04-14-12 02:44 PM
82 1234
tools
  1. playbookster's Avatar
    Whats Up, Solar Explorer and ExoPlanet Explorer are my favorite 3 apps on PB
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    04-12-12 08:41 PM
  2. BigAl_BB9900's Avatar
    Buzz

    I bought your app, and it is great for teaching the old and young how to recognise the different stars.

    A friend's 5 year old thinks that What's Up is one of the two best computer programmes ever written (the other is Solar Explorer) - he is quite an intense and scientific young man....!

    I am very pleased that I made the very small investment to get What's Up - I regularly show off your app to people who are interested in the PB, and they are always impressed (they might not be into astronomy, they might not be into technical gadgets, but they know a cool app when they see one)

    I do have one or two problems when using the app but I am sure that these are user errors.... for example, is there a way to toggle back from the help screen to the star picture? (I always have to shut the app down and restart it...)

    Hang in there, I am looking forward to future updates (as I am sure many other users are too)

    All the best

    Alex

    PS Yes, the compass thing can make the screen a little twitchy (sometimes the star picture rocks from side-to-side) but I have always assumed that is down to RIM not the app developer (on the basis that the native email still has a very long way to go, so I assume that RIM would have put less effort into whizzing up the compass....)
    Last edited by BigAl_BB9900; 04-12-12 at 08:49 PM. Reason: typo
    04-12-12 08:48 PM
  3. jafobabe's Avatar
    Dearest Buzz..... You are my STAR! I have loved your App from the first day I got it and use it often.

    We all go through challenging days and I think you are there right now... but I want you to know that 'The important people' are behind you and love your dedication to developing this intensive App for our (and your's) enjoyment.

    Take a breather and step back from it for a few days (like a vacation) and then go back to working things out... you will have a better mindset. Sometimes we get so involved, we can't see the forest for the trees.

    I too feel your App is WAY UNDER priced... Raise your price a buck or two higher and it might get rid of the hurtful reviews.
    Then if you want, put it on sale for a limited time and see what happens.

    Your App is so intense and complicated, I stand in Awe of your abilities, and salute you for your dedication in perfection.

    And if you wish to charge for a future upgrade... I'm there! Because I know it will be worth it..
    kbz1960, gailsher and rjedge54 like this.
    04-12-12 09:27 PM
  4. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I do have one or two problems when using the app but I am sure that these are user errors.... for example, is there a way to toggle back from the help screen to the star picture? (I always have to shut the app down and restart it...)
    Thanks for your kind words. To raise the help screen, just tap anywhere at the bottom of the screen (where the bright white upward-pointing arrow is located.) This is similar to the way that you dismiss PlayBook's options screens when you are done adjusting your settings.

    As far as the jerky animation is concerned, this is a problem with my implementation. Basically I am having some technical difficulty in layering magnetometer animations on top of all the other activity the app must deal with simultaneously. I am currently working on ways to mitigate the problem with some clever coding but I am fast running out of tricks. I may have to re-write the app using RIM's native tool set to get the results that I want to achieve.
    BigAl_BB9900 likes this.
    04-12-12 10:09 PM
  5. app_Developer's Avatar
    I think the app is really well done, knowing how primitive Air is. I took the easy way out by just waiting for Cascades for my apps. I give you a ton of credit for making yours work with the tools that are currently available.

    Does the PB have a gyroscope?

    There might be many people learning or relearning C++ now with this and BB10. I'm happy to answer any questions about the language. I used to teach it professionally and more than half my students were Java devs, so I speak both.
    jafobabe likes this.
    04-12-12 10:16 PM
  6. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    @jafobabe - You are an inspiration as always. The subject of price is a bit tricky because way back at launch, I made a public commitment that upgrades would always be free and I would only raise the base price when point and view has been implemented and operates "as smooth as silk" when you pan around the sky. I am still committed to making the animations work. At this point it looks like the end of summer because I have to re-code the entire app.

    Hmmm... End of summer - where did I hear that line before?
    jafobabe and PanaSama like this.
    04-12-12 10:38 PM
  7. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I think the app is really well done, knowing how primitive Air is. I took the easy way out by just waiting for Cascades for my apps. I give you a ton of credit for making yours work with the tools that are currently available.

    Does the PB have a gyroscope?

    There might be many people learning or relearning C++ now with this and BB10. I'm happy to answer any questions about the language. I used to teach it professionally and more than half my students were Java devs, so I speak both.
    Playbook has a 6-axis orientation sensor. It has a both magnetometer and a gyroscope although I don't think there is an API for it. The device also has a proximity sensor and an fm radio reciever. No API's though.

