19 April 2013

I'm now an AIR BB developer !

In December, I ported my 4 apps to BB10 for the 2 port-a-thon.
It was easy but took some times to setup every needed tool.

I really liked the experience and I now plan all my dev for Blackberry too.

This week, Blackberry made the final move to buy me : I received the cash award (it tooks some times but in final, I got it!) and my so waited Dev Alpha C device, won because I made AIR apps !

The Dev Alpha C device is near the upcoming Blackberry Q10 with the infamous keyboard.
I'll be able to test on a real device, to be sure the user experience is great using the BB keyboard.

Again, thanks Blackberry, you can count on me even more now !

On a side note, these last 3 months, I earnt more money with Trash Mail on BB's App World than  on Google Play...another reason I'm now definitly a BBDevers ! :)

ANE Ads4AIR v1.0.1 + Android Sample app

One week after my first ANE release comes my first update !

While writing a sample AIR app, I noticed some bugs mainly related to the ANE's context.
Following doc and tutorials, I made a wonderful error : using a static context

On Ads4AIR case, using a static context is an error because if you ask for interstitial ad THEN a banned ad,  the banner ad request won't work...because it's stil initialized with interstitial context.

I fixed a lot of others memory leak and was able to code some workaround on Adfonic's limits.
Now it's time to work on the Blackberry !

Be free to
- download the new version (v1.0.1)
- make some tests on your Android device
- check the source of the sample AIR app

11 April 2013

BOOK : PhoneGap Essentials, Building Cross Platform Mobile apps

In my search to an alternative to Flex, I had to explore the PhoneGap way.
PhoneGap lets you embed a full HTML5low web site on a native application.
Used basically, it's an website to application converter.

I had the opportunity to read this book : PhoneGap Essentials, Building Cross Platform Mobile apps
It's important to note it was written in June 2012 : PhoneGap/Cordova is now at version 2.6 while the book is about version 1.5
Oh, and 'Essentials' doesn't mean 'Everything you should now' but 'The minimum you should now'.

I read in only a few hour because it's full of code you can bypass.
Anyway, it was very interesting to read.
Why ? Because I learnt that Phonegap is/was a total mess.
- API not working the same way on all platforms
- documentation not in sync with the code
- a lot of copy/paste to make for a real multi platform export
- trial and error again

I now have to find a book from 2013 which cover Cordova 2.x and see if they fixed all of this.
I really hope because it's already awful to code the html5low part, I don't want to lose more times with Cordova issue.

So, does it worth money ? No longer, all you need to know is on this post....unless PhoneGap/Cordova is still as poorly made as it was in June 2012

10 April 2013

My first ANE Ads4AIR : Ads from Admob, Adfonic, Inmobi and some others...

Today I release my first AIR Native Extension.
While only for Android for now, the next release should include BlackBerry support.

What is Ads4AIR ?
This group of ANE offers you alternative to Admob.
Some ANE already exist which give you access to Admob ads on Android and iPhone, my goal was to let you choose.
First, because Admob doesn't support Blackberry.
Second, because choice is the key and Google isn't the only one.
It also allows you to use the ads network you want anytime you want : when your user is from india, when admob returns no ads, when your user is on wifi....It's up to you !

Which are the ads networks supported ?
I tried to support banner and interstitial for the most of them.
Unfortunatly, some SDK are buggy or work only on native Android app.
If you need another one, just ask me !

What's the licence ?
I tried another way to earn money : success sharing.
In fact, it's really simple : if you earn money with Ads4AIR, I'll earn too.
10% of the ads shown are from my own Adfonic account.
Since I understand developers could be afraid to not control every ad shown, it's still possible to register.
And since I'm a nice guy, YOU define the price.
Contact me for my paypal account, transfert the fund and I'll send you a serial id.

Where could I find it ?
On http://www.willna.com/extensions/
More ANE will come if this one is a success so...hurry up, use it and give me your feedback !

26 March 2013

BOOK : Enyo: Up and Running

Since Flex is no longer enought to earn money for living (shame on you Adobe), I had to move to something great, wonderful and so much better than OOP : Javascript and its friends HTML & CSS.
The number of frameworks and libraries available is just...enormous !
To select which one is the best for your needs is just impossible...really !
Backbone, Angular, ExtJS, Dojo, ... are surely great ones but I'm not fond of the way to code : add attributes in HTML Tag and inline JS.
Enyo is the only one I found what doesn't need this : you only need to code JS and optionaly improve your CSS.
Of course Enyo, in fine, produces the same thing but you, the coder, don't need to code pure HTML and your (web) designer will only produce his CSS.
Coding in Enyo is like coding in full AS3 with CSS.

