Some young and interested African tech enthusiasts completed their first IoT course using the free B4X tools from Anywhere Software, congratulations!
In a hackathon event in celebration with International Arduino Day 2019, a deep overview as seminar on B4X products and specifically utilizing B4R with famous micro controllers and technologies was organized.
I’ve created an ABMaterial (3.75) WebApp to show the documentation for the B4X libraries. Everyone who created a library for B4A, B4i or B4J can upload their .xml file to the WebApp and everyone can consult it. You can re-upload a new version for a library if needed.
NOTE: not online anymore! In the zip is the source code of the webapp so you can run it yourself.
This WebApp is open for everyone, but please try to keep it clean. Thank you!
B4XHelp is running on my personal Raspberry Pi with not a super-duper internet connection, so it also may give some indication how it handles a lot of users.
The libraries itself are NOT uploaded to the WebApp! Only the .xml files to parse them.
The WebApp also runs on a HTTP/2 server, but I do not have a verified certificate. If you use this link, you will get a warning that it may not be safe. You normally only need to accept this once:
ABMaterial may be overwhelming at first with all its features at your disposal, but once you get the hang of it, creating such a WebApp as this, in pure B4J, can go very fast.
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:
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)
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:
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:
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.
Great news from Anywhere Software! B4i (a development tool for native iOS applications) is released today.
I had good hopes we would have an early Christmas this year from Erel, but it looks like he has outdone himself (again!).
From its beta release only a couple of weeks ago, B4i looked very stable and already feature rich. Knowing how the B4A (Basic4Android) community quickly has grown very solid, with many contributors creating all kind of great libraries, I have no doubt B4i will be any different. Congratulations Erel with another state-of-the-art development tool!
But let’s give the master himself the stand now (from the official site):
Erel: B4i follows the same concepts of B4A and B4J and provides a simple yet powerful rapid application development tool for iOS applications.
– Apple developer account (costs $99 per year).
– An iOS device running iOS 7+.
The compilation process requires a Mac computer. You can either use a local Mac computer or use our Hosted Mac Builder service (currently costs $25 per year).
The builder service allows you to develop iOS applications without a Mac computer.
All of the development steps can be done with the builder service except of the final step which is uploading the application to Apple App Store. This step requires a Mac or a service such as MacInCloud.
Note that the builder is currently limited to projects of up to 15mb.
Breaking News! Erel has put up the first B4i app on the Apple App Store. I have a feeling we won’t have to wait much longer until we can build iOS apps in this wonderful tool.
While Xojo keeps saying ‘it’s ready when it’s ready’ (it’s getting old Xojo…), B4i is going to take the world by storm! Tools by Anywhere Software have proven to be very stable and production ready by its first releases, so you better start thinking what your first app written in B4i will be like. I know I am…