Tag Archives: B4X

B4X: ABMaterial 3.03 Public/3.20 Donators released

A lot of internal changes were made in the ABMaterial 3.20 ‘Chipmunk’ release.Β  For example, ABMContainer has been rewritten from the ground-up, but with minimal impact to your existing projects.Β  It allows adding them as array components, and has much shorter ID tags in the generated HTML.

Mindful and Stanmiller had another go on the cache issues.Β  They came up with a very nice solution (I had tears in my eyes) and both have done extensive testing on this subject. A big thanks again!Β  ABM 3.20 is backwards compatible with the previous 3.0.3 Cache System, but I would advice you to make the changes whenever you have the chance.

A nice new feature for mobile devices is the New Debug feature using a modified version of Conzole!

New Debug at work:

Using this new feature is very simple in B4J:

First, you have to enable the console in BuildPage():

' params are: open on load, width
page.DebugConsoleEnable(True, 300)

Two methods can be used to show or hide the console programmaticaly. Can be handy as a buid-in tool in your apps where the user enters a code on his device and you can then check the console.

page.DebugConsoleShow
page.DebugConsoleHide

Now you can start doing some cool stuff πŸ™‚ Some examples:

Show some text, or a server value (note: strings must be between single quotes!)

page.DebugConsoleLog("'Server click at: " & DateTime.Time(DateTime.Now) & "'") ' shows the text

Now I generated an error on purpose, so the demo can show it catches the error:

page.DebugConsoleLog("'value: ' + $('#pi002-r2c1').html();") ' generates an error, the ; at the end is wrong

Same code, but with the correct javascript syntax, showing the html() value of the tag:

page.DebugConsoleLog("'value: ' + $('#pi002-r2c1').html()") ' generates the html value of the pi002-r2c1 tag

It works also on the desktop, although you probably will use the Chrome console as you can do more.

But there is more. You can also redirect all browser console message directly into the B4J log window!Β  You can use the following commands anywhere in your own code to start/stop receiving the browser console messages.

page.DebugConsoleB4JStart
page.DebugConsoleB4JStop

This is a very powerful feature if you develop Webapps for mobile devices.Β  It can be done otherwise, but it is a pain in the a$$ to set it up. Now, you can easily debug it on your iPhone, iPad, Android or any other device.

ABMaterial 3.20 has over 20 new features and bug fixes.Β  Following the same philosophy as B4X, the quick release cycle has proven to work very well for ABMaterial and its many users.Β  Donators will receive their download mail shortly.Β  The public version 3.03 can be downloaded from this blog too.

I’m also glad that with these releases, now everyone can work with ‘Chipmunk‘, and this does also mean the development cycle for ‘Butterfly‘Β  has ended.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the support, hourless testing and inventive ideas you came up with in the last few years. You’ve made ABMaterial one hell of a WebApp Development Tool!

ThankYou

But we are not at the end! Far from it as I already have big ideas for the next releases.

Until then, happy programming!

Alwaysbusy

Click here to Donation and support ABMaterial


B4X: An experiment for practical use of IoT on the shop floor

Beacons

At OneTwo, we are always searching for ways to make things easier on the workfloor.Β  For nearly a decade, we introduced barcode scanners everywhere! From architects and accountants, over carpenters and contractors, to farmers and gardeners are now using our small barcode scanners to record times, jobs and used materials.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been investigating how we could tackle another common issue, but now on the factory shop floor.Β  Working on a specific step in the development of a product demands the constant focus of the operator so using a barcode scanner to get the instructions is, well, just not practical if you have your hands full.

Time to get to the lab! Provided with heaps of coffee, some unhealthy snacks and an open mind we started putting some ideas together on the whiteboard.Β  We wanted to give as much feedback to the operator as possible using monitors,Β  beamer projections at the workstation and personal instructions on phones and tablets.

The key to deliver hyper-contextual content to the users is knowing the location of every chess piece in the game: the workstation, the machine that is going to be build and the operator(s).Β  The underlying communication technology was going to be Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The Raspberry Pi has it and so does almost any phone or tablet. By attaching a cheap BLE Beacon to the machine we could understand the location of all the players.

Using B4X for this project was a no-brainer, as Erels toolbox is just made to build stuff like this! One important link in the chain was missing:Β  the BLE reader in B4J for the Raspberry Pi.Β  However, writing some small scripts and calling it using jShell and a couple of timers did the job just fine.