So, I ended reading this book.
The Up and Running collection of O'Reilly seems to be a "Introduction" collection (like the "Instant" of Packt)  : only 80 pages.
I read it on my ebook reader but it should be read on a full PDF Reader (desktop or tablet) because there is a lot of link to follow : code is available at JSFiddle.

You should know all the information available on this book is available on Enyo website.
You'll even find more details on the website, and, most of the times, in a easy to read form, which made Enyo's docs one of the best documentation for a javascript framework I read.
I'm still trying to understand what backbone is for example

So why read this book ? Because Roy Sutton wrote it in a way which gives you the feelings you became an Enyo ninja in 1 day ! :)
You could save 8$ and just read Enyo's doc but it would take you longer to understand some points (like kinds and a layout).

I was really interested in Enyo before I read this book, I'm now really a fan.
You'll need to read more on Enyo website to really become a ninja (the install/debug/deploy part in the book is just unuseful as-is) but thanks to this book, I'm now ready to fight with the language I hate the most after VBA.

BOOK : Architecting Mobile Solutions for the Enterprise

In my quest for a professional look at the mobile industry, I read Architecting Mobile Solutions for the Entreprise by Dino Esposito.
You should note it's published by Microsoft Press and almost every sample are in ASP.NET coded in Visual Studio.
This book also states than, in june 2012, the 3 major mobile plateforms are iOS, Android and Windows Phone...hilarious !

The first part is a gold one, exactly what I was looking for : what shoud be your mobile strategy.
The second part is all about online mobile sites using JQuery, WURLF ...and ASP.NET. Interesting but nothing new and JQuery isn't the best framework to use for mobile websites.
The third part explains briefly how to code for the 3 "major" platforms using native, html or .NET (!) : a very bad intro to each platform so skip it.
Hopefully, it starts with a beautiful gem : "Patterns of Mobile Application Development".

So, perhaps 20-30% of the book should really be read : full part one and chapter 7.
Does it worth the money ? No, even if it's the only PRINTED book available on mobile strategy.
Buy it at half price, used or find it on your local library.

On a side note, it was a pain to read on my ebook reader because the PDF was not optimized : it takes up to 3 minutes to load the cover page and up to 30 seconds to move to the next page. It's the first time I had such problem.

04 February 2013

Use Android Developper Tool (ADT) with a proxy

On my current job, I had to use ADT
Unfortunatly, they are very strict on Internet security and so use a proxy for any access.

ADT needs Internet access to download SDKs and images for the AVD manager.
You could define a proxy on the ADT preferences screen but how do define a login/password protected proxy ?
I tried http://<login>:<password>@<proxyadr>:<proxyport> with no success

Hopefully, after some googling, I found the perfect answer :

You had to edit androidtool.cfg in C:\Documents and Settings\YOU USER NAME\.android\ and edit 3 properties


http.proxy should not be there, it's up to you to add it

 Thanks Florian !!

01 February 2013

Not so easy to use Apache Flex 4.9 with Flash Builder

Edit : I changed the title since visitors seems to already read it and post comment to help me install Flex 4.9

Since it's still not clear if Adobe AIR and Apache Flex will evolve together or not, I previously said I won't use Apache Flex 4.9.

But, in the release note (can't find it anymore), I read it was possible to use Flash Player version as low as 10.2
I never understood why a new Flex SDK needed the last Flash Player version so it seems the Apache team finally fixed this non-sens...and give me a reason to install Flex SDK 4.9

I first tried to install Flash Builder 4.9 with the installer : FAIL => you need full rights to use it, which is rarely the case in big corporation.
So I followed the manual way but, since I don't see the point to install ant just to download and unzip files, I handled the dependencies myself.
It was the best choice since I simply used the file I already had on the 4.6 sdk folder, not waited for the  download of the 4.6 SDK archive.

But, I failed to add the SDK on Flash Builder...
adt.jar not found 

Great...the new SDK doesn't work on Flash Builder....
I wonder if it works on JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA since Apache team REALLY seems to like this IDE.
Sorry, but I can't work without my favorites Eclipse plugins, like Subclipse and some others...

