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Should I bundle Rubik.bbc with the Android edition? #poll

Richard Russell
 

I know it's rather pathetic to create a poll for such a trivial question, but what the heck.  I currently bundle Rubik.bbc with the desktop editions of BBCSDL but not with the Android edition.  The main reason is its size: there are 6 Mbytes of data tables (less when zipped) that the program uses to solve the cube, and I was concerned not to bloat the already quite large APK.  There are also issues of controlling it from a touchscreen, but not insurmountable.

It's a visually attractive program and an impressive demo of what BBC BASIC can achieve, and as such something that perhaps people would like to have on their phone or tablet without the hassle of copying it across themselves.  So should I add it to the Android bundle or not?  Please try to resist the temptation to vote 'don't care', that doesn't help me at all.

Thank you for voting. Results will be available when the poll is closed.


dai_m_leeds
 

Hi Richard,

I've voted no, since that would roughly double the space taken by the download, on devices which are often fairly memory-limited, but I don't feel  strongly about it - it's still quite small compared to many apps!

Is there any scope for including a "wrapper", which would say "I'll need to download 6MB of data the first time I run, is that OK?"?

Best wishes,

D

Richard Russell
 

On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 04:31 am, dai_m_leeds wrote:
I've voted no, since that would roughly double the space taken by the download
How do you get double?  The current APK is approximately 8 Mbytes, the zipped Rubik's cube tables are approximately 2.7 Mbytes, so that's roughly a 34% increase by my reckoning.

Richard.

dai_m_leeds
 

Hi Richard,

I looked at the BBCSDL download page,where it says the download is 7.3 MB, and I looked at your comment that it was about 6MB of data (plus presumably the program itself). Obviously if that compresses quite substantially then that changes the calculation a bit!

Best wishes,

D

Richard Russell
 

On Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 01:09 am, dai_m_leeds wrote:
I looked at the BBCSDL download page,where it says the download is 7.3 MB,
That page is out of date; you will find that I state in my release announcement that the size is 8.1 Mbytes (as a rule it increases at each new release).

> Obviously if that compresses quite substantially

I stated in the poll question "
there are 6 Mbytes of data tables (less when zipped)" and I'm sure you know that it is not uncommon for Zip to halve the length of a file.  As it turns out that's almost exactly what it achieves in this case.  So the 34% increase should be about right.

Richard.

Richard Russell
 

The outcome of the poll was a clear majority in favour of bundling Rubik.bbc with the Android edition, despite the resulting increase in size. It is now available for download from the usual address:

http://www.rtr.myzen.co.uk/BBCBasic.apk (10.7 Megabytes)

This release also fixes a couple of bugs:

  • The *EXEC command left the file open on completion, which could block a subsequent attempt to delete or re-write it.

  • The OPENIN/OPENOUT/OPENUP statements could fail to open a file with a space character in its path.
Anybody using the BBC2APK utility should download a new copy of the template APK to ensure that any standalone application they create has these bugs fixed.

Richard.

R.E.
 

   you want to bundle them because it is an attractive visual demo of what BBC Basic can do?
   That's a very large "AD" file don't you think?  I would rather have them separate I believe.   Perhaps a smaller
visual presentation that shows it's capabilities would be more appropriate.
-Stephen

Richard Russell
 

On Wed, Mar 7, 2018 at 09:22 am, R.E. wrote:
I would rather have them separate I believe. 
You are rather late to the party!  The poll produced a conclusive result, and the Android edition complete with Rubik.bbc has already been released!

Perhaps a smaller visual presentation that shows it's capabilities
> would be more appropriate.

You can't show its "capabilities" in one, or even a few, demonstration programs - you need dozens, or more.  Every single example program distributed with BBC BASIC, and there are more than 60 of them currently, demonstrates some capability.  Since all the desktop editions have included Rubik.bbc for a while, omitting it from the Android edition was always an anomaly, and that has now been rectified.  The new iOS edition includes it too.

If you consider that "an attractive visual demo of what BBC Basic can do" is somehow superfluous, I totally disagree.  
There was recently a comment posted to this group requesting "a debate on how we can make it appeal to the younger person... David Williams FOD is exactly what we need but sadly is a bit big to bundle".  A "bit big" indeed, at about 50 Mbytes (!), but Rubik is not in that ball park.

Richard.

R.E.
 

OK Mr Russell, you've got my interest/curiosity way up.   I first learned to program on  a CPM machine and basic in the 80s
, now many years ago.  Most of my life I preferred C++ , but now I really want to try your Basic.
  So is there a way I can get BBC Basic and put it on my windows 7 machine?  perhaps a file I can download?
Does it have a compiler to make stand alone programs? 
  I would appreciate trying out your program.
Stephen Hatch
Dewey AZ USA

Richard Russell
 

On Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 08:32 am, R.E. wrote:
So is there a way I can get BBC Basic and put it on my windows 7 machine?
For Windows your options are the free trial version of 'BBC BASIC for Windows' (BB4W), the full paid-for version of BB4W or the freeware 'BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0' (BBCSDL); all are available from the website.  The Rubik's cube program will run on the second or third option, but not on the trial version of BB4W because there is insufficient memory.  

Does it have a compiler to make stand alone programs? 

Of the three options, only the paid-for version of BB4W currently supports creating standalone Windows executables.  On the other hand developing programs using BBCSDL offers the prospect of creating standalone Android apps!

Richard.

R.E.
 

 I just found your web site and downloaded the free version and the Paid version.   I now have a lot of reading to do.
  I shall explore your product with great interest as well as curiosity.
-Stephen Hatch
Dewey AZ

Richard Russell
 

On Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 08:55 am, R.E. wrote:
 I just found your web site and downloaded the free version and the Paid version. 
You might want to download the free BBCSDL too.  There are pros and cons compared with BB4W: BBCSDL doesn't provide access to the Windows API but it does give you access to SDL's high-performance 2D games engine.  So for example David Williams' prizewinning Forces of Darkness game needed his own assembly-language graphics library to run in BB4W, but in BBCSDL it required only BASIC code.

These days I try to write programs so that they will run in either BB4W or BBCSDL without modification.  That's usually pretty easy, although occasionally I need to include a conditional test so that different code can be executed according to the platform.  For example in Rubik.bbc the names of the 3D graphics library and its initialisation routine are different depending on the platform, so there is conditional code to allow for that.

Richard.

Richard Russell
 

Somebody today reported that the latest Android edition doesn't run - and indeed it doesn't if you install it from scratch rather than upgrading!  Sorry about that, I've replaced it now with one that works.

Richard.