Scripts code:

Two scripts to discover BLE devices around the Raspberry Pi.Β  Each one runs in its own jShell in B4J. First one scans for devices, second one reads whatever they broadcast.

#!/bin/bash
# Beacon Scan by Alain Bailleul 2017
sudo timeout -s SIGINT 5s hcitool lescan

#!/bin/bash
# Beacon Scan by Alain Bailleul 2017
sudo timeout -s SIGINT 5s hcidump -X > scan.txt

Also, as the Raspberry Pi has to be a BLE beacon itself (so the Android Native app can discover it), I had to write another little script:

#!/bin/bash
# Beacon Scan by Alain Bailleul 2017

sudo hciconfig hci0 leadv 3
sudo hcitool -i hci0 cmd 0x08 0x0008 19 02 01 06 03 03 aa fe 11 16 aa fe 10 00 02 6f 6e 65 2d 74 77 6f 07 $1 $2 $3 00 00 00 00 00 00
sudo hciconfig

IPN=$(ip addr show eth0 | awk ‘/inet / {print $2}’ | cut -d/ -f 1)
IPW=$(ip addr show wlan0 | awk ‘/inet / {print $2}’ | cut -d/ -f 1)
MACN=$(ip link show eth0 | awk ‘/ether/ {print $2}’)
MACW=$(ip link show wlan0 | awk ‘/ether/ {print $2}’)

echo “$MACW;$IPW;$MACN;$IPN;END” > macip.txt

For anything related to presenting the instructions, we could use ABMaterial.

Alright! We’ve got everything we needed to set up a test scenario for a workstation so time to bring out the cool slide:

How it works

Although there are a lot of physical components and different OS’s in play, B4X has all the tools to make themΒ seamlessly talk to each other using one language.Β  For the native Android part, I wrote my own BLE discovery library based on the altbeacons library. (Note, there is a library available in B4A to discover BLE devices).

For the video demonstration, things you have to keep in mind:

INPUT:

  1. OneTwo box + BLE beacon: represents a machine arriving on the workstation
  2. Raspberry Pi (under the table): represents the workstation
  3. Android Phone: represents an operator/visitor at the workstation

OUTPUT:

  1. On the monitor, for each ‘machine’ some info is presented (e.g. a serial number, to what country it has to be shipped, etc)
  2. On the phone: specific instructions for the operator(s) for this ‘machine’, or a greeting to a visitor.
  3. On the workstation, projected global instructions for the operator(s) for this ‘machine’ with a beamer.

Let’s have a look how all of this plays out:

This turned out to work all very well for a first trial! For real world usage, the project will need some more work (like improving the algorithms to discover the BLE devices, setting thresholds or calculating them without calibration, etc…).Β  But we are very excited with the possibilities this low-cost solution can already show in such a short time.

Next step will be setting this up on a real workstation on the shop floor in a real factory later this month.

Until next time,

Alwaysbusy

Click here to Donation and get the latest ABMaterial first!

 

 


B4A: ABFlicB4A library for Flic buttons

cute-as-a-button-1

You probably have seen these nifty little IoT Flic buttons around. They are a fun and relative cheap BLE button that allows you to do something when the button is clicked, doubleclicked or hold.

I decided to write a wrapper for the Android SDK to use with B4A.

How to use:
1. Install the Flic app from the Google Play.
2. On their developer page, create a new app: you get a key and a secret.
3. Copy the ABFlicB4A library jar and xml to your library folder and select it in B4A

Here is a small video demonstrating the library.Β  You can the use the full power of B4A to do about, well, everything…

Example usage code:

Sub Process_Globals

End Sub

Sub Globals
   Private flic As ABFlic
   Private Button2 As Button
   Private Button3 As Button
   Private Button4 As Button
   Private Label1 As Label
   Private Button1 As Button

   Private MyFlicID As String

   Private FlicResults As List
End Sub

Sub Activity_Create(FirstTime As Boolean)
   Activity.LoadLayout("1")
   FlicResults.Initialize
   FlicResults.Add("RESULTACTION_HOLD")
   FlicResults.Add("RESULTACTION_SINGLECLICK")
   FlicResults.Add("RESULTACTION_DOUBLECLICK")
End Sub

