HTML5 today: 1 code

After many years out of Flash and inside HTML5, I can dictate: nightmare.

It’s a world of possibilities but, regarding developers, a totally *ucking nightmare.

100% of customers think they need support for desktop computers and mobiles devices. This means a minimum of Chrome, IE, Firefox and Safari, in different environments (desktop, tablet, mobile) and OS’s (Win, Mac, iOS, Android, including Win 7 thru 10, Mac 10 thru 12, iOS 8 thru 11…), and usually as well the customer’s frontend app, which uses to be a Cordova-based app (also available for iOS, Android and desktop Win and Mac).

Regarding audio and video, you stick with mp3/ogg and mp4/ogv. Regarding programming, you rely mostly in general-use libraries such as jQuery. For the rest of functions, you create your own libraries, aimed to support around 40-50 different browsers/versions.

In the end, you spend in development a similar amount of time than you spent previously in Flash (mostly because Flash is still available for impossible tasks out of Flash, such as RAD —standing for Rapid Animation Development, instead of Application—, now with HTML5 output thanks to CreateJS).

But some times you spend around 100 thru 200% of the time with debugging tasks. The last time I had a bug in the customer’s iOS app. The code worked fine in the other 40-50 browsers, but not here. I had to re-make at home the app and simulate the customer’s code in order to replicate and debug the issue. This converted a simple 2-hours job into a complex 4-days job.

My advice to all my customers all this time is the following: force your users to use your own app. This way you develop and mantain 1 code.

Otherwise, take care of your problems. No! Your supported browser’s problems! The transition from IE10 to IE11 caused an issue which affected to almost 1000+ interactives to one of my customers. This customer had the luck to have my company as the responsible of such interactives, as we managed to resolve the issue quickly. However, this issue caused a bunch of negative comments in the different app stores. This is because my customer lets the browsers decide which work and which doesn’t, how and when.

Flash movies worked the same all around the browsers and operative systems: 1 code, 1 behavior.

This is just the first round. I wanna tell you more about this!

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ASCII to compressed ASCII

Here is a funny experiment with javascript. It takes normal text as input and returns encoded ASCII text (from 0x20 thru 0xFF) with a 30% reduction in length, which can be decoded later to the original, with some exceptions/rules. It preserves only alphanumeric characters (except for some of them which are transliterated specially, like 1 = I or Z = 2).

This could be funny as a workaround in some situations, like circumventing the classical Twitter limit of 140 characters (would need the decoder on the other side, of course).

https://jsfiddle.net/julifos/ehuwaae2/

A few websites

A few websites I developed or helped to develop in the past few years:

http://www.julifos.com/

http://www.pescadosweb.com/

realmadridkidsplanet.com/ (dead)

http://www.chesswithoutborders.com/http://www.ajedrezsinfronteras.com/

http://pgrtraducciontecnica.com/

http://yogamanam.com/

And hundreds of web applications I can’t show because they reside in private areas 😉

I hope to resume my activities in this blog, as I have many things to share…

Backup remote mysql database to local machine

I told you here a way to backup remote MySQL databases using a mix of AppleScript and shell script (ssh).

But that method won’t work with certain table types, which don’t store the data in files, such as InnoDB. So, here is a one-liner using mysqldump to backup that kind of databases…

mysqldump --opt --compress --host='website.com' --user='USER' --password='PWD' --all-databases | mysql -uUSER -pPWD -h127.0.0.1

Just substitute where needed USER and PWD. This shell script requires MySQL running in both machines and privileges to access the data in both sides.

IMHO, it runs much slower than the other method (making a copy of the remote db files) so, if you can use it, go for it! Otherwise, this method is safe for your data (safe if you don’t lose power or internet connection in the process 😉 ).

See “man mysqldump” for more options (such as extracting only certain databases or tables, as this script will backup everything!).

Modify tiles walkability in OpenSpace (on-the-fly)

This post applies to OpenSpace 1.x, but may apply also to 2.x (I didn’t study it yet!).

One major issue for OS1 owners is controlling avatar’s movements all the time long. Full control over the avatar. All the methods and properties related to avatar movement and re-creation of the tile-map according to new settings are private, closed. You can’t access and modify them unless you purchase a source license.

But here we go with a custom solution, which may be helpful for you in some situations as it was for us. As there is no available method to prevent avatar movement (ie, the user clicks in a tile and the avatar walks there in despite of what you say), the only solution is preventing user clicks!

Simple, not smart, but working solution.

And how in hell you do that? Also simple: place a transparent-clickable movie-clip in the tile, so it catches user clicks and nulls them. Just iterate over OpenSpace.getChildAt(0)’s children (the tiles) and do the job.

And now a few hints, as the situations are very different depending on your needs…

You can’t moveMyAvatar() or teleportMyAvatar() to the current tile –> this way you can’t prevent avatar movements! So, before user clicks, you must evaluate and decide if the avatar can walk (click, if you use the suggested workaround).

If you can’t decide prior to user’s election if he can walk/click, then you must evaluate after he clicks and starts walking. In that situation, take into consideration the previous paragraph. As you can’t moveMyAvatar() or teleportMyAvatar() to the current avatar’s coordinates (as coming from getCurrentTile()), move or teleport the avatar to a different tile.

There is a variety of events you can use to evaluate your conditions (ENTER_TILE, TILE_SELECTED, etc.), so most probably you will find some solution to your headache 😉

EDIT: Appart from the exposed method, still valid, would be nice to take a look to the following approach: dispatch a first moveMyAvatar() to a fake tile, so OpenSpace registers as current-tile the next one in the pathfinding, the issue a new moveMyAvatar() to the current (real) one.