How to use it without IDE ? Flash Builder ? FDT ? CLI ?

So, let ask google ! ... wait...there is an issue on Apache's JIRA !
In fact, the only thing to do is to call ide/flashbuilder/makeApacheFlexForFlashBuilder.bat !

Ok, it finally works...but why should I call makeApacheFlexForFlashBuilder.bat ?
From the realease note, it seems it's because they changed the folders architectures to something more useable ... well..not in Flash Builder it seems...

makeApacheFlexForFlashBuilder.bat also patch Apache Flex 4.9 with the last Adobe AIR SDK ... while only AIR 3.1 is officialy supported

Oh, and I finally discovered I had to download the source, install even more tools and compile the SDK myself to get 10.2 support
Edit : from comments below, it seems the README point me to the wrong direction, you haven't to recompile the SDK for 10.2 support

so, got 4.9 SDK on FB4.7 but I'm still using 4.6 SDK !

My Flash (Game) Builder 4.7 feedback

20 days ago, I finally installed Flash Builder 4.7
Since the new "features" come, apart for MacOSX users, from the new AIR / Flash player and the support for Scout, I asked myself if it was really needed.

Until you ask, here are some points about this release :

  • FBuilder still not add mobile.swc by default when you create a mobile library
  • FBuilder still make mistake when trying to open declaration of class existing in mobile and not mobile ("source not found")
  • FBuilder is still unable to open declaration of mobile skin : "source not found for XXSkin in mobile.swc" even when mobile.swc's source attachment is valid
  • Flash Builder is now sold like Flash Game Builder, following Adobe's stupid line about the future of Flash Player... (more on this on a later post)

But, 3 days ago, I discovered something... and not a minus one !

For a long time now, I'm not hitting F1 key anymore to avoid losing minutes when Adobe Community Help loads, updates, loads a wrong page and get closed to avoid "not enougth memory" back in Flash Builder...

I'm used to get Adobe LiveDocs opened on a Chrome window ...more useful and error/update proof.
I'm actually working for a client who is still using FlexBuilder 3 (yes, not auto indent nor import ordering...sadly).
In this realease, F1 key is working the way it needs to.
After a day fighting with a bug and, so, hitting a lot the F1 key, I get back to my other PC and launched FB4.7.
I don't know how, I don't know why but I hitted F1 key....and the embedded help just opened !
I took me some seconds to realize but YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS !

After all this time explaining how bad was this choice on every blog and forum I could, it came back !

Getting back to my chair, I thought :
Wow! Adobe recognized then made an error and finally fixed it !
Is it their new strategy ? What happened ?
Did they finally use their minds for something not marketshare related ?

Then I started dreaming :
Perhaps they'll change the horrible GUI of the Creative Suite on the next release !
Perhaps they'll say how HTML5 is pure crap and not "the future" !
Perhaps they'll start to have a useful communication campaign !
...yes...I was dreaming .... too much emotion....

So, yes, Flash Builder 4.7 need to be installed and used, just to get Adobe LiveDoc embedded !
It's a shame to pay 50$ just to get back a feature but it's easy to explain to the guy who guard the credit card : better productivity !

While talking to him, for the same reason, ask for a second screen and for Charles HTTP proxy (just 10 times better that this unuseful network monitor)

Faith came back !

14 January 2013

Blackberry effort to get a store full for BB10 launch

This week end, I spent most of my 2 nights to port Dari AlefBe and Temporary Mail to BB10.

Why did I choose to not sleep much this week end ? Because I took part to Blackberry's Android-a-thon and All port-a-thon.

This 2 events have one and only goal : fill Blackberry store (BB App World) before launch of BB10.
They so bought 15000 app at 100$ .
Some people released 20 apps and more on 2 days. I don't know what's the overall quality of all these app, we'll see how many of them RIM really approve.

And it seems, it's not enought : RIM announced a Last Chance Port-A-Thon for this week end. I'll personally try to port Poulpytris and Penguinoid this week so they'll be ready for saturday.

The only thing bugging me is I don't know the habits of a typical BB user : ready to pay for an app (like on iphone) or looking for free apps only, ads based or in-app purchase based (like on android).
So I tried the 2 methods : Dari AlefBe is still ads based while Temporary Mail is a 1$ app.