Sub Activity_Resume
   ' your key and secret
   flic.Initialize("Flic", "d60d36a0-XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX", "db5c2b3d-XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX", "ABFlicTest")
End Sub

Sub Button1_Click
   flic.ForgetButton(MyFlicID)
End Sub

Sub Button2_Click
   flic.GrabButton
End Sub

Sub Button3_Click
   flic.StartListening
End Sub

Sub Button4_Click
   flic.StopListening
End Sub

Sub flic_Added(buttonID As String, Name As String)
   MyFlicID = buttonID
   Log("Added: " & buttonID)
   Label1.Text = "Added: " & buttonID & CRLF & Label1.Text
End Sub

Sub flic_Clicked(buttonID As String, wasQueued As Boolean, timeDiff As Int)
   MyFlicID = buttonID
   Log("Clicked: " & buttonID)
   Label1.Text = "Clicked: " & buttonID & CRLF & Label1.Text
End Sub

Sub flic_DoubleClicked(buttonID As String, wasQueued As Boolean, timeDiff As Int)
   MyFlicID = buttonID
   Log("DoubleClicked: " & buttonID)
   Label1.Text = "DoubleClicked: " & buttonID & CRLF & Label1.Text
End Sub

Sub flic_Holded(buttonID As String, wasQueued As Boolean, timeDiff As Int)
   MyFlicID = buttonID
   Log("Holded: " & buttonID)
   Label1.Text = "Holded: " & buttonID & CRLF & Label1.Text
End Sub

Sub flic_Removed(buttonID As String)
   MyFlicID = ""
   Log("Removed: " & buttonID)
   Label1.Text = "Removed: " & buttonID & CRLF & Label1.Text
End Sub

Sub flic_Error(err As Int)
   Log("Error: " & err)
   Label1.Text = "Error: " & err & CRLF & Label1.Text
End Sub

I’m currently working on a Desktop/Raspberry Pi version of this library, which I will share in the B4J forum later.

The library can be found at the B4A forum.

Happy programming!

Alwaysbusy


B4J: Msgbox and Inputbox in ABMaterial 2.51

upload_2017-2-12_12-0-6Sometimes you just need to show a quick Msgbox or a single-field Inputbox to the user. In ABMaterial for B4J you have probably, just like me, already made a couple of modal sheets to do this.

But in 2.51 I’ve integrated the possibility for such cases just to do it in one line of code (like a normal msgbox/inputbox).

It replaces the default looking ‘alert’ box from JavaScript to a more modern looking box.Β  The SweetAlert2 library, which is build on the orginal SweetAlert one, has been extended for ABMaterial so you can ‘Theme’ about anything you want.

For example, to show the msgbox you see on top of this article, this is the code you need to write:

page.Msgbox("MSGBOX1", "This is a very simple msgbox", "Msgbox()", "OK", "")

Some more examples:

theme.AddMsgBoxTheme("image")
theme.MsgBox("image").ConfirmButtonColor = ABM.COLOR_GREEN
theme.MsgBox("image").CancelButtonColor = ABM.COLOR_RED
theme.MsgBox("image").SetImage("https://unsplash.it/400/200", 400, 200)
theme.MsgBox("image").BackColor = ABM.COLOR_BLUEGREY
theme.MsgBox("image").BackColorIntensity = ABM.INTENSITY_LIGHTEN5

page.Msgbox2("MSGBOX3", "This is an msgbox with an image using a {C:#00AA00}theme{/C}!", "Msgbox2() 2", "OK","CANCEL",True, ABM.MSGBOX_TYPE_WARNING, "image")

upload_2017-2-12_12-2-24

page.InputBox("INPUTBOX1", "This is an inputbox for text.","OK", "CANCEL", True, ABM.INPUTBOX_TYPE_QUESTION, ABM.INPUTBOX_QUESTIONTYPE_TEXT,"","Type some text...", "", "Please enter something!", "")

upload_2017-2-12_12-3-30

page.InputBox("INPUTBOX3", "This is an inputbox for a password.","OK", "CANCEL", True, ABM.INPUTBOX_TYPE_QUESTION, ABM.INPUTBOX_QUESTIONTYPE_PASSWORD,"","Type your password...", "", "Please enter a password", "")

