Monthly Archives: December 2014

B4i: 1 … 2 … 3 … Ready … Go!

B4i2
This weekend I’ve found some time to setup my testing environment for B4i, the latest brainchild of Anywhere Software. I must say, being a novice Mac user, setting everything up went very smooth.

The only parts I got into some trouble was my own fault, as I went though the setup tutorials, videos and Beginners Guide just a little bit to fast. Eager to get started, I skimmed through them and forgot some important steps.

First I paid my obligatory taxes to Apple: $99/year. (Programming for Android only sets you back with a one time fee of $25). Only a couple of minutes later, my account was activated.

One part that may have gone a bit to fast for a first time Apple developer was the creation of an App ID. As Erel had his system already setup when he made the video and could just pick an App ID, he did not show us how to create it in the first place. It is mentioned further in the post you can create a single wildcard App ID if you put a .* at the end, but this was not very clear from the tutorial. So, this is how I did it:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Another RTFM moment was when I wanted to install the B4i-Bridge app on the device. I started watching the video and forgot to read the bold sentence above it:

Before you install B4i-Bridge you must install the B4I certificate. This step is not shown in the video. Open Safari (device browser) and navigate to: www.b4x.com/ca.pem

Clearly stated, but hey, I was in a hurry…

I first tried the Hosted Builder option to compile the app. Very smooth and a excellent alternative for Windows developers who do not own a Mac. And for $26 a year, a bargain.

But, as I want to experiment with creating libraries myself in Objective-C, I wanted to install the local MacBuildServer. Again, following the tutorial, everything went very well. Downloading XCode took most of the time.

One note: Make sure your Mac is in the same IP range as the rest of your development environment. At first, the Mac had IP 192.168.40.116 while the rest was in the 192.168.1.x range. So it didn’t work.

The rest was pure cosmetic. I added an shortcut on the Mac to start the MacBuildServer, and one on the PC side to shut it down.

Creating the shortcut on the Mac side went like this:

  • Open up a terminal
  • go to the folder where you unzipped the macserver-aa (in my case, it’s on the desktop, so it looked like this:

    $ cd desktop
    $ cd macbuilder-aa

  • create a text file

    $ shout start.command

  • add the following lines (adjust the cd to the path where your MacBuildServer is)

    #!/bin/sh
    cd /Users/Alwaysbusy/Desktop/macserver-aa
    java -jar B4iBuildServer.jar

  • save and in the terminal type:

    $ chmod -x start.command

  • Right click on start.command, pic ‘Get Info’ in the menu and rename it to something like ‘B4i Build Server Start.command’.
    Click ‘Hide extension’
  • And change the icon to a nice B4i one. I’ve ripped the B4i icon from the exe (sorry Erel) and saved it as a .png. In case you need it, here it is:
    B4i
    Open the png on the Mac in preview and copy it (Edit – Copy). In the ‘Info Panel’ of the command file, click on the icon until it gets a blue rectangle. Then you can do ‘Edit – Past’.
    In my case, it looked like this:

B4i3

Coming from Windows and being used to creating .bat files, this is all rather complicated on a Mac I must say.

On the PC side I created also the icon to shut the MacBuildServer down. Enter http://:51041/kill in your favorite browser. Create a bookmark and drag it to your desktop. Rename it to something like ‘B4i Build Server Kill’. You can also change the icon:

  • Right click on the shortcut and pick ‘Properties’
  • Press ‘change icon’
  • Browse to where you have installed B4i
  • Pick B4i.exe and select the icon

So (besides my shortcut creation problems on a Mac), setting up B4i is a breeze! I’m ready to add some serious iOS programming experience to my portfolio.

Get B4i now for only $59 from the Anywhere Software Store!

Here are some quick links to the tutorial parts I used:
Creating a certificate and provisioning profile
Installing B4i-Bridge and debugging first app
Local Mac Builder Installation

See ya!

Alwaysbusy


Xojo: Release 2014R3 with iOS support

Xojo with iOS support
We are spoiled this Christmas! Xojo has released a new update of their cross-platform development tool, and this time it includes a new one: iOS.

I think congratulations is in order to the Xojo dev team! The wait has been long and there are a lot of eager programmers wanting to explore the world of mobile development. There are some changes in the framework that will it make somewhat harder for hardcore developers (me included) who have already huge business logic libs. But I’m sure the Xojo community will come up with some tricks to make the transition faster.

Already some members are trying to set-up some kind of central place to cover some missing controls/functionalities with Declares. I hope they share the source code, so we can all learn from it!

Here is what the wizards of Xojo have to say:

Xojo, Inc.:
Latest release allows users to create high-quality, native iOS applications in the same way they develop desktop and web apps today.

Xojo users can now build iOS apps in the same way desktop and web applications are created. Users can drag and drop to create the user interface and use one straight-forward programming language to implement the functionality of their app. Xojo makes it significantly faster and easier to create native iOS apps than any other tool. Many iOS business apps rely on a web-based server application that provides business logic and database access. Xojo is the only development tool that provides the ability to create both a native iOS client application and a native server application from a single language and tool. Users experience true multi-platform development with Xojo, creating their app on one platform and delivering a completely native product to users on another platform.

Geoff Perlman (Xojo Founder and CEO):
“Xojo 2014 Release 3 represents a huge leap forward for us as we are now have a mobile development platform. Adding iOS to Xojo has been the top feature request from our users and we are pleased to deliver. By expanding their Xojo applications from the desktop and web to iOS, our developers are now able to broaden their target audience to a whole new range of prospects.”

This latest release adds 160 improvements and over 20 new features. In addition to the new iOS framework, this release also adds improvements to the web framework and includes new classes that make creating international applications easier. Further, web applications can now respond to requests from search engines such as Google, making their content searchable on the web.

Xojo 2014 Release 3 feature highlights include:

  • New iOS framework.
  • New Text data type and supporting methods for improved text handling.
  • New Auto data type for storing any type or object.
  • New Xojo.Core classes that make creating international applications easier.
  • SSLSockets now support newer security protocols like TLS v1.1 and v1.2, and now defaults to TLS v1 instead of SSLv3.
  • For Web applications, a new HandleURL event allows processing requests for URLs that previously could not be served. This feature also gives you the ability to respond to requests from Google and other search engines.


So as of now, we programmers, have two new development tools added to our repertoire: Xojo iOS and B4i (see previous article). Both with their advantages and drawbacks. As a Windows programmer it is nice for me to be able to develop iOS apps on my own platform with B4i. At the time of this writing, Xojo iOS is Mac only. But who knows, maybe there is some secret Santa out there that will put a Mac mini under my tree (hint!).

But this a personal view of course. My code lib for android (B4A) is also vast and the conversion for my mobile apps is probably going to go smoother when I stay in the same language and OS. So in the end, it’s up to you to make a choice (or use both)! After all, it’s almost Christmas, so you all deserve a treat…

Happy programming!

Alwaysbusy


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