Sunday, 11 November, 2001

Palm Programming Books

If you're interested in programming for the Palm OS, pick up the book Palm OS Programming Bible by Lonnon R. Foster, published by IDG Books.  This book has everything you need, not only to get started, but to complete complex Palm applications, including writing the conduit program to communicate with your desktop computer.

I've read good things about Palm OS Programming, 2nd Edition, by Neil Rhodes & Julie McKeehan (O'Reilly), but have been unable to find it in the bookstore.  I'd order it online, but I'd like to thumb through it first.  I saw a copy of the first edition in the bookstore today--and liked what I saw--but I'd like to see the new edition in print before I spring from it.

I also picked up Robert Mykland's Palm OS Programming from the Ground Up (Wiley), which promises "open this book as a Novice and finish it as a Pro."  I should have looked more closely at this one before I bought it.  It covers most of the topics (although conduit programming is suspiciously absent), but does so in the context of an ongoing tutorial.  In order to understand Chapter 6, for example, you must have read and understood Chapter 5 and the code presented there.  This kind of book is fine, I guess, for somebody who has the time to sit down and do the tutorial, but the book is worthless as a reference or a quick study guide.  The explanations are more often of the code rather than the underlying APIs or data structures.  I prefer small examples that illustrate a single point rather than monolithic examples from which it's difficult to glean small nuggets of information.  For sure don't buy this book before you buy the Foster book.