PACKT Publishing Book Review: “Gideros Mobile Game Development”

Android, bit Time Software, iOS No Comments »

As you probably know, I did some reviews on PACKT Publishing technical books. Now I did a review on a new book about Gideros Mobile. At bit Time Software we used to create mobile games too and in the last months some of them have been built with Gideros Mobile (we do also training on the Gideros Mobile framework. If you are interested, check the contact me section ad write me an email).

The last game released by bit Time Software, is written with Gideros Mobile and is available for Android and iOS devices. It is called Math Brain HD and it’s free. Here’s the game icon.

Math Brain HD

Math Brain HD

At the last DROIDCON in Turin, IT, we held a speech about the Gideros Mobile framework.

So, being an advanced user, I’ve been really pleased to do this book review for PACKTPUB.

The title of the book is: Gideros Mobile Game Development

The book cover

The book cover

Here you can find the book page on PACKT Publishing web site

http://www.packtpub.com/gideros-mobile-game-development/book

Here’s a bullet list of considerations about the book. These are a sum of feelings, mine and from my colleague at bit Time SoftwareDaniele Spinetti.

Is’s really simple to read, also for non native english people, and the contents are very well organized. When you finish to read the book, you are able to create a good level game, not a trivial one. All the topics related to the complete Gideros Mobile software stack are covered.

During the book, the author incrementally starts to use the most popular plugin for the Gideros Mobile, so you are getting familiar with the “fantastic plugin world” from the start.

IMHO it’s a good book.

However, if you want to find some cons, sometimes seems that it goes into too much details getting too trivial (e.g. zindex).

March 2014 news about “DelphiMVCFramework”

DMVCFramework, Delphi XE3, Delphi XE4, Delphi XE5, Projects, Uncategorized No Comments »

In the last months DMVCFramework has been used in many projects. Some fixes and some new features has been added.

Tomorrow will start the 4th training from the Jan 1st 2014 on DMVCFramework… WOW!

The best selling training is “Developing Web Client applications using AngularJS and DelphiMVCFramework” (a slightly modified version of this classic training http://www.bittime.it/sviluppare_applicazioni_web_usando_angularjs_con_delphi_back_end).

Tomorrow the training will be in italian, however is very popular also the english version.

However, back to the project, there is a first attempt to add some documentations on the project.

So far there are a lot of samples and all the unit tests, however there was a lack on the “classic” documentations. So, I’m happy to say that in the SVN trunk you can find my presentation held at the last ITDevCon2013 in Verona, IT.

If you are using DMVC framework I’ll be glad to have 2 lines of description about your project (numbers not functionalities insights) to put a success case page on the project website.

Here’s the direct link to the documentations: https://delphimvcframework.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/docs/DelphiMVCFramework.pdf

This is the main DelphiMVCFramework project website: https://code.google.com/p/delphimvcframework/

Stay tuned

Sending Android Intents from Delphi (Part 2)

Android, Delphi XE5 1 Comment »

Some months ago I wrote a post with title “Sending Android Intents from Delphi (Part 1)”. In that post I promised to write a 2nd part… here’s it is!

This time I want to play a video deployed with my APK using an external player.

Some informations are available on the Internet, but to correctly know how to play the video I’ve to inspect my Nexus 5 with the LogCat while using the default file manager to start the default video player.

The app main form  is shown below

The main form

The main form

I’ve added an mp4 video file using the deployment manager.

