Developing with the PalCom Toolbox

Once you have downloaded or checked out the PalCom source code, as described on the Download page, you can use the information listed below to get started as a source level developer in the PalCom software toolbox.

We also encourage you to try the demo on the Try It page to get a glimpse of the concepts and implementation of PalCom.

Guides for Developers

 A number of documents are available describing how to program with the PalCom Toolbox.

The main documents are

As noted, the Developer's Companion contains detailed instructions for installation. For a quick installation, you may refer the installation guides directly here in the browser. The following list links to the most important setup files:

  • Palcom-SVN.txt
    Instructions containing a very brief introduction to Subversion, how to get subversion for your machine, and descriptions on how to check out the palcom code repository
  • Eclipse-install.txt
    Instructions for how to install Eclipse and required plugins
  • Eclipse-SVN.txt
    Instructions on how to use Eclipse to do the SVN checkout of the Palcom Repository instead of having to use command
    line command
  • Eclipse-build.txt
    Instructions on how to build the different Eclipse projects involved in the PalCom toolbox.
  • Command-line-tools-txt
    Instructions on how to set of your environment to use command line tools to build and execute PalCom software. Includes a list of the most commonly used tools.
  • Cygwin-Install.txt
    Instructions on how to install and configure the prerequisite Cygwin tools to be able to source-level develop with PalCom on Windows

Browse the PalCom Subversion Repository

You can browse the source code of the PalCom Toolbox directly in your web browser, simply click on one of the links below

Notice that the code base referred by the second link has been refactored and cleaned up a lot compared to code base referred by the first link. In particular the pal-vm elements have been removed since the review version, since continuation projects did not need it, and did not have resources to maintain it.

Code Tutorials

A number of tutorials are available from the

directory. These include:

  • The Geotagger-tutorial describing the source code and the steps needed to compile, assemble and run the demo example on the try-it! page. This tutorial can be recommended as a second step in learning how to program for palpable computing.
  • The TimerService tutorial shows how to code a new service from scratch using a simple count-down timer example.
  • The Service and device frameworks tutorial describing some more details of how to interact with the classes of the PalCom Service and Device Frameworks.
  • The interoperability tutorial describing how to make classes visible across different programming languages, currently Java and SmallTalk.
  • The pal-j tutorial describing the necessary steps when preparing code for the Pal-VM, using the Pal-J compiler as a intermediate tool.
  • The nanoX tutorial describing how to make user interfaces for small devices in SmallTalkusing the nanoX framework.
  • The palcom smalltalk tutorial describing how to compile smalltalk applications for the Pal-VM

Background Information

For background information on the PalCom concepts and implementation we further refer

  • PalCom Public Deliverables
    EU Deliverables demonstrating the development and use of the PalCom ideas. The final deliverables for the project December 2007 include the Open Architecture Specification (Deliverable 54).
  • PalCom Publications
    Publications produced throughout the project
  • PalCom website
    Further we encourage you to browse around in the PalCom website, which contains up-to-date information about the project, its background, current activities, and results.

Contributing Code

As mentioned in Open Source: The PalCom Subversion Repository, you cannot commit changes to the code that you check out anynomously from the PalCom repository.

We expect to allow for external developers to be registereeed for commits too in the near future, but in the meantime, please send a mail to

if you have suggestions for changes in the code or the documentation.

If possible, please send your suggestions in the form of the output from a  unified diff (diff -u) between your version and the original version.

Last Modified: 22 September 2009, PalCom