    I'll PM you in the morning after a long sleep. I need to find an accessible (read easy to use and proof) thread library that's as close to the Java model as humanly possible. That's what I want - perhaps you can let me know what's available in the on-board open source libraries. Documentation and examples would be nice too. Boy I'm demanding... sorry
    04-12-12 11:00 PM
  8. playbookster's Avatar
    You and Neil should team up and make an app

    apps.burlock.org
    04-13-12 12:28 AM
  9. phoreoneone's Avatar
    Haters are like crickets. Crickets make a lot of noise, you hear it but
    you can't see them. Then when you walk right past them, they're quiet.
    Hey man I LOVE this app.
    Don't let any of these other people lower your mood.
    Last edited by phoreoneone; 04-13-12 at 04:19 AM.
    04-13-12 04:15 AM
  10. app_Developer's Avatar
    Playbook has a 6-axis orientation sensor. It has a both magnetometer and a gyroscope although I don't think there is an API for it. The device also has a proximity sensor and an fm radio reciever. No API's though.
    Hopefully RIM will give us an API to the gyro. That's how we smooth out the point and shoot types apps in iOS, we use both sensors. In fact, so many people were doing it that Apple made an API that does the math and combines the two sensors (mag and gyro) and filters/smooths them for you. If RIM can do that, it would be even nicer.

    I'll PM you in the morning after a long sleep. I need to find an accessible (read easy to use and proof) thread library that's as close to the Java model as humanly possible. That's what I want - perhaps you can let me know what's available in the on-board open source libraries. Documentation and examples would be nice too. Boy I'm demanding... sorry
    Well, remember I know C++ well, but I don't know the Playbook that well yet. Concurrency up until now has been a POSIX thing or a platform specific thing, not part of the C++ standard before last year. From reading RIM docs, all I see is generic pthreads and the QNX's own thread lib which is similar . I wonder that else we could port over?

    (Concurrency didn't become part of C++ itself until C++11. I have to check how much of C++11 is actually supported on QNX, i.e. which compiler version)
    Last edited by app_Developer; 04-13-12 at 06:37 AM.
    04-13-12 06:35 AM
  11. Innovatology's Avatar
    Well, remember I know C++ well, but I don't know the Playbook that well yet. Concurrency up until now has been a POSIX thing or a platform specific thing, not part of the C++ standard before last year. From reading RIM docs, all I see is generic pthreads and the QNX's own thread lib which is similar . I wonder that else we could port over?

    (Concurrency didn't become part of C++ itself until C++11. I have to check how much of C++11 is actually supported on QNX, i.e. which compiler version)
    Boost has a Threads library and has been ported to PlayBook:
    http://www.boost.org/doc/libs/1_49_0...ml/thread.html
    https://bdsc.webapps.blackberry.com/...ation/oss.html
    04-13-12 07:30 AM
  12. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Hopefully RIM will give us an API to the gyro. That's how we smooth out the point and shoot types apps in iOS, we use both sensors. In fact, so many people were doing it that Apple made an API that does the math and combines the two sensors (mag and gyro) and filters/smooths them for you. If RIM can do that, it would be even nicer.
    This brings to mind some other myths that I keep hearing on this forum from people who don't know better (or have an agenda). There is the misconception that "QNX" programming is somehow "easy" and they don't understand why Android developers aren't tossing their "inferior" technology and going native on PlayBook. This line of reasoning would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

    There are many practical problems that BB10 developers have to contend with when trying to make our apps behave in ways that consumers have come to expect. Its tough when each and every developer has to "roll their own" solution to each and every non-trivial problem. RIM will eventually get around to implementing sophisticated tools but we're not quite theere yet and won't be for a long time.

    For example, another feature that's missing from the RIM API (and is present in the Android API) is automatic correction from magnetic bearings to true bearings. Most people do not know that magnetic compasses don't point to true north - they point to the magnetic north pole. The discrepancy can vary from zero to dozens of degrees depending on your geographical position.