upload_2017-2-12_12-3-43

page.InputBox("INPUTBOX6", "This is an inputbox with a radio selection.","OK", "CANCEL", True, ABM.INPUTBOX_TYPE_QUESTION, ABM.INPUTBOX_QUESTIONTYPE_RADIO,"#00ff00", "","{'#ff0000': 'Red','#00ff00': 'Green','#0000ff': 'Blue'}", "You must select a color", "")

upload_2017-2-12_12-4-43

page.InputBox("INPUTBOX7", "This is an inputbox with a checkbox.","OK", "CANCEL", True, ABM.INPUTBOX_TYPE_QUESTION, ABM.INPUTBOX_QUESTIONTYPE_CHECKBOX,"", "I agree with the terms and conditions","", "Please agree with the conditions", "")

upload_2017-2-12_12-5-51

Events:

Sub page_MsgboxResult(returnName As String, result As String)
   myToastId = myToastId + 1
   page.ShowToast("toast" & myToastId, "toastgreen", returnName & " " & result, 5000)
End Sub

Sub page_InputboxResult(returnName As String, result As String)
   myToastId = myToastId + 1
   page.ShowToast("toast" & myToastId, "toastred", returnName & " " & result, 5000)
End Sub

ABMaterial Mainenance Release 2.51 will be available for the donators in the following days.

Alwaysbusy

Click here to Donation and get the latest ABMaterial first!


B4J: New ABMChat component for ABMaterial 2.50

abmchat

ABMChat is a new cool looking ABMaterial component to create a Web based chat program. The inner workings are very much like Erels ChatRoom, but with a slick interface. This can be a useful control if for example you want to give chat-like support within you own B4J webapp.

Some features:
– Balloon/Bubble-like chat
– Support for some ASCII emoji
– IsTyping ballon

Coding this with B4J and ABMaterial is very easy:

Code ChatShared module:

Sub Process_Globals
   Public AvoidDuplicates As Map
   Private connections As Map
   Public LastMessages As List
   Private IsTypingMap As Map
End Sub

public Sub Init
   AvoidDuplicates = Main.srvr.CreateThreadSafeMap
   connections.Initialize
   LastMessages.Initialize
   IsTypingMap.Initialize
End Sub

public Sub NewConnection(page As ChatPage, pageID As String)
   DateTime.TimeFormat = "HH:mm"

   Dim IdentifyBubble As ABMChatBubble
   IdentifyBubble.Initialize("Server", page.ChatName & " has joined the chat...", "Server " & DateTime.Time(DateTime.Now), "server", "server")
   JoinLeftMessage(pageID, IdentifyBubble)
   connections.Put(pageID, page)
   CallSubDelayed2(page, "CurrentConversation", LastMessages)
End Sub

public Sub NewMessage(pageID As String, Message As ABMChatBubble)
   LastMessages.Add(Message)
   For Each page As ChatPage In connections.Values
     CallSubDelayed2(page, "NewMessage", Message)
   Next
End Sub

public Sub JoinLeftMessage(pageID As String, Message As ABMChatBubble)
   For Each page As ChatPage In connections.Values
     CallSubDelayed2(page, "NewMessage", Message)
   Next
End Sub

public Sub IsTyping(pageID As String, Value As String)
   Dim typeBool As Boolean
   If Value = "" Then
     IsTypingMap.Remove(pageID.ToLowerCase)
   Else
     IsTypingMap.put(pageID.ToLowerCase, "true")
   End If
   If IsTypingMap.Size > 0 Then
     typeBool = True
   End If
   For Each page As ChatPage In connections.Values
     CallSubDelayed3(page, "IsTyping", pageID, typeBool)
   Next
End Sub

public Sub Disconnected(page As ChatPage, pageID As String)
   If connections.ContainsKey(pageID) = False Or connections.Get(pageID) <> page Then Return
   Dim LeaveBubble As ABMChatBubble
   LeaveBubble.Initialize("Server", page.ChatName & " has left the chat...", "Server " & DateTime.Time(DateTime.Now), "server","server")
   JoinLeftMessage(pageID, LeaveBubble)
   connections.Remove(pageID)
   AvoidDuplicates.Remove(pageID.ToLowerCase)
End Sub

