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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2002 8:17 pm
by deeegeee

I am a newish programmer and want to start producing on the Palm platform. Before investing a lot of time, does anyone have a view on which is the better language to use, PocketC or Quartus Forth? I think it is not possible to produce stand alone programs in PocketC, is this the only disadvantage?


PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2002 11:59 pm
by MarkS
Hi deeegeee,

I'm a newish programmer too. My advice would be to start with PocketC. I think it is has a much larger user base. The forums here are very helpful and a great resource.

Also, check out the book I'm using to learn PocketC. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised what you can do with PocketC. The book is well written and he teaches you by taking you through real example of programs and explaining what they are made of.

The book is by Andy Harris, called 'Palm Programming for the Absolute Beginner'. ISBN No. 0-7615-3524-1.

I don't think you'll find this much support for Quartus Forth. I'm not saying that it is not a good language.

You can make standalone programs if you use the desktop version of PocketC called PDE (Palm Desktop Edition). Works great.



PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2002 1:31 pm
by Vilmos
PocketC is an easy to learn language, especially if you already know C at all. Forth is a very different kind of programming language but allows full access to all of the Palm capabilities.

MarkS is completely wrong about support for Quartus Forth. There is a very active forum on the Quartus Forth web site in which the author usually responds within hours to any questions. There is also a wiki on Quartus Forth which is set up to answer any problems for beginners. There are also several books on Forth which apply as Quartus Forth uses the ANSI standard.

I have purchased both PocketC and Quartus Forth. The main differences are ease of use and control over the Palm.

PocketC takes care of a lot for the programmer allowing high level progrmaming, but it is a LOT slower and needs a runtime to run which can be separate or embedded at the cost of size.

Quartus Forth compiles to native code on the Palm, and has access to all API functions which means you can do anything that can be done with the "official" programming platforms. The catch is that there is no safety net like in PocketC.

With the addition of native libraries more functions are exposed to PocketC than before, so some of the functionality problems are being overcome, but there are still some limitations to PocketC.

I hope that gives a decent comparison. If you have specific questions about Quartus Forth, I can answer those, and there are lots of people here who can answer anything about PocketC.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2002 11:40 pm
by MarkS
Hi Vilmos,

Sorry if I mispoke about Quartus support. Wasn't aware that it had that many users.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2002 12:07 am
by Vilmos
No problems. I just couldn't let Quartus get a bad rap for support when I have never seen an author so fast to respond and as helpful as Neal Bridges. <img src=icon_smile.gif border=0 align=middle>


PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2002 12:47 pm
by deeegeee
Thanks Mark and Vilmos.

As it's my intention is to write and distribute games, sounds like Quartus is the one?

Is it absolutely necessary to have PC to make stand alones in C as I don't have access to one, presumably this is not necessary with Quartus?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2002 2:44 pm
by Vilmos
Quartus will let you make stand-alone games right on the Palm.

You can make games with PocketC. I have done it, but it really depends on what kind of games you are making.

If you want speed and power go with Quartus. If you want rapid and easier coding stick to PocketC. PocketC does have a limitation of around 45K if you are using the Palm itself to code on. Quartus has the same limitation, but there are instructions on how to make multi-segmented applications there which let you expand to virtually any size program. Quartus applications are MUCH smaller, but the learning curve is much steeper.

If you are not scared of learning Forth and the Palm API then Quartus is good. Forth has the one advantage in that you get the whole thing free to try out. It does not expire, you pay for the ability to make stand-alone applications, but until then you could write your whole game and then buy the licence when you want to deploy. PocketC expires after about a month I think.

I look forward to more games based on either language. What kind of games are you interested in making?


PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2002 2:48 pm
by Vilmos
Oops, forgot to answer your question!

If money is no object, you can code in C using MetroWerks CodeWarrior for the Mac. The program is actually ported to the PC at some point, there are quite a few Mac artifacts in the program.

There is also OnBoardC which I think is officially dead, but it allowed you to make native C on your Palm. I fooled around with it long ago but I found it too cumbersome to actually code anything in. You also need all of the headers from the Palm SDK.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2002 7:32 pm
by PenreeSoft

OnBoardC went OpenSource. I think that for a FREE onboard C platform it is sweet, although I love PocketC (not as good as OrbForms!!). OnBoardC allows you to create fast, small standalone apps like Quartus but is free and uses C instead of Forth.

I also recommend OrbForms (the best!!) and PocketStudio.

Nicholas J. Penree