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Search in Book Reviews

The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Palm Development
Author:
Clayton Crooks
ISBN:
0 7897 2649 1
Publisher:
Que
Pages:
250pp
Price:
£21-99
Reviewer:
James Amor
Subject:
pda
Appeared in:
15-3
'Palm Development' - in my opinion this title implies that the book will provide an overview of the field of development for palm devices - not so; in actual fact the scope of the book is limited to development for the Palm OS only, neglecting other PDA/Palm operating systems, e.g. Windows CE. It does however meet the needs of its target audience and is very much a beginner's introduction to the field.

The main focus of this book is on proprietary software packages (e.g. AppForge and Satellite Forms) and this is where the main stumbling block lies; the book has no companion CD. Most chapters of the book are targeted at one RAD IDE or another, however after visiting the manufacturers websites (the links to which are provided in the text) it becomes clear that very few are available on a trial basis; obviously expensive IDEs are not an option when first exploring a platform and so many chapters of the book are made immediately useless. Should you be wishing to develop applications purely using the Palm OS C++ SDK then this book is not for you either, as despite acknowledging the fact that most applications are developed in C++ using the SDK, only 16 pages are dedicated to its description.

On the positive side, the book is well illustrated, with multiple screenshots supporting most examples; the examples are simple, enabling the reader to concentrate on understanding the development tool, rather than the application being developed; and the explanations of the implementations are clear and concise. All of these make this title an excellent beginner's book, but little use as a book for the intermediate/advanced developer and very little use as a reference book.