Date   
Re: Testers wanted

Richard Russell
 

Chris Fry and David Nichols: why do you not accept the explanation that I gave to Paul Marshall for the 'File or path not found error'?  Indeed he was kind enough to recognise that the error arises from the Dibley.bbc program itself, not from my BBC2APK tool, but you seem to want to assign the blame entirely to me.

Richard.

Re: Testers wanted

Robin Hodson
 

On 14/2/2018 1756, Richard Russell wrote:
On Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 09:29 am, Chris Fry wrote:

I don’t know if that helps.

Unfortunately knowing that it works doesn't help at all -  it works on
all my devices too!  I am waiting to hear whether my recently modified
'dibley.apk' fixes the problem for those who are suffering it, i.e.
Robin Hodson and David Nichols.  If it does I will at least have a
workaround, but if not I'm as much in the dark as ever.
Dibley, once I searched through these messages for where to download it,
for the benefit of anyone else mystified:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/muu8sr9ffurjweg/dibley.apk?dl=0

... Works fine, including sound.
I didn't even have to clear my cache.

Only when I pressed the back button, which I now know emulates the
escape key, did something break, this time saying:

>File or path not found
>_

At this point, PRINT PAGE'LOMEM'END'HIMEM produced:

4396800
4410090
4423694
6493952




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Re: Testers wanted

Richard Russell
 

On Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 01:58 pm, Robin Hodson wrote:
Only when I pressed the back button, which I now know emulates the
escape key, did something break
I give up.  Here is the response to Paul Marshall that I posted earlier today, which NOBODY seems to have read:

"On Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 06:20 am, Paul Marshall wrote:
pressing Escape gives a 'File or path not found" error.
Needless to say, this was simply intended as a quick demo of my (it appears broken) utility to create an APK from a BBC; I didn't make any changes to Dibley.bbc.  Typically you are going to need to adapt a program before it is suitable as a standalone app, not least that there ought to be no way for it to 'quit' (or exit to immediate mode).  Android apps never 'terminate' as such, other than through the user 'force closing' them, and indeed if you allow a BBC BASIC program to quit you will end up with a 'zombie' process still running in the background.

And before anybody (JGH?) says that they think it should be the responsibility of BBC BASIC itself or of the BBC2APK utility 'automatically' to modify the behaviour of the program from how it works when run from the IDE, I totally disagree!"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I'm almost pleased that my utility has the bug so that I can abandon it with a clear conscience.

Richard.

Re: Testers wanted

Paul Marshall
 

On Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 02:41 pm, Richard Russell wrote:
I'm almost pleased that my utility has the bug so that I can abandon it with a clear conscience
Please dont give up! It must be immensely frustrating that it doesnt work on a couple of devices and it cant help that people dont read the whole thread, and that in my case I forget what you've already told me.  I know you cant have an application that only works for some people but it should be encouraging if a number of us confirm that it is working.

Re: Testers wanted

Richard Russell
 

On Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 03:45 am, Paul Marshall wrote:
I know you cant have an application that only works for some people but it should be encouraging if a number of us confirm that it is working.
As you say, a utility that creates APKs that only work on some devices is about as useful as a chocolate teapot (some versions have 'chocolate fireguard', take your pick)!  I will, of course, be happy to take it out of mothballs if and when the cause of the incompatibility is established and a solution found.  I have described the issue in more detail at the forum, since it's too specialised for discussion here - and I know from experience that highly technical posts are prone to provoke resignations from the group.  If anybody has the expertise to help, please join in at the forum.

Richard.

Re: Dibley

Richard Russell
 

In response to the multiple comments about the 'Back' button causing the program to exit with an error message, I have made the necessary trivial change to Dibley to stop that happening.  The new APK can be downloaded from the same address as before:

 https://www.dropbox.com/s/muu8sr9ffurjweg/dibley.apk?dl=0  

This doesn't advance the testing of my BBC to APK converter but I hope it may remove a distraction.

Richard.

Re: Dibley

DaveinSpain
 

Nice one Richard.
Before, if I typed "QUIT" at the error message, it quit and ended up at the home page. Mind you, I have no idea what rubbish would be left behind, or what would be needed to clear it up
Dave N

On Feb 15, 2018 16:08, Richard Russell <news@...> wrote:
In response to the multiple comments about the 'Back' button causing the program to exit with an error message, I have made the necessary trivial change to Dibley to stop that happening.  The new APK can be downloaded from the same address as before:

 https://www.dropbox.com/s/muu8sr9ffurjweg/dibley.apk?dl=0  

This doesn't advance the testing of my BBC to APK converter but I hope it may remove a distraction.

