|NS Basic/Palm 7.0 Release Notes
June 30, 2009
© NS BASIC Corporation. All rights reserved.
NS Basic/Palm 7.0 is a major new release of NS Basic with some great new features, such as Gradient buttons and color themes. These features will let you update your apps to have a much more modern look and feel:
Also included is the full version of Michael Verive's "NS Basic Programming for Palm OS" as a pdf file. Many thanks to Mr. Verive for making this available.
We've also added many other enhancements and bug fixes.
NS Basic/Palm is a complete development environment for Palm OS devices. NS Basic/Palm 7.0 creates programs for all Palm OS devices running Palm OS 3.1 or later, including Palm OS 5.x. It runs on Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista. Using Parallels, VM Ware and Virtual PC, it will run on Mac OS. It will run on Linux using Win4Lin and VMWare.
Version 7.x is upwardly compatible with all earlier versions of NS Basic/Palm. Programs written in those versions will be able to run in the new version without change. However, projects saved in 7.0 cannot be opened in earlier versions. The new Runtime will also work with your older compiled projects.
NS Basic/Palm is a commercial software product, licensed subject to the License Agreement that must be must be agreed to before installation. The Agreement also appears in the NS Basic/Palm Handbook.
This document contains what you need to know to install and run NS Basic/Palm.
Please visit our web site for the latest version of this document. You'll see the latest installation notes and updated news.
You can install NS Basic/Palm directly from this document if you are installing from the release CD. If you have an earlier version installed, the installer will automatically uninstall the old version. The link immediately below to NSBasic_Palm.exe will only work if you are running this from the installer CD and your browser allows this. Otherwise, navigate to the CD and run the installer directly from there.
* If you are not able to install directly from this document, click on the file named NSBasic_Palm.exe. If you are using the FireFox browser, this will be the case.
If you have problems with the installation, see Tech Note 01.
Important: The Simulator, the ROM images and the associated files are licensed from PalmSource. When you install NS Basic, you agree to an End User License Agreement with PalmSource that has the terms of the license. A copy of the Agreement is in the \Program Files\NSBasic folder.
POSE - Palm OS Emulator
POSE is a desktop emulator for Palm OS 3 and 4 devices. NS Basic installs a copy of POSE with the ROM of a color Palm III running Palm OS 4.1. If you would like emulate a different device, you will need to get the appropriate ROM image from the manufacturer of your device.
You may be able to get a ROM image from your device. Using ROM Transfer.prc (in the Download folder), you can upload ROM images from most devices to the desktop. You can then use the transferred ROM file with POSE.
Each device has their own version of the ROM, sometimes with special features that are only on that device. The manufacturers sometimes, but not in all cases, have a special version of POSE that must be used.
The configuration of the Emulator is saved in the file \WINNT\Palm Emulator.ini.
If you want to get a copy of Palm's ROM or get the complete POSE documentation and files, go to http://www.palmos.com/dev/tools/emulator/. For more information on using POSE, see Tech Note 20.
The Palm OS Simulator is Palm OS 5 running native on a Windows machine. It comes complete with a Palm OS 5 ROM, so there is no need to download or upload a ROM image. The Simulator puts a Palm OS 5 device on your desktop to run your programs. You can control it from within NS Basic in exactly the same manner as POSE.
The first time you run it, it will ask you to accept a license agreement. After doing so, shut down the Simulator and restart it. You may get error messages when doing so: you may ignore them.
Some manufacturers have special versions of the Simulator to emulate specific devices: for example, Palm has a Tungsten T3 version. You can download this (after executing appropriate license agreements) from the Palm website. You can use it with NS Basic by changing the pathname to the Simulator in Tool...Options.
You can download the full Simulator from http://www.palmos.com/dev/tools/simulator/. This also includes full documentation on using the Simulator. While the documentation says otherwise, we find the Simulator only works well on Windows 2000 and XP.
The new properties are:
Gradient Color1: The top (or left) color.
Gradient Color2: The bottom (or right) color
Gradient Style: 1 for top to bottom, 0 for left to right.
You can use a bitmap instead of a label of the same size. Since Bitmap objects can have a script (just like a Button object), BitMap object buttons work the same way as Button Object buttons - but there are more options on appearance.
Gradients work best on devices which support 16 bit color, with screens at least 320x320 in size. For devices which are 160x160, you will need to click on the border of the Design Screen so it switches to its smaller size, so the bitmaps can be created properly.
Note that captions and gradients only apply to Bitmap objects. Label and CommandButton objects will continue to use the installed fonts and cannot have gradients.
Sizing images on Bitmaps: You can now specify the image to appear on a bitmap as well as its size. The new properties are:
Picture: The pathname to the image. It can be bmp, gif, jpg and other format.
Stretch: If False, the image will be the size of the orginal image, aligned at the top left. If the image if larger than the bitmap object, it will be clipped. If Stretch is True, the image will be scaled to fit the current size of the bitmap object.
Keep in mind that the maximum size of a bitmap is 65,512 bytes. The formula for calculating the size of a bitmap is (width * height) * 8.
Projects with existing bitmap objects will continue to work as before.
Navigation: Bitmap buttons cannot be included in the 5-way navigation of Treo devices. The workaround is put a regular button of the same size behind the bitmap button, and use the regular button for navigation.
To edit a theme or to create a new one, start the IDE and open a project. Select the Theme Editor under the Tools menu. It will automatically open the theme for the current form for editing, but allows you to also modify other themes or create new ones.
Projects are automatically given the "Classic" theme. There is no restriction on changing the theme of an existing program.
The theme you specify in Project Properties will be automatically be added as a resource to your project. If you use additional themes, you have to add them as resources. Themes are kept in c:\NSBasic\Themes. You can put additional themes you create in that folder or elsewhere. If you update a theme on your desktop, it will not change on the device until you manually delete the old theme on the device.
Vista 64: The Palm Desktop does not have USB drivers for Vista 64, so it cannot be used to install programs by USB. Instead, use BlueTooth.
© NS BASIC Corporation. All rights reserved.