Public Sub HasIdentified(pageID As String) As Boolean
   Return connections.ContainsKey(pageID)
End Sub

Relevant Code ChatPage class:

Private Sub WebSocket_Disconnected
   Log("Disconnected")
   If ABMPageId <> "" Then CallSubDelayed3(ChatShared, "Disconnected", Me, ABMPageId)
End Sub

public Sub BuildTheme()
   ' start with the base theme defined in ABMShared
   theme.Initialize("pagetheme")
   theme.AddABMTheme(ABMShared.MyTheme)

   ' add additional themes specific for this page
   theme.AddChatTheme("myChat")
   theme.Chat("myChat").AddBubble("server")
   theme.Chat("myChat").Bubble("server").Color = ABM.COLOR_BLACK
   theme.Chat("myChat").Bubble("server").TextColor = ABM.COLOR_WHITE

   theme.Chat("myChat").AddBubble("me")
   theme.Chat("myChat").Bubble("me").Color = ABM.COLOR_LIGHTBLUE
   theme.Chat("myChat").Bubble("me").TextColor = ABM.COLOR_WHITE

   theme.Chat("myChat").AddBubble("them")
   theme.Chat("myChat").Bubble("them").Color = ABM.COLOR_GREY
   theme.Chat("myChat").Bubble("them").ColorIntensity = ABM.INTENSITY_LIGHTEN2
   theme.Chat("myChat").Bubble("them").TextColor = ABM.COLOR_BLACK
End Sub

public Sub ConnectPage()
'   connecting the navigation bar    

'   init all your own variables (like a List, Map) and add your components
   Dim chat As ABMChat
   chat.Initialize(page, "conversation",600, 450, 255, "mychat")
   chat.AddBubble("Server", "I'm Server, what is your name?", "The Server", "server", "server")

   page.Cell(1,1).AddComponent(chat)

   Dim ChatInput As ABMInput
   ChatInput.Initialize(page, "ChatInput", ABM.INPUT_TEXT, "", False, "")
   ChatInput.PlaceHolderText = "Type your message here...."
   ChatInput.RaiseChangedEvent = True
   page.Cell(2,1).AddComponent(ChatInput)

   ' refresh the page
   page.Refresh
   ' Tell the browser we finished loading
   page.FinishedLoading
   ' restoring the navigation bar position
   page.RestoreNavigationBarPosition
End Sub

Sub ChatInput_Changed(value As String)
   If ChatShared.HasIdentified(ABMPageId) Then
     CallSubDelayed3(ChatShared, "IsTyping", ABMPageId, value)
   End If
End Sub

Sub ChatInput_EnterPressed(value As String)
   DateTime.TimeFormat = "HH:mm"

   If ChatShared.HasIdentified(ABMPageId) Then
     Dim bubble As ABMChatBubble
     bubble.Initialize(ChatName, value, ChatName & " " & DateTime.Time(DateTime.Now), "me", "them")
     CallSubDelayed3(ChatShared, "NewMessage", ABMPageId, bubble)
     CallSubDelayed3(ChatShared, "IsTyping", ABMPageId, "")
   Else
     If value = "" Then Return
     If ChatShared.AvoidDuplicates.ContainsKey(value.ToLowerCase) Then
       Dim chat As ABMChat = page.Component("conversation")
       chat.AddBubble("Server", "Sorry, but " & value & " is already taken!", "The Server", "server", "server")
       chat.Refresh
     Else
       ChatName = value
       ChatShared.AvoidDuplicates.Put(value.ToLowerCase, value)
       Dim chat As ABMChat = page.Component("conversation")
       chat.SetMyFrom(ChatName)
       chat.AddBubble("Server", "Welcome to ABMChat " & ChatName & "!", "The Server", "server", "server")
       chat.Refresh
       CallSubDelayed3(ChatShared, "NewConnection", Me, ABMPageId)
     End If
   End If