This is the code under the button click event

procedure TForm1.Button1Click(Sender: TObject);
  1. var
  2.   Intent: JIntent;
  3.   FileName, DestFileName: string;
  4.   Data: Jnet_Uri;
  5.   CompName: JComponentName;
  6. const
  7.   VIDEO_FILENAME = 'videoviewdemo.mp4';
  8. begin
  9.   FileName := System.IOUtils.TPath.GetDocumentsPath + PathDelim + VIDEO_FILENAME;
  10.   DestFileName := TPath.GetSharedDownloadsPath + PathDelim + VIDEO_FILENAME;
  11.   // Copy the file into a public path (you can use any public path)
  12.   TFile.Copy(FileName, DestFileName, true);
  13.   Data := TJnet_Uri.JavaClass.parse(StringToJString('file://' + DestFileName));
  14.   Intent := TJIntent.Create;
  15.   Intent.setAction(TJIntent.JavaClass.ACTION_VIEW);
  16.   if CheckBox1.IsChecked then
  17.   begin
  18.     CompName := TJComponentName.JavaClass.init(StringToJString('android'),
  19.       StringToJString('com.android.internal.app.ResolverActivity'));
  20.     Intent.setComponent(CompName);
  21.   end;
  22.   Intent.setDataAndType(Data, StringToJString('video/mp4'));
  23.   try
  24.     MainActivity.startActivity(Intent);
  25.   except
  26.     on E: Exception do
  27.     begin
  28.       Label1.Text := E.Message;
  29.     end;
  30.   end;
  31. end;

Using the checkbox you can force the OS to show the ResolverActivity.

see you

DelphiMVCFramework is now Open Source!

DMVCFramework, Delphi XE4, Delphi XE5, MVC, RTTI 3 Comments »

DelphiMVCFramework Logo

Yes, just after 1 year of development, and a couple of big projects developed with it, the DelphiMVCFramework has been published as OpenSource.

The project is on google code svn https://code.google.com/p/delphimvcframework/

I’ll talk about it at ITDevCon2013 (http://www.itdevcon.it)

In the trunk there are many samples and I’m planning to put many others.

Main DMVCFramework features

  • RESTful (RMM Level 3) compliant
  • Server side generated pages using eLua (Embedded Lua)
  • Messaging extension using STOMP (tested with Apache Apollo and Apache ActiveMQ)
  • Can be used in load balanced environment using memcached (memcached.org)
  • Fancy URL with parameter mappings
  • Integrated RESTClient
  • Works with XE4 and XE5 (tested, but should works also on XE3 and XE2)
  • Experimental support for IOCP
  • Simple, but very very simple, to use…

It contains also a lot of indipendent code that can be used in other kind of projects.

These are the most notable:

  • Mapper (convert JSON <=> Object, ObjectList <=> JSONArray, ObjectLists <=> DataSets)
  • LuaBinding (integrate Lua script into Delphi native code)
  • LuaTextFilter (convert eLua into plain Lua executable script just like JSP)
Currently DMVCFramework use Embarcadero WebBroker framework, but is not tied to it. I’m working on a version that use IOCP (that is 10 times faster than plain WebBroker) and other web libraries for Delphi.
Code is enough stable and is already used in big production system.
WARNING!
There are a couple of bugs that affect WebBroker and so, DMVCFramework.
In our system, I’ve applied some patches to solve these problems. If you need those patches, ask me (I cannot publish the full code because it is Embarcadero licensed code).
The bugs are:
http://qc.embarcadero.com/wc/qcmain.aspx?d=119779
http://qc.embarcadero.com/wc/qcmain.aspx?d=119777
And another bug that affect also DataSnap and TIdHTTPWebBrokerBridge based projects.
Code is tested on XE4 and XE5 but should works also on XE3 and XE2.

ITDevCon 2013 - Some Numbers

ITDevCon2013, Uncategorized, bit Time Software No Comments »

Next week, in Verona (Italy) there will be the 5th edition of the biggest European Delphi Conference.

This year has been extraordinary for the Delphi community. 2 new versions of Delphi and 2 new platforms (with 2 new big markets). There are very many things to talk about at ITDevCon 2013: Android, iOS, HTML5 and Javascript, Web, new frameworks and many other things.

So, I’d like to share with you some numbers about the upcoming conference.

