This project is an application designed primarily for college students who want an easy way to keep their course assignments and deadlines organized. Palm devices, such as the one that this application was tested on, are becoming ubiquitous in todays fast-paced world. With the growing popularity of multi-purpose cellular phones, applications such as this one will only become more in demand.
The platform independence of the Java programming language is the primary reason it was chosen for this application. While the Palm OS is the leading Operating System for handheld devices today, there is no guarantee that it will stay that way. The increasing functionality and pervasiveness of multi-purpose cellular phone devices may completely change the handheld scene during the next 5 years.
The tools used included the KVM, a scaled-down Java Virtual Machine specifically designed for use on handheld devices. For the GUI elements of the application, the KAWT was used. It is technically still an alpha-level release, but it did everything that this application needed it to do.
In writing the application, several challenges presented themselves along the way. First, because programming Palm devices using Java is such a new discipline, information was hard to come by. In fact, the first book on the subject was not released until November 17 after the project was completed! Fortunately, the Internet proved to be a modestly helpful place to find information on this subject. Second, all data in a Palm application is stored in a database, a primitive data structure that amounts to an indexed array of bytes. In order to simulate columns, it was necessary to use delimiters. This made it much easier to locate a particular record by its key, which was necessary in this application.
In conclusion, writing a Palm application in Java was quite a learning experience. Some of the challenges were easily foreseen, some were not. However, it was quite rewarding to be able to write something that does something useful and is easy to use.
Advisor: Dr. Boyd