   Dim ChatInput As ABMInput = page.Component("ChatInput")
   ChatInput.Text = ""
   ChatInput.Refresh
End Sub

public Sub NewMessage(bubble As ABMChatBubble)
   Dim chat As ABMChat = page.Component("conversation")
   chat.AddBubble2(bubble)
   chat.Refresh
   chat.ScrollToBottom   ' scroll to the end of the chat
End Sub

public Sub IsTyping(pageID As String, typeBool As Boolean)
   Dim chat As ABMChat = page.Component("conversation")
   If pageID <> ABMPageId Then
     If typeBool = False Then
       chat.ThemAreTyping(False, "") 'hide the 'is typing' bubble
     Else
       chat.ThemAreTyping(True, "") ' show the 'is typing' bubble if not yet shown
     End If
     chat.Refresh
     chat.ScrollToBottom   ' scroll to the end of the chat
   End If
End Sub

public Sub CurrentConversation(LastMessages As List)
   If LastMessages.Size > 0 Then
     Dim chat As ABMChat = page.Component("conversation")
     chat.SetConversation(LastMessages)
     chat.Refresh
     chat.ScrollToBottom   ' scroll to the end of the chat
   End If
End Sub

So, there you have it. A complete modern looking multichat webapp that runs on all platforms in just about 150 lines of code!

Alwaysbusy

Click here to Donation and support ABMaterial


B4J: ABMaterial 2.20 with ABMGridBuilder

gridbuilder1

Responsive design is great, but at the same time something that is not so easy to grasp as it works over different levels.Β  ABMaterial has been using this concept from the very beginning using Materialize CSS and to make it easier, I created a builder for it.

A great start was the implementation done for Bootstrap: Shoelace.io.Β  I liked the idea of ‘drawing’ your grid.Β  However, for ABMaterial, I did want more.

Objectives:

  1. Needed to generate B4J source code, not html
  2. I wanted a way to return B4J code back to the builder
  3. Some extra functionalities to insert cells before/after another
  4. Save/Load to re-use designs.
  5. The generated code should include a ‘description’ of the grid.
  6. A ‘light’ and a ‘dark’ theme for night owls like me

Here is a little demonstration on how to work with it:

It generates code something like this:

'PHONE
'╔═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗
'β•‘ 1,1                                                                               β•‘
'╠═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╣
'β•‘ 2,1                       | 2,2                       | 2,3                       β•‘
'β•‘-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------β•‘
'β•‘ 2,4                       | 2,5                       | 2,6                       β•‘
'β•‘-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------β•‘
'β•‘ 2,7                       | 2,8                       | 2,9                       β•‘
'β•‘-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------β•‘
'β•‘ 2,10                      | 2,11                      | 2,12                      β•‘
'╠═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╣
'β•‘ 3,1                                                                               β•‘
'╠═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╣
'β•‘ 4,1                                                                               β•‘
'β•šβ•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•

'TABLET
'╔═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗
'β•‘ 1,1                                                                                                       β•‘
'╠═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╣
'β•‘ 2,1                      | 2,2                      | 2,3                      | 2,4                      β•‘
'β•‘-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------β•‘
'β•‘ 2,5                      | 2,6                      | 2,7                      | 2,8                      β•‘
'β•‘-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------β•‘
'β•‘ 2,9                      | 2,10                     | 2,11                     | 2,12                     β•‘
'╠═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╣
'β•‘ 3,1                                                                                                       β•‘
'╠═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╣
'β•‘ 4,1                                                                                                       β•‘
'β•šβ•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•β•

'DESKTOP
'╔═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗
'β•‘ 1,1                                                                                                                               β•‘
'╠═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╣
'β•‘ 2,1      | 2,2      | 2,3      | 2,4      | 2,5      | 2,6      | 2,7      | 2,8      | 2,9      | 2,10     | 2,11     | 2,12     β•‘
'╠═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╣
'β•‘ 3,1                                                                                                                               β•‘
'╠═══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╣
'β•‘ 4,1                                                                                                                               β•‘
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cont1.AddRows(1, True,"").AddCells12(1,"")
cont1.AddRows(1, True,"").AddCellsOS(12,0,0,0,4,3,1,"")
cont1.AddRows(2, True,"").AddCells12(1,"")
cont1.BuildGrid ' IMPORTANT!

This description of the grid is very handy when you start adding your components. As you can see in the video, copying the AddRows lines and parsing them back into the builder makes it easy to make changes.

The functionalities are all in the grid itself so you can work fast:

gridbuilder2

ABMGridBuilder is completely written in B4J, so it runs on all desktop platforms (Windows, OSX, Linux).