  • 2 days
  • 3 contemporary tracks each day
  • 19 speaker (IT/EN)
    • 7 english only speakers
    • 5 italian only speakers
    • 7 english or italian (on request, based on the class) speakers
  • 31 speeches (60 minutes + 5 minutes for Live Q&A)
  • 5 training tracks (NEW!)
    • D: Delphi
    • M: Mobile (with or without Delphi)
    • W: Web and Delphi
    • G: General Concepts/Methodologies
    • I: Integration with Delphi
  • Speakers and attendees from all Europe
  • Very Special Speaker from Embarcadero…
Moreover we will talk about libraries, frameworks and best practices that really help the Delphi developer in the day-by-day work.
The website is http://www.itdevcon.it
If you want to attend, buy your ticket here http://www.itdevcon.it/registration#ticket

Sending Android Intents from Delphi (Part 1)

Android, Delphi XE5 4 Comments »

As you probably know, I work for the italian embarcadero representative (www.bittime.it), so last week, I’ve been in Milan (Italy) with the Delphi Product Manager Marco Cantù, to show the new Delphi XE5 for Android (and iOS…).

Users (old and new) were enthusiastics. The Delphi-WAY combined with the Android openness and flexibility, is really a good way to develop mobile apps for the business customers.

So, after the initial demos some users were interested in sending Android Intents from their Delphi app.

I’ve builded some demos about Intents, so I showed those demos to them (in the next weeks there will be many Delphi for Android training in Italy, so I’ve build those demo in advance)

In Delphi XE5 you can call java classes from the Google SDK. So I started investigating hot to do this.

There are a lot of possibilities, and I’m still doing research, but this is a simple Intent send demos.

The Intents demo app

The Intents demo app

This is the code under the first button.

procedure THeaderFooterForm.Button1Click(Sender: TObject);
  1. var
  2.   Intent: JIntent;
  3. begin
  4.   // JAVA SDK ANDROID HELP SAYS…
  5.   // String url = "http://www.example.com";
  6.   // Intent i = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW);
  7.   // i.setData(Uri.parse(url));
  8.   // startActivity(i);
  9.  
  10.   Intent := TJIntent.Create;
  11.   Intent.setAction(TJIntent.JavaClass.ACTION_VIEW);
  12.   Intent.setData(TJnet_Uri.JavaClass.parse
  13.     (StringToJString('http://www.danieleteti.it')));
  14.   MainActivity.startActivity(Intent);
  15. end;

Simple, isn’t it?

With this piece of code, you cann open your device browser to a web site (my blog in the snippet).

Click on the first button and you will be redirected to this blog.

Open browser with intent

Open browser with intent

Intents are REALLY powerfull

With the next snippet, you can send piece of data (e.g. text) to other apps. You dont have to know the apps in advance, Android will do the match with the Implicit Intent. (It is similat to the TShowShareSheet action).

procedure THeaderFooterForm.Button2Click(Sender: TObject);
  1. var
  2.   Intent: JIntent;
  3. begin
  4.   // Intent intent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_SEND);
  5.   // intent.setType("text/plain");
  6.   // intent.putExtra(android.content.Intent.EXTRA_TEXT, "Android Rocks!!!");
  7.   // startActivity(intent);
  8.  
  9.   Intent := TJIntent.Create;
  10.   Intent.setType(StringToJString('text/plain'));
  11.   Intent.setAction(TJIntent.JavaClass.ACTION_SEND);
  12.   Intent.putExtra(TJIntent.JavaClass.EXTRA_TEXT,
  13.     StringToJString('Delphi Rocks!!!'));
  14.   MainActivity.startActivity(Intent);
  15. end;

Chose wich apps shoud be launched to handle the intent (and the text)

Chose wich apps shoud be launched to handle the intent (and the text)

Now, if you choose Twitter, you will get this screen.

Intent handle by twitter app

Intent handle by twitter app

I’ve demos about placing a call, sending an SMS, show a PDF file, accessing different kind of storage etc.
In the next part of this mini series I’ll show some other snippets.

There is still many areas to explore…

  • Services
  • BroadcastReceiver
  • Widget
  • Bluetooth
  • I/O
  • …?

