Dave Vieglais vieglais at UKANS.EDU
Mon Dec 6 18:51:55 CET 1999

> I know little about Palm Pilot. But we should avoid being 
> tied to proprietary systems and API, which doesn't prevent to 
> work on Palm Pilot, having a compatibility API layer for 
> proprietary calls. It seems that a lot can be done a standard 
> browser, using Javascript, DOM, XSLT, with small applets to 
> provide the rest of functionalities. Internet Explorer 5 will 
> probably be soon XSLT-compliant, and Mozilla 
> (www.mozilla.org) is advancing, having a modular, open-source 
> architecture, and support for XML and CSS.

Problem with PDA's is that they do not support full versions of browsers (no scripting, etc, well Win CE devices will do JavaScript, but do not support the XML DOM).  Probably the simplest app that could be built to run on both systems that connected to the remote database on a base station via a serial connection would use custom IO on the serial port talking to a custom app on the base station.  I believe serial IO libraries are similar enough on the windows CE devices and Palm Pilots that the underlying structure of such an app would be quite similar on both platforms, but the interface programming (i.e. the GUI) would be *quite* different.  

> Dave Vieglais a écrit :
> > Palm Pilots are eminently programmable.
> With standard tools?

C, C++, Java (limited), BASIC (limited), and a couple other goofy scripting languages.  Typically compile on a desktop and upload to the PDA.

> > Add a GPS... Add in a couple more data collection devices- 
> and capture quantitative information at the same time- 
> temperature, humidity, canopy gap fraction, even fish-eye 
> photos (if you're into that sort of thing)...
> Can you connect all those things on a palm pilot ?

Technically yes.  Actually, not yet.  There is a single serial port on PDA's, so multiple serial devices require an RS232 switch, and custom programming to support it.  You can certainly connect one device at a time though.

Dave V.

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