting for Godot?

RE: err - dumb user question...
Zuber @ 1/20/2003 12:42:44 PM #
Agreed,

I am still waiting for the proxyless browser a well. The current browser is ok, but it does not look as good as Netfront.

A good proxyless browser while still having the proxy based browser available for those needing keep the bandwidth down would be ideal.

Zuber

RE: err - dumb user question...
jbreuer @ 1/20/2003 2:36:37 PM #
The previous release of Palm Simulator was OS 5.1
Not in any PDA as far as I know.


Juan Jose.

RE: err - dumb user question...
M1 @ 1/20/2003 7:12:20 PM #
Hmmm - so am I ever going to get the 5.2 release on to my Tungsten is it also for emulators only?

It seems increasingly unlikely to me (Joe Blow user) that Web Browser 2 and the fabled MP3 bundle will ever materialise on the TT. Particlarly as the OS seems to be evolving in isolation.

A bit of a concern for a product that was sold (and which I for one bought) on the strength of its supposed wireless internet and multimedia capabilities.

Anyway - I can see this thread going way of topic so I will take it to the forum from here.

Not that it will be news there.

So how about a release that actually makes it onto our hardware and addresses some of the real issues the users are having before we hit OS6.7.5?

Is old grafitti gone if you install update?

bobes @ 1/20/2003 12:32:29 PM #
Is old grafitti gone if you install update? or can you use both of them at the same time?

RE: Is old grafitti gone if you install update?
Foo Fighter @ 1/20/2003 1:02:29 PM #
Nope, it's gone for good.

"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs
RE: Is old grafitti gone if you install update?
IanJD @ 1/20/2003 2:44:04 PM #
But what happens if you have something like Grafitti Anywhere; do you draw the old or new characters on the screen?

RE: Is old grafitti gone if you install update?
bytor @ 1/21/2003 12:54:06 PM #
In addition, if you really dont like it can you do a hard reset and get it back??

Long Live Visor Prism
RE: Is old grafitti gone if you install update?
IanJD @ 1/22/2003 8:10:33 AM #
> In addition, if you really dont like it can
> you do a hard reset and get it back??

If it's a flash update, which it almost certainly will be, then no.

4K Memo Limit fixed and Native Security/Encryption added?

Gekko @ 1/20/2003 1:13:21 PM #
Real mp3? Or do I have to wait for OS7 in 2005 for this? Sheesh.

RE: 4K Memo Limit fixed and Native Security/Encryption added?
Admin @ 1/20/2003 1:30:40 PM #
Don't forget about the 16MB RAM issue...
RE: 4K Memo Limit fixed and Native Security/Encryption added?
Fernando @ 1/20/2003 1:37:38 PM #
the 4k limit is a palm only problem... so you'd have to pick that up with palm. On the current os 5 sony devices there is no such limit, and it actually has an mp3 player pre-installed. Palm for some reason decided to put in the 4k limit to their tungsten t for some reason (so that no one can make an mp3 player before they do?). Hopefully they'll release an proper patch for this issue. But knowing palm this may take a few more months (they're slow at fixing their own problems). Or perhaps they're just waiting for Real to finish the mp3 player before they go ahead and take off the 4k limit on the Tungsten. Whatever it is, don't count on a miracle within the rest of the month.

RE: 4K Memo Limit fixed and Native Security/Encryption added?
Fernando @ 1/20/2003 1:50:15 PM #
what's the 16mb ram issue? i don't seem to remember that one....
RE: 4K Memo Limit fixed and Native Security/Encryption added?
BiffK @ 1/20/2003 2:06:42 PM #
Not sure about that, but apparently more memory is possible. Garmin's new GPS PDA has 32 MB of Ram on OS 5

-Biff K
RE: 4K Memo Limit fixed and Native Security/Encryption added?
IanJD @ 1/20/2003 3:16:58 PM #
Maybe Garmin set up half the 32Mb as a RAM disk?

RE: 4K Memo Limit fixed and Native Security/Encryption added?
Gekko @ 1/20/2003 3:28:52 PM #
>"Don't forget about the 16MB RAM issue..."