I’ll keep you informed…

ITDevCON 2013 - Call 4 Paper

Events, ITDevCon, ITDevCon2013, Uncategorized 3 Comments »

ITDevCon2013

ITDevCon2013

Dear potential ITDevCon speaker,

I’m building the agenda for next ITDevCon that will be held next november 14th, 15th in Verona (Italy), the same location of the past year.

This will be the 5th edition ( we’re getting conference experts J )

The call for papers are officially open right now, so if you want to propose some speeches, I’ll be glad to see it.

As usual, for the Call4Paper I need:

  • Title (for every talk)
  • Abstract (for every talk)
  • Difficulty level (for every talk. Difficulty level is a scale from 1 to 3 with the following mean: introduction, intermediate, advanced)
  • Speaker’s photo
  • Speaker’s profile

I’m looking forward to your proposal. The call4papers ends at Aug 31st, 2013 but if you have *VERY* interesting topic to propose, propose it… I’ll try to arrange the schedule and fit it in the agenda.

Send your proposal to call4paper(at)itdevcon.it.

Proposals will be evaluated and the speakers will be contacted ASAP.

This year topics will be the following:

TOPICS

  • What’s new in Delphi
  • FireMonkey: component development, hacking styles, best practices, success cases etc.
  • iOS development (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
  • MacOSX development
  • Android clients for Delphi servers
  • Livebindings
  • Windows 8.x
  • Model View View Model (MVVM)
  • Delphi best practices
  • Design Patterns: real world use, success cases
  • DataSnap: intro, success case, tuning, deploing etc
  • “Unusual” Delphi markets
  • Delphi + Arduino
  • Delphi + Embedded Systems
  • Delphi + Raspberry Pi
  • Delphi + WebClient Framework (AngularJS, EmberJS, KnockoutJS etc)
  • Extending Delphi with scripting languages (DWS, Javascript, Lua etc): why? how?
  • TDD and Unit Tests
  • Agile methodologies
  • Dependency Injection
  • ORM
  • FireDAC
  • Software engineering
  • “Hands on” sessions for the most used Delphi frameworks (e.g. Delphi Spring Framework, DORM, TMS Aurelius, OTL etc)
  • Mobile: UI, UX, optimization
  • HTML5/SVG/WebGL and Delphi
  • OOD/OOP
  • LLVM
  • RTTI, Generics and AnonMethods: Real world cases, success cases.
  • Web development with Delphi
  • Real OOP Delphi applications developments
  • Delphi fundamentals/advanced
  • Metaprogramming
  • Games
  • SOA/ROA
  • Architectures

Target audience

  • Software architects
  • Software developers
  • Project managers
  • IT managers
  • Trainers

The conference web site is http://www.itdevcon.it (2013 version is still under construction).

Do you want to see a particular topic or have a suggestion for ITDevCon2013? Let me know

Thanks and see you at ITDevCon 2013.

P.S. This year, ITDevCon will be even more amazing! Stay tuned!

“Datasnap Filters Compendium” updated to XE4

Uncategorized 4 Comments »

Very quick info.

Not tremendous useful today as when developed (Delphi 2010 time frame) but, if someone is still using my DSFC, now can find the XE4 version on google code. Currently works all the speed test and the server/client test. Consider this as a very stable beta :-)

https://code.google.com/p/dsfc/

Book Review: “ZeroMQ” (PACKT Publishing)

Delphi XE, Delphi XE2, Delphi XE3, Delphi XE4, Embarcadero, Programming, RAD STUDIO XE 3 Comments »

Introduction

Some days ago I was contacted by a representative from PACKT Publishing asking me to write a review for their last book about the ZeroMQ library.

ZEROMQ BOOK COVER

ZEROMQ BOOK COVER

In 2009 I was looking for a fast, very fast, messaging system for a complex project and I meet ZeroMQ. At that time there was the 1.x version and I wrote a Delphi wrapper for the C dll that some days later has been included in the official ZeroMQ distribution.

Now, after 4 year since then, I’m using ZeroMQ for a lot of things. I’ve talked about ZeroMQ to the popular ITDevCon (The European Delphi Conference), so I’m very happy to write about ZeroMQ another time.

