Get PHP up nice and quick on osx

May 14th, 2012

Posting this for myself mostly as a reminder but useful for others who may want PHP up and running in a specific directory quick on osx.

1. (First time only) Open /private/etc/apache2/httpd.conf. Uncomment the line that says
“LoadModule php5_module libexec/apache2/libphp5.so”
2. Search for DocumentRoot. Change the path in quotes to match the local folder you want to be your www folder.
3. Open system preferences->Sharing. Turn on “Web Sharing” checkbox.

jQuery mobile page duplication

May 12th, 2012

We decided to use jQuery mobile for a recent project and were very happy with the results until we ran into a weid issue with the ajax loading. It appears that whatever page you come into the site on will hold onto it’s content no matter what. This becomes an issue when you link back to that page. Depending on the situation you may or may not end up with duplicate content getting dynamically injected into the page. Where this gets sticky is that if you are trying to get an element by it’s id you might get he shown content or some sort of hidden cached content. It seems to vary from situation to situation, but we kept having all the javascript in our homepage break. Our solution ended up being to set $.mobile.ajaxEnabled = false; which essentially breaks what we were trying to use the framework for.

flixel

March 4th, 2011

Been playing with flixel over the past couple of days, and wow! Such a fun framework. I haven’t had as much fun with anything in a long time. I’m not sure if it’s because I love 8-bit games or the fact that I have been tinkering with opengles too long, but something about flixel feels more intuitive than most frameworks I run across.

One of the things I like so much is the physics system. It’s straight forward and works with bounding boxes. It’s super simple to get in and do pixel level collision detection if you want as well. The best part about it is that it’s easy to make games feel like games from the days of old. There is something about box2D that never really felt right to me. flixel gives me a feeling of more control over the scene to do things that aren’t proper but work better for the types of things I’m interested in.

At some point I’ll need to update my spritesheet maker to export the long tilesets that flixel expects. Perhaps I can even have it generate some code to make it easier to update sprites in my projects.

It looks like they also put out an IOS port. They claim it has variable results, but I am looking forward to trying it out. If I can work even 1/2 as fast as I can with the flash version it would really be worth it to use.

The only downside I found to using it is the fact that the expectation is to using flashdevelop or flex. The way a lot of the create functions are written use “Class” as a parameter type. While this does make scene management/cleanup very easy it makes for a challenge when trying to build dynamic content. I did find a stratagy for fixing this, but it smells like leaks just waiting to happen. Overall if you go with the flow and don’t try to use dynmically loaded stuff or the flash IDE this is really a non issue.

Overall great work on atomic adam’s part. If you love 8-bit games and are comfortable with actionscript I definitely recommend checking flixel out.

Corona SDK

February 19th, 2011

Corona’s new unlimited trial period really makes the product something much much better. I tried their limited version for a couple hours, got busy and came back to it being expired. The price was too much to warrant (especially being subscription based) something I wasn’t sure about so I kinda forgot about it. It always seemed like an interesting framework, but now that I can not have to worry about paying for it until I want to submit an app it is 100% awesome.

In general I am finding using LUA to be a really nice workflow. Opening up Corona and coding feels like a break from work. This works out perfectly for the niche side things you may want to work on in your free time. The way that ansca has structured their framework also feels really nice. I guess most of these guys all used to work on flash and it really shows. The product has the same “flavor” that flash used to have before it became the big honkin imareplacejava product that it is now. Overall I would say that opening it you will be focusing on doing more creative things with it, instead of worrying about header conflicts, and compiler settings.

Another huge seller is that I can work with a broader developer base on small projects. This is huge for me. The learning curve is so low on Corona you can be started in like 1/2 hour of reading the basic docs. There are a lot of things baked in that are very similar to flash so that type of workflow can be communicated to animators to make some magic.

This all said it does have limitations. It does not feel like a good solution for data driven apps. I think something like PhoneGap is a really good choice for those if you don’t want to do ports. If you want a feature not yet implemented you will be stuck as well. In some ways though this can be advantageous as you can focus on what you do have to work with and build something fun in an hour, but it would be hard to base your entire development plan on the framework unless you decided you were going to do nothing but 2D casual games. The things you do get (and get well) are zippy animations, physics, cross platform compilation and facebook.

Overall I think the decision to give an unlimited trial was a great decision. Seems like more companies are adopting this model. It’s a more modern approach to software, where you get the tools to create for free, but you gotta pay to make some dough back. I would encourage anyone who wants to goof around with mobile development, or just wants to try a different flavor of coding to go download Corona and have some fun.

LUA added to texture atlas creator

February 8th, 2011

I just added in the ability to generate lua for corona to my texture atlas creator. It gives you the ability to import 1 file and grab MovieClips by their name on the stage now.