Admin - Good point! How could I forget!

>"what's the 16mb ram issue? i don't seem to remember that one...."

Fernando - It is believed by some that Palm devices are limited to 16MB RAM due to the legacy of the Dragonball. Although the TT no longer uses the Dragnoball, the theory is that the OS5 emulation of OS4 has a "bug" in it which requires imposing a 16MB RAM max.



RE: 4K Memo Limit fixed and Native Security/Encryption added
strannik @ 1/20/2003 4:27:43 PM #
>Whatever it is, don't count on a miracle within the rest >of the month.

you know something we don't know?

RE: 4K Memo Limit fixed and Native Security/Encryption added?
IanJD @ 1/20/2003 5:58:10 PM #
> the 4k limit is a palm only problem... so you'd have to pick that up with palm. On the current os 5 sony devices there is no such limit, and it actually has an mp3 player pre-installed.

I think you're confusing the 4kb character limit in memos and what was originally referred to as the 4kHz low pass DSP filter. The latter has nothing to do with PalmOS, and won't be addressed in this update.

RE: 4K Memo Limit fixed and Native Security/Encryption added
barfuss007 @ 1/20/2003 6:35:06 PM #
>>> I think you're confusing the 4kb character limit in memos and what was originally referred to as the 4kHz low pass DSP filter. The latter has nothing to do with PalmOS, and won't be addressed in this update.<<<

Geee - I am confused: If the 4kHz low pass DSP filter is not related to the OS - how could an OS fix help then???

RE: 4K Memo Limit fixed and Native Security/Encryption added?
Fernando @ 1/20/2003 8:05:03 PM #
the 4khz limit is for palm tungstens only, and was introduced for palm. the 4k limit for the notepad is a palm os thing, not only dealing with palm hardware. I appologize for getting these two confused, but i forgot abuot the memo limit, and just asumed it was the audio limit.

4K Memo Limit explained
bcombee @ 1/21/2003 12:31:34 PM #
The memo pad limit is there and hasn't been fixed for a few reasons:

1) Lots of software uses the MemoPad database format, so changing this format, even to remove this limitation, could lead to other programs crashing or misbehaving.

2) More importantly, the Memopad conduit that comes with HotSync Manager knows about this limit. Changing this would mean that some Palm OS devices wouldn't be able to talk to old versions of HotSync manager, leading to customer confusion.

Finally, there isn't a big reason to fix it. There are better applications to view larger documents that allow document compression, and there are much better apps for writing larger documents. Some of these are free. Expanding the memo size would hurt the developers who have built alternative memo apps on the platform.

--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com

RE: 4K Memo Limit fixed and Native Security/Encryption added?
TinMan @ 1/21/2003 1:53:24 PM #
Large stand-alone documents are one thing, notes within contacts, etc., are quite another. If you have a contact stored in Outlook with >4K note-data, that data is truncated on the Palm. If you happen to edit it on the Palm, the truncated data is then propagated back to Outlook. Not good. The 4K limit has to go, IMO. Ditto for the clipboard limit...


-Mike

Repeat Events

JKingGrim @ 1/20/2003 3:11:23 PM #
>>Algorithm which computes the interval between two
>>repeat events is incorrect

Does this mean the problems with lists scrolling too quick is gone?

Upgrade or Downgrade?

hotpaw4 @ 1/20/2003 3:00:35 PM #
There are several reasons why current users are loyal to the PalmOS brand; there's the oft-mentioned ease-of-use and the large number of 3rd party applications.

But one of the big reasons why many Palm users would never switch is because Graffiti 1 has become hardwired into their brains... something that happens after just a few months of use. Lots of users report that their handwriting and printing has turned into Graffiti. If Graffiti 2 doesn't have a backwards compatibility mode, and this change annoys Graffiti 1 users, the change could potentially cause a loss of some of PalmOS's lock on the upgrade market, as well as cut into some of their legendary word-of-mouth advertising.

So, my question is: what's the minimum number of characters that the typical user will need to relearn? Or will some 3rd party (offshore open source, perhaps) step in with a Graffiti 1 compatiblity recognizer add-on?

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