So, back to the book review…

The book title is simply “ZeroMQ”, but the subtitle explains what you’ll really learn from it: “Use ZeroMQ and learn how to apply different message patterns”.

Yes, this book is really a crash course in ZeroMQ. In about 100 pages, this “small but full of interesting things” book, explains all the most useful message patterns implemented in ZeroMQ. Congrats to Faruk Akgul (the author).

Traditional message queuing systems use a broker. However, ZeroMQ is brokerless. In a brokerless design, applications can directly communicate with each other without any broker in the middle. All the complexity is hidden, and handled, by ZeroMQ. In this situation there isn’t the “single point of failure”. In some cases this architecture cannot be used, but when it can be, you can gain a lot of flexibility, speed with no added complexity.

Let’s give a more  deeper overview for each chapter.

Chapter 1: Getting Started

In this chapter there are some informations about the messaging architectures in general (good for newcomers to the topic) and about ZeroMQ messaging (in particular). Some concepts introduced in this chapter are reused a lot in the rest of the book.

In chapter 1 is introduced the first and the simpler ZeroMQ pattern, the request-replay.

Chapter 2: Introduction to Socket

This chapter starts with a nice introduction to the publish-subscribe pattern and the related filtering (ZeroMQ can filter messages with a very simple “match” pattern). Then, the chapter talks about one of the most interesting patterns when speed is important: the pipeline pattern. While is talking about the pipeline, it explain the ZMQ_PULL and the ZMQ_PUSH socket types. At the end of the chapter, there is an introduction to the Valgrind’s tools suite to detect memory leaks in C/C++ programs. In Delphi can be used FastMM or other similar tools for the same thing.

Chapter 3: Using Socket Topology

In this chapter there is a small introduction to the types of Internet Sockets and TCP. There there is a nice comparison between the “plain” sockets and the ZeroMQ sockets.

At the end, there is an introduction to the CZMQ, a small helper library which lets

C developers to code their ZeroMQ applications easier and shorter. For a Delphi programmer there are a number of ZeroMQ wrapper that makes its use really a snap.

Chapter 4: Advanced Patterns

In this last chapter, are introduced some advanced variation of the previously introduced patterns. Then, there is a nice explanation of some critical situations that could happened in a messaging system. To help the programmer to handle this cases there a number of examples of the ZeroMQ “High Watermark” setting. As very last topic, there is a well known problem, the infamous “slow subscribers in a publish-subscribe pattern”.

Conclusions

The “ZeroMQ” book published by PACKT Publishing is a small but very nice book. Can be very useful to all those people that don’t know about messaging or want add the power of ZeroMQ to their messaging knowledge.

As in every single thing, there are good aspects and bad aspects.

This book is good for an introduction but is not so good for advanced users. There are some other ZeroMQ patterns and features that are not explained at all. However, these patterns are not the most used, or are advanced stuff, so this could not be a big issue.

Considering, the price, the contents and the informative density, is a definitely a good book that can be read, and studied, in few hours and could change your way to do things in everyday programming (messaging are very often not used, or used in a bad way, simply because usually is complex to write and maintain a good messaging system).

One of the more nice features about ZeroMQ is that it can use different transportation protocols. The same library and the same code can be used to do messaging between machines, between processes or between threads in the same process (ipc). As last note, ZeroMQ can handle, without much effort, millions of messages per seconds. If you need speed… consider this.

P.S. I’ll translate and publish on this blog, some of the C examples contained in the book, in Delphi. Stay tuned.

My Delphi STOMP Client is now compatibile with iOS

iOS No Comments »

Thank you to Marco Mottadelli, one of the active contributors to my Delphi STOMP Client open source project.

Now the STOMP client is compatibile with:

  • Delphi Win32/Win64
  • Delphi for iOS
  • FreePascal
It use INDY or Synapse as a TCP library, obviously on iOS you have to use INDY.
Project is on google code.
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