    It took me a week of research and another week of coding/testing to get the thing working. I am almost certain that the recent compass apps coming into App Word do not do this correction. Mine does the correction but you would never know it due to my problems with smoothing the animations.
    04-13-12 08:32 AM
  13. app_Developer's Avatar
    Boost has a Threads library and has been ported to PlayBook:
    Chapter 28. Thread - Boost 1.49.0
    https://bdsc.webapps.blackberry.com/...ation/oss.html
    Thanks. Did they ever come up with instructions for building Boost for PB? Is it pretty straightforward? Is all of Boost supported (they never really said)?
    04-13-12 09:28 AM
  14. app_Developer's Avatar

    There are many practical problems that BB10 developers have to contend with when trying to make our apps behave in ways that consumers have come to expect. Its tough when each and every developer has to "roll their own" solution to each and every non-trivial problem. RIM will eventually get around to implementing sophisticated tools but we're not quite theere yet and won't be for a long time.
    But wait, my friend's cousin's girlfriend's hairdresser is a developer and she said this is the greatest platform ever!

    Yeah, they have a long way to go. We focus on Cascades because it's the biggest WTF hole in any native SDK I've seen, but once they get that solved they have a long list of smaller things they need to build.

    To be fair, though, it took Apple and Android/Google a long time also. Apple already had Quartz, CoreAnimation, and so much of OS X and NeXTSTEP to start with.
    04-13-12 09:35 AM
  15. BuzzStarField's Avatar

    To be fair, though, it took Apple and Android/Google a long time also. Apple already had Quartz, CoreAnimation, and so much of OS X and NeXTSTEP to start with.
    You got that right. Personally, I am quite confident that RIM will eventually get it right with BB10. It's the waiting that hurts because we developers are having to do a PR job on RIM's behalf every day. It's tough to explain the situation without giving the impression that RIM has totally blown it. The truth is that they have are making fairly good progress toward a unified OS considering that they started from square one just a year and a bit ago.
    Last edited by BuzzStarField; 04-13-12 at 10:56 AM.
    BSFA2008 likes this.
    04-13-12 10:54 AM
  16. FF22's Avatar
    Maybe it's because I was a programmer in a former life and was friends with "sole practitioner" programmers but I do sympathize with you and others developing apps.

    Recently, a module for a bbphone app was released. I was using it but noticed some odd behavior - it did not deal well with SPACES in filenames. I almost posted on CB to raise the issue but having dealt with this programmer before, I decided to go private. So instead of creating a public stage to display the bug I asked in private. It was fixed rather quickly.

    But I will admit that I'm not always that thoughtful. Sometimes it is just too easy to post it here and not deal with email. Also, sometimes it might be user-error so seeing if others have found the issue or the solution leads to posting here. In the case above, it was clear after some tetsing that it was a bug and so confirming with fellow users would not accomplish anything whereas quietly mentioning it to the programmer made more sense.

    Also, there's the ongoing thread on a browser that has some issues. Again, sole-practitioners who create apps for platforms for the pb or ipad or HPLX Palmtop have real lives, jobs, kids and issues. And sometimes the "bugs" may be harder to resolve than initially expected. Patience does not come easily.

    Keep the chin up, Buzz.
    BSFA2008 and BuzzStarField like this.
    04-13-12 10:59 AM
  17. clickmaster's Avatar
    keep up the good work men, Thanks for sharing.
    04-13-12 11:08 AM
  18. BuzzStarField's Avatar

    But I will admit that I'm not always that thoughtful. Sometimes it is just too easy to post it here and not deal with email. Also, sometimes it might be user-error so seeing if others have found the issue or the solution leads to posting here. In the case above, it was clear after some tetsing that it was a bug and so confirming with fellow users would not accomplish anything whereas quietly mentioning it to the programmer made more sense.

    Also, there's the ongoing thread on a browser that has some issues. Again, sole-practitioners who create apps for platforms for the pb or ipad or HPLX Palmtop have real lives, jobs, kids and issues. And sometimes the "bugs" may be harder to resolve than initially expected. Patience does not come easily.

    Keep the chin up, Buzz.
    I have never thought of you as being less than thoughtful, F2. And I would like to see a lot more posts of the "has anyone seen this problem before?..." type. By doing this you are helping us extend our reach and help people use our apps.

    Posing a problem in a review is certainly not the way to get assistance (or an apology for perceived wrongs). The following 5-star was review added to my extensive collection last night and I can't figure it out. Can anyone help me?
    ---------
    Title: Good apps
    *****
    Created Date: Apr 12, 2012 9:47:45 PM
    File Bundle: Filebundle[id=525288, name=whatsup1-5-1]
    Release: 1.5.1

    Review Body:
    Keep your good work. ''You owe us an apology'' You always hear the haters, do not put us all in the same boat as this is very annoying..!
    04-13-12 11:22 AM
  19. BSFA2008's Avatar
    I have never thought of you as being less than thoughtful, F2. And I would like to see a lot more posts of the "has anyone seen this problem before?..." type. By doing this you are helping us extend our reach and help people use our apps.