Richard.

Re: Dibley

Richard Russell
 

On Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 08:09 am, daveinspain101 wrote:
Mind you, I have no idea what rubbish would be left behind, or what would be needed to clear it up
I explained that in an earlier post: "if you allow a BBC BASIC program to quit you will end up with a 'zombie' process still running in the background".  Are you reading group posts by email (rather than on the web page)?  I wonder if you are failing to receive all the messages, or are otherwise not seeing (or reading) them.  I am finding the need to repeat myself rather irritating.

Richard.

Re: Dibley

Robin Hodson
 

On 15/2/2018 1640, Richard Russell wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 08:09 am, daveinspain101 wrote:
> ... I explained that in an earlier post: ...
> Are you reading group posts by email (rather than on the
> web page)? I wonder if you are failing to receive all the messages,
> or are otherwise not seeing (or reading) them. I am finding the need
> to repeat myself rather irritating.

That's the trouble with a listserv as opposed to a forum.
I can get my email client to search through all messages,
but only if I know I need to run a search, and not for info
previously mentioned that I haven't seen. I imagine the
situation must be even more difficult for those using the
listserv via a web interface, or even offline with a smaller
reference.

I only read the messages/threads that look interesting; there's too much
material here to read every single message, although my
email client still downloads them.

When I searched for mentions of the forum, 197 matches came up,
so I Googled instead. I repeat the result here in case others
couldn't find it either:
http://bb4w.conforums.com/

This also came up:
https://bb4w.wikispaces.com/


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Re: Dibley

Richard Russell
 

On Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 09:23 am, Robin Hodson wrote:
When I searched for mentions of the forum, 197 matches came up,
This is a support group for 'BBC BASIC for Windows' and 'BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0'.  Both those programs (in their desktop variants, anyway) have Help menus in which can be found links to the website, the wiki, the discussion group and the forum.  Therefore I do not consider it necessary to refer to their locations explicitly, since anybody here should simply be able to click on the relevant item in the Help menu and be taken straight there.

 I repeat the result here in case others couldn't find it either: http://bb4w.conforums.com/
That's the forum from which I was effectively expelled and to which I cannot post!  It's somewhat unfortunate, from my point of view, that it came higher in the search results than 'my' forum, but I suppose that reflects the popularity of a forum from which the author of the software is excluded and where people can feel more able to be honest.  

Richard.

Re: Testers wanted

David Smith
 

Hi, I am pleased with BBC Basic on my Debian Linux tower. I use this as a development tool. BBC Basic also runs on my Samsung Galaxy Tab and my Samsung Galaxy Young mobile phone.
Here is a link to my website, the three BBC aplications on the first page were developed on my Debian tower.




I am also pleased with the BBC Basic on my Windows 7 and Windowws 10 laptops.
Thank you for keeping a tradition alive, I did my City and Guilds in BBC Basic at South Bristol Technical college. My supervisor was Paul Mobey.
Kind regards,
David S


On Monday, 12 February 2018, 0:44, Richard Russell <news@...> wrote:


I am developing a software tool which will automatically convert a BBC BASIC program to an Android app. My objective is to make it as straightforward to create an APK file for Android as it is to create an EXE file for Windows using BB4W! Enough of it is working to give me confidence that I will succeed: here is an APK for David Williams' Forces of Darkness game that I made this way (40 Mbytes):

http://www.rtr.myzen.co.uk/FOD.apk

Because the user-interface is such an important aspect of the program I would like to invite people to try it out and give me their feedback before it is formally released. The prerequisites are that you must have written a BBC BASIC program which you have confirmed works on an Android device (using BBCSDL), and that you have a relatively modern Windows PC which has Java 1.7 or later installed (or on which you are happy to install Java).

If you would like to volunteer let me know.

Richard.


Re: Testers wanted

Richard Russell
 

I've sent copies of the BBC2APK utility, albeit with known incompatibilities, to all those who expressed an interest in testing it - I think. If I've missed anybody out please get in touch.

I've also updated the Forces of Darkness app and put it back where it was: http://www.rtr.myzen.co.uk/FOD.apk

I know that this app places heavy demands on GPU texture memory and some devices, particularly with earlier versions of Android, give up and crash as a result.

Richard.

Re: Testers wanted

mclout@...
 

I would like to check it out if that is ok.  Thanks either way.

Re: Testers wanted

Richard Russell
 

On Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 03:01 pm, <mclout@...> wrote:
I would like to check it out if that is ok.
I've sent you the email with the link too.

Richard.

Re: The Entertainer

Richard Russell
 

on Yesterday at 9:23pm, Richard Russell wrote:
it is 100% BASIC, compatible with both BB4W and BBCSDL, and not complicated

I like to think, or at least hope, that publishing these various demo programs motivates people to aspire to writing similar programs themselves - or at least to think about how they might go about it.

As I said, the animated piano keyboard was not complicated, but it did involve a couple of interesting aspects, and there may be some value in me explaining how I approached them.

Drawing the 3D keyboard itself was obviously trivial. All the white keys are identical and are modelled as simple cuboids; there was no need to model the 'cutouts' where the black keys go, because by the magic of 3D rendering the black keys simply occupy the same volume! The black keys themselves are slightly more complicated, because of the slant front face, but nevertheless they only have four more triangles each.

So drawing the keyboard was straightforward, but what about animating it? This is where the first 'trick' came in: I chose the coordinate system and orientation of the keys so that 'y=0, z=0' corresponded to the key's pivot point! Now, animating the key was simply a case of changing its tilt value (pitch if you prefer the aeronautical term) which was a big simplification.

The second issue was: how do I determine what notes are currently playing, so as to animate the keyboard in (approximate) synchronisation with the music? The program knows when the SOUND statements are executed, but the sounds are queued by BBC BASIC and are typically made quite some (variable) time later: this is to ensure that music can be played in strict tempo whilst the BASIC program is off doing other things.

There's no legitimate way of 'peeking' the SOUND queues, so surely it must be impossible to determine what sound is playing 'now'? But in fact it is possible! Firstly, in the absence of any way to interrogate the sound queues, I simply create my own copies in the program: so long as I put a new event into my copy of the queue whenever a SOUND statement places a note into BBC BASIC's queue, the two should remain 'in step'.

Having solved the problem of peeking the queue, all I needed to do is to use ADVAL() to discover how many notes are currently queued on each SOUND channel (ADVAL returns the number of free bytes in the queue, but it's easy to calculate from that the number of queued notes). So by looking in my copy of the queue, at a location depending on the number of queued notes, I could find out what sound is currently being played on that channel!

As is so often the case, coding the program was straightforward but it was necessary to do some preliminary thinking to work out just what it needed to do.

Is this kind of analysis useful?

Richard.

Re: The Entertainer

Gordon
 

I'm a beginner having forgotten 95% of everything i knew 40 years ago. Work, family and life got in the way but my interest in BBCBasic is as strong as ever so your analysis is very useful in helping me understand how i need to think to be able to resume programming in BBCBASIC  thank you for your hard work. Its much appreciated.

Re: The Entertainer

 

On Sun, 18 Feb 2018, at 11:20, Richard Russell wrote:

Is this kind of analysis useful?
Yes. Both the choice of co-ordinate system and the method of modelling
the sound queue are far from obvious, and therefore interesting.

--
Jeremy Nicoll - my opinions are my own.

Re: The Entertainer

 

>>  Is this kind of analysis useful?

Highly, at several levels.  I will never tire of posts like that.

Re: The Entertainer

Ian_Wade_G3NRW
 

Me too. You are a goldmine of information, Richard.

I have just acquired a Galaxy J3(2016), Android v5.1.1, with apparently no intention/possibility to provide v6 or later (the phone is the basic model, with only 8GB internal memory, and possibly too slow for v6 upwards). However, this phone is one giant leap for mankind -- for the previous 20+ years I have been using a Nokia Marsbar -- so I am still finding my way around it. Main reason for buying the Samsung was the frustration of sending texts on the 3-letters-per-key keypad on the Nokia!

Keep your information coming, please!

--
73
Ian, G3NRW
g3nrw@...

***** Editor: TS-590 Family Resources Page: http://g3nrw.net/TS-590
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On 19/02/2018 06:33, Kendall Castor-Perry wrote:
>> Is this kind of analysis useful?
Highly, at several levels.  I will never tire of posts like that.

The next steps in installing apps on the Android phone

Ian_Wade_G3NRW
 

Richard

I (think I) am getting closer to installing and running .bbc programs on my phone. Using Windows File Explorer on my PC, with the phone connected via a USB port, I can now see the folder structure on the phone.

I am sure you documented the instructions for what to do next somewhere in this group, but I can't find them. So here are my assumptions.

1. Download Android (4.2.1 or later): http://www.rtr.myzen.co.uk/BBCBasic.apk (8.1 Mbytes) onto the PC. Then transfer it to the Apps folder in the phone.

2. Transfer .bbc files from the PC to the phone, but where do I copy them to in the phone so that BBCBasic.apk can find them?

Ian