Tools like this make creating WebApps with ABMaterial and B4J even easier.Β  It is astonishing how versatile the B4X programming suite from Anywhere Software really is.Β  It is unique, fast, super stable and full of features nowhere else to be found. I’m so glad I discovered this great tool!

Donators will receive their mail with the download link shortly.

See ya!

Alwaysbusy

Click here to Donation and support ABMaterial

 


B4J: Future steps for ABMaterial

evolution

As ABMaterial has grown to a production ready framework for WebApps using B4J, I recently started a poll on the B4X forum to find out what could be the next steps in its evolution.

I came up with 3 things to do. They would require about the same develop time, but it could be useful to see what the actual users of ABMaterial would like me to work on next.

The possible choices were:

1. ABMXPlay
This is the component you have seen some demos of and will be more for game developers. It still needs a lot of attention before it can be released.

2. B4JS
The Basic to Javascript transpiler is now in its very early stages. It is a tough one to write without finishing ABMXplay first, as the ABMXPlay component would be the first to really benefit from it. The B4J core functions have been covered, but big parts of all ABMComponents need to be refactored to start using B4JS.

3. ABMaterialAbstractDesigner
A full blown Abstract Visual Designer like the one in B4J. This is NOT a code generator but the real deal. Code generators may look nice at first sight, butΒ  have a huge disadvantage: they go one way. ABMAbstractDesigner would work like the B4X ones: you create a layout, develop, change the layout, continue to develop and so on without losing what you have written in code. I’ll use the grid designer I’ve shown as a proof of concept in another post + the possibility to put ABMComponents on them. I’ve done some tests this weekend and it would work very similar as the other B4X tools.

4. Other (please specify)

The poll is now nearly ended and besides some interesting messages with excellent pointers, it was quite obvious from the beginning that the ABMaterialAbstractDesigner (will need a working title for this project, lets call it ABMAD for now…) would be the next part I’ll be working on. (Almost 75% in the poll at the time of writing).Β  This was also my preferred choice as one user did not really have the patience to wait for me and started to write some kind of code generator.Β  However, his limited knowledge of the ABMaterial framework has the potential of starting to reflect bad on ABMaterial itself so it is time for me to jump in.

Making ABMAD will happen in a couple of logical steps:

  1. Making the ABMaterial components ready for a designer.Β  This will ask for some (minor) changes to them so they can be serialized and expose their properties to the designer.
  2. Making a grid builder.Β  This is the biggest step new users have to overcome nowadays.
  3. Making a properties view for the components.
  4. Drag/Drop facilities to add components to specific cells
  5. Let the ABMaterial library communicate with the Designer output in a similar way as B4X does now.

This will not happen overnight, but the benefits for ABMaterial programmers will be substantial.Β  This will NOT be a simple code generator. ABMAD will work bidirectional.Β  And you’ll be able to make layouts in ABMAD and mix them with manually written code like you can do in B4X/ABMaterial now.

Note: To avoid future misunderstandings, the license of ABMaterial 2.0 will include the following statement:

4. YOU AGREE NOT TO DISTRIBUTE, FOR A FEE, AN APPLICATION USING THE LIBRARY THAT, AS ITS PRIMARY PURPOSE, IS DESIGNED TO BE AN AID IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOFTWARE FOR YOUR APPLICATION’S END USER. SUCH APPLICATION INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, A DEVELOPMENT IDE OR A B4J SOURCE CODE GENERATOR.

Let me explain. The philosophy of ABMaterial (and myself) is giving anyone the chance to easily build great WebApps without having to spend any money. One of the reasons I picked B4J was because it is free. Those who can spare something, donate to stimulate my continuation on the project and in so help giving other not so fortunate people an equal chance to grow. Any derived development tool or generator that uses ABMaterial must follow this philosophy so the tool must be available with 100% of its features for free (not even a ‘limited’ free version is acceptable).

This has no impact on whatever WebApp you make with ABMaterial, but is solely a protection against some ‘money-grubber’ who sees the potential of the ABMaterial framework and thinks of making some easy money using my engine by simply writing a layer above it. Just to be clear, ‘FEE’ here means ANY form of payment or compensation, donations included.

So now that this is out of the way, I think it’s time to step up to the drawing board and start to make some decisions on how ABMAD will look like.

Fun times ahead!

Alwaysbusy

Click here to Donation and support ABMaterial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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