    Posing a problem in a review is certainly not the way to get assistance (or an apology for perceived wrongs). The following 5-star was review added to my extensive collection last night and I can't figure it out. Can anyone help me?
    ---------
    Title: Good apps
    *****
    Created Date: Apr 12, 2012 9:47:45 PM
    File Bundle: Filebundle[id=525288, name=whatsup1-5-1]
    Release: 1.5.1

    Review Body:
    Keep your good work. ''You owe us an apology'' You always hear the haters, do not put us all in the same boat as this is very annoying..!
    I think he's under the impression that you're complaining about ALL reviewers, that you are saying all reviewers are unfair, don't know what they're talking about .... and THAT is why he thinks you owe us an apology. (I'm only interpreting, not agreeing with or endorsing what he said.)

    That said, I noticed that the point and view wasn't working for me ... but I know you well enough from all your posts on here to know that you're working on it in good faith and that what you're doing isn't easy. No worries here. Don't worry about what you can't control, just do what you can. I think MOST of us understand and support you.

    The stuff in your app that DOES work, by the way, is GREAT. Love it.
    04-13-12 11:50 AM
  20. ody360's Avatar
    I was thinking you must have had a bad day the other day buzz... Cheer up bro! I think thousands of other people know the quality of the app you created. It was one of my first purchases, back when there were not a lot of other apps to be bought. Now that app world has filled up some, its still one of the best apps out there!

    Also, I don't think the bad posts were from regular CB users, otherwise they would have seen the activity and support that what's up receives.
    04-13-12 12:05 PM
  21. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    That said, I noticed that the point and view wasn't working for me ... but I know you well enough from all your posts on here to know that you're working on it in good faith and that what you're doing isn't easy.
    Did you try tapping on one of the info areas at the bottom of the main screen to open the navigation menu? You will find two buttons with arrows on them. The one with a single arrow "points" and the one with two arrows "pans". Be sure to calibrate if necessary. Complete instructions are in the help screens.
    04-13-12 12:36 PM
  22. BigAl_BB9900's Avatar
    Thanks for your kind words. To raise the help screen, just tap anywhere at the bottom of the screen (where the bright white upward-pointing arrow is located.) This is similar to the way that you dismiss PlayBook's options screens when you are done adjusting your settings.
    Buzz

    Thanks for the advice, after a reboot (as always!), the screen tap works....

    Many thanks for your PM too

    Chin up

    Onwards and upwards!

    All the best

    Alex
    04-13-12 02:06 PM
  23. orgonebox's Avatar
    I used what's up on a beach in Costa Rica for an extended amount of time and it worked wonderfully well. The compass calibrated fine, although I'm one of those people who rarely, if ever, needs a compass to determine cardinal points. I can't wait until the next time I go camping to use it again!
    04-13-12 02:24 PM
  24. peter9477's Avatar
    Posing a problem in a review is certainly not the way to get assistance (or an apology for perceived wrongs). The following 5-star was review added to my extensive collection last night and I can't figure it out. Can anyone help me?
    ---------
    Title: Good apps
    *****
    Created Date: Apr 12, 2012 9:47:45 PM
    File Bundle: Filebundle[id=525288, name=whatsup1-5-1]
    Release: 1.5.1

    Review Body:
    Keep your good work. ''You owe us an apology'' You always hear the haters, do not put us all in the same boat as this is very annoying..!
    Buzz, interpret this as a favourable review from a supporter. Go with the 5-star part as the underlying sentiment, and assume some language issues to explain the rest.

    "Good apps" ==> good app

    "Keep your good work" ==> Keep up your good work

    The "You owe us an apology" is already in quotes, so consider it a reference to this thread, and someone who read it trying to throw their support behind you.

    "You always hear the haters" ==> the haters are usually the vocal ones, so you don't hear the "lovers" very often.

    "... do not put us all in the same boat as this is very annoying..!" ==> not everyone is a hater, and either being counted as a hater is annoying, or just haters are annoying and the reviewer isn't one of them.

    I could be wrong, but worst case you've got someone so hot under the collar that they tried to slam you but screwed up with a 5-star rating (woot! ;-) ) and best case it's a real fan who didn't grow up speaking English. Go with the latter interpretation and have a nice sleep tonight.
    jafobabe likes this.
    04-13-12 07:08 PM
  25. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    ... have a nice sleep tonight.
    This sounds like a grand idea. And thanks for helping that happen.
    04-13-12 08:50 PM
82 1234
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD