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Android / Android 4.1 - non working commands

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Santman
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Posted: 16th Sep 2012 01:23
Hi all.

I've done a few posts now for disfunctional commands, however almost daily now I seem to find another which just does nothing. I've listed them here, and this is android 4.1 - has anyone foudn others faulty? I'm actually on the verge of contacting the game creators and asking for my money back, as this really doesn't do what they say it does - I know you are about to release an update with some new comamnds, but maybe one of you can confirm which of the existing non functional commands you have/intend to fix maybe??? I don;t think there's a point in adding new commands if the basics fail...

1.Splash screen doesn't work (not a command, but still - worked in the demo)
2.Set sync rate - appears to do nothing, constant 40fps irrespective of setting (even lower ones)
3.Getimage - loaded a 1280*720 file, created a sprite, sized it to 640*360, drew it, grabbed the coords 0,0,640,360 - seemed to grab maybe the top left 5% of the image?? (May be documentation/my error)
4.Saveimage - does nothing from above grabbed image (confirmed it did grab something by making another sprite), tried .jpg,.png and .bmp extensions.
5.Getmusicplaying - crashes the program dead unless you sync (or possibly just update) directly BEFORE the check and use integers - i.e playing via assigning a name to the track seems to kill it
6.Setfolder - does nothing (setcurrentdir seems to partially work)
7.Getfirstfolder/Getnextfolder - detects only the media folder, no others or sibling folders
8.Getfirstfile/Getnextfile - as above, but only seems able to get files set during initial project setup - new files are skipped
9.Makefolder - works but as soon as the app ends, it appears to be deleted again
10.Functions - does not seem to allow variables to be passed back - though making them global still gets around this
11.Not a command, but the player and any apps made seem to be completely untraceable on the device. Using getwritepath returns data/data/thegamecreators, however that doesn't show up through any file explorers

As much as I loathe the idea of moving to try native android development, this software doesn't actually appear to work well at all, and I've barely tried 5-10% of the commands - already I'm now stopped by the fact i cannot change scan files or folders!

So come on guys....are we wasting our time trying to develop with this (at least for new devices), or are you going to fix it, and if so how long?
Santman
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Posted: 16th Sep 2012 01:30
Amendment - actually I forgot to mention in the last post, I've only been using this for around amonth, and before that the demo for a few days to test it. oddly, I have a project I started in the demo, and the getfirstfolder/getnextfolder commands work fine, but starting a new project with the full version and copying and pasting the code in, they don't. The editor also behaves differently - if I make changes, then press just the green play button, it auto saves changes, compiles, and broadcasts the app all at once....but any new projects have to have the code saved, then compiled, then played and it doesn't braodcast automatically......is this something to do with the base files created by the editor with a new project changing since the demo, or perhaps the other way around?

Either way, functionality seems to vary between the demo and the full software.
Ancient Lady
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Posted: 17th Sep 2012 18:51
There is a very big difference in functionality between the demo and the full software. I am not certain whether the demo version is up to date with the full 1.076 version.

It would help with some of your other issues to see the code that you are trying.

If you broadcast to a player, make sure that you have the latest beta version from the 'My Products' page. Or, try the file attached to this post (it says interpreter_android.apk, but it is the full player).

If you post enough information, some of us can try to duplicate and/or fix the issues.

Cheers,
Ancient Lady
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nja
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Posted: 17th Sep 2012 19:08
I agree with the splash screen...definitely broken in 1076 for tier 1.
Ancient Lady
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Posted: 17th Sep 2012 22:29
I've never had any problems with the splash screen, as long as it is in the correct directory (<yourproj>/media) and named properly (case sensitive) as 'AGKSplash.png'.

Cheers,
Ancient Lady
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nja
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Posted: 18th Sep 2012 00:26
Yeah, I never had problems either until 1076. It works fine when running through the agk IDE, but it doesn't when I build the tier 1 project in eclipse, it doesn't.
Ancient Lady
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Posted: 18th Sep 2012 00:28
Try putting the splash file in both the assets and the assets/media directories.

Cheers,
Ancient Lady
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Santman
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Posted: 18th Sep 2012 14:18
Ancient lady,

I understand what you are saying, and please don't take my comments as a dig - the team are clearly talented, but these features don't work. I spent considerate time and created a thread for the non working directory commands and attached a demo and files, but I don't have time to do all.

Anyway, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but essential all this does is run the player. The guys have written a piece of software which runs, but if bytecode.byc is present operates as an interpreter. So in effect, and ALL agk programs are the same program, running interpreted code. This is great in principle, however falls down on two main areas: the speed of any program is completely limited by that base program (see my thread on image loading speed - agk is chronically slow for loading, far slower than many apps), and as soon as that template ceases to be compatible ALL agk code also ceases to work. However from this comes the biggest benefit - as to fix this the game creators of ever need to rectify the template and all should be fine again. And there in lies the problem..... When exactly do they intend to fix the template? I have the test beta from the downloads, and I've even compiled a new one..... These issues persist.

Now, largely I think they come down to fundamental android system changes, and where the program installs. I have 4.1 - running that I challenge anyone to compile and install a program, then using any file browser find a trace of it. Of the player for that matter (which is essentially the same program). So, if that's the case, unless someone cleverer than I fixes the template, there simply isn't any fixes or work arounds.

And alas, it's this absolute dependably on the game creators that's ultimate making me feel like this isn't worth the bother developing for.
Ancient Lady
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Posted: 18th Sep 2012 19:03
I assume you mean the player when you are talking about the template. Yes, that needs to be kept up to date with the released versions.

But when you compile an app in the AppGameKit IDE, it always provides the correct interpreter programmer. So the produced games are fine.

The issue is when you broadcast to the player, if it isn't the correct version. But that only applies to testing, since your customers will NOT be using a player.

I did see your other thread, but I don't recall if you tested just using the player and broadcast or if you built the app in Eclipse (for Android devices) and Xcode (for iOS devices) and ran the app from those two tools. You might find that you get much better performance and the commands might work properly. As with the AppGameKit IDE, the cygwin/Eclipse and Xcode builds always provide the correct interpreter (as long as you keep the core directories up to date).

I agree with the issue about the finding the files in Android 4.1, I cannot either. But my app runs just fine, it is finding the files somewhere and it isn't in the main program directory. This is an Android issue more than an AppGameKit issue. I have a Nexus 7 which does not have an SD card, but fakes it because many apps look for it.

Again, don't assume that player issues will apply to built programs. The player is essentially the same, but it also has a lot more going on for monitoring networks and such to detect when a program is broadcast. When you build the app (AGK IDE, cygwin/Eclipse, Xcode), it does not include any of that monitoring stuff and is a smaller and faster app. A built app only has to interpret the byte code file, not receive it and all the media and store things before it can run. Once an app is on the device, it is ready to go and loads much faster than when run by broadcasting to the Player.

I've been very happy with AppGameKit so far. I am at the stage of creating the levels for my first app and hope to publish by the end of next month.

I've worked with both Tier 1 and Tier 2. As a professional programmer (30+ years), I prefer Tier 2. But Tier 1 is great for casual or new programmers.

Cheers,
Ancient Lady
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bjadams
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Posted: 25th Sep 2012 21:41
T2 is great because you can use 3rd party libs, but I never managed to set up FMOD music player with AppGameKit on Android. The Android system is too messed up having to setup things in Java to run your C++ code!!! Way too lame!!!

Had no problem setting up FMOD in Windows & Xcode.
Santman
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Posted: 26th Sep 2012 00:33
You can apparently add all the network/multiplayer comamnds in here too. Doesn;t help that the examples use core commands as variable names either......
Santman
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Posted: 26th Sep 2012 00:38
I've come to a sad conclusion - this software really isn't worth the money it cost, and it really doesn't work, at least not on android 4.1.

Sorry guys - DBPro was quite good - you clearly just bit off more than you could handle with this one though.
Ancient Lady
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Posted: 26th Sep 2012 21:23
Santman, many of us are working well with AppGameKit (both Tier 1 and Tier 2) and think that it is a good product. Yes, there are some bugs and they are being worked on. And they are also continuing to add capability.

I'm going to try and look at each of the issues you raised in your first post.

1. Splash screen does not work
I just ran a couple of tests with AGKSplash.png.

For Android, if the file (spelled exactly AGKSplash.png) is in the <yourandroidproj>/assets directory, it displays when the app starts up.

I rebuilt both my Tier 1 and Tier 2 apps, refreshed and ran in Eclipse and then downloaded the apks to an Android 3.2 and an Android 4.1 device and the splash showed for all variations.

2.Set sync rate - appears to do nothing
I tested this at the same time as the splash and it worked fine in all variations.

3.Getimage and 4.Saveimage - please provide sample of the code you used. I have not worked with these commands.

5.Getmusicplaying - this is a known issue for Android and has been reported. But, you appear to have found a way to avoid it. I will share that information.
Quote: "i.e playing via assigning a name to the track"

How are you trying to assign a name? All commands take integer values as identifiers for objects. You can use an integer variable.

6.Setfolder - does nothing
This command will not allow you to set an absolute path, in case that is what you are trying.

Having said that, I tested this code on both my Android devices (see the comments for how they performed):


Issue #398 in the Google list has been confirmed as a bug and the code above supplied to prove it.

8.Getfirstfile/Getnextfile
This worked fine, even creating files. Different uses of SetFolder and SetCurrentDirectory had different affects. This is the code I used to test (the comments again show the affect of the Set<x> commands):


9.Makefolder
This also worked reasonably well, depending on SetCurrentDir/SetFolder. This was my test code (see comments for results):


10.Functions - does not seem to allow variables to be passed back
What do you mean by this? If you mean that when you set a variable in the function that is not declared as Global but for which there is a variable of the same name outside of the function, that the value does not get set. You are correct and that is the proper behavior. The Basic language has a proper understanding of local and global variable scoping.

If you mean that a variable passed into a function and then changed in the function does not 'keep' the changed value after the function call. That is also correct behavior. Basic passes variables by value, not by reference.

If you do not mean either of those, what do you mean?

11. Yup, I can't find where the files are in a file manager/explorer either. But, the commands work and the app knows where everything is.

So, aside from the music command, and the getimage and saveimage commands (which need some simple examples that you know not to work), all these other commands work fine.

Cheers,
Ancient Lady
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Santman
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Posted: 26th Sep 2012 22:37 Edited at: 26th Sep 2012 22:41
Hi Ancient Lady.

Well, thank you for putting so much effort in to looking at these issues - it is appreciated. Anyway, before I look at them, I would like to ask what exact device it was on? I have primarily tested on a Samsung Galaxy S3, android 4.04 (according to the phone, though it was sold as having 4.1). May also be worth noting I code and compile under windows Vista, with fresh and new installs of eclipse and cygwin in case they are the issue.

1)Nope, I did spell it exactly as I was meant to but it simply wont load. Not the only person on here that has commented on this, however I placed it in the project and media folders, not under assets in eclipse - but then the help file does specify the media folder - but I'll have a shot. That's an irritant only anyway, and if everything else worked, I wouldn't complain. Oh, and in the demo, it did work through the PC player - only after upgrade did it stop.

2)I'll try and sep up some code - I get 40fps irrespective of the setting, or what's on screen. The phone has a quad core 1.4 processor and hardware graphics, so I doubt it's struggling, but may be device specific - this I can code around (as I did in DBPro).

3&4)Again, when I have time I'll put some code together (I was making a simple image resizer however this failed).

5)Sorry, my poor explanation. Using music=loadmusic() is when this fails, though apparently Paul has fixed this now. Using integer numbers worked ok.

6&7)Nope. I tried to go into depth about this, but on my device, this quite literally does nothing. Neither setfolder("") puts you back to root, or setfolder("/media") puts you to media. Setcurrentdirectory("/media") will, but it fails to detect folders. As I explained, it seems to find files created with a new project fine, but after that nothing - so my guess is some odd linux/windows file system clash maybe??? Or maybe not. I would also point out that the help file does not indicate the use of the "/" character, however I have tried all variants of this.

8)Will try and supply code, it really doesn't find anything for me other than the three stock files that are created when you start a new project.

9)It will create and the find a folder - but quit the app, then restart and that folder is no longer detected. Might still be there, haven't actually directed the app to just set it's path to the previously created folder. The help files mention a seperate read and write folder, with the media in the read one, created files in the write. Perhaps it's creating the folder in the write one, which it then doesn't read after restart? As per point 11 - it's impossible to know.

10)No, I am aware of how functions should work - what I mean is if you do

then the variable newvalue should be 5....which wasn't what I was getting. However I will retract that one, as it was to do with an array and folder names that I was passing the variable to, so it was actually more likely the folder commands that were resulting in the empty returns there.

11)Again, I just don't accept it's vanished into thin air, especially as the player instructions tell you if the calibration fails, to navigate the the AKG folder and delete the calibration file before repeating. And every other app I've ever installed can be located, so this is clearly how AppGameKit was set up to be, however I can't help but think that's part of the problem.

Please don't mistake me as just "having a go", but I'm well aware of how this works, and well aware that what they need to do is put some serious time into redoing the player, but it seems they are doing quick fixes and not actually putitng the effort in. I understand the finances etc etc, however perhaps they should poll "would you pay a nominal fee for major upgrades?". For example, Paul advised he had basic in app purchasing commands working on some platforms - perhaps they should consider selling the upgraded template. I for one would happily pay £10-£15 for a new template that worked and had new features such as that - my app is critically dependant on that, and the ability to scan and detect folders, as well as download new files. That way, they wouldn't be putting work into something which isn't technically earning. I have several DBPro upgrades, which worked as I could pick and choose the ones I needed - that I wouldn't object too.

As a last note, and I mentioned elsewhere, I will try completely removing AppGameKit and installing again, as my project started under the demo veriosn and then I purchased the full version - but it very oddly behaves differntly to any new project. For example, if I change my code, I can simply press the green play and it saves, compiles, runs and broadcasts all at once. And it ALWAYS broadcasts. However, any new projects if I change the code, and press play I get the old app just running. If i press compile without saving it compiles the last saved version, and broadcasts the way it is meant to. I understand the later is the way it's supposed to work, but I can't find any project setting that would explain why the former hapens with a project that started under the demo and not new ones, so perhaps something has gone wrong with my AppGameKit itself.
Ancient Lady
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Posted: 27th Sep 2012 00:28
I had only meant to test a single thing from your list and then another on another on another day, etc.. But I am sorta OCish on some things, programming is one of them, and having started, I had to finish. At least it let me test a few things and now I know what I need to do if I want to play with directory issues.

I tested on a Nexus 7, Android 4.1, and a Toshiba 7" Thrive, Android 3.2.

1) Sometimes the documentation doesn't keep up. Putting the splash file in assets isn't obvious, but it appears to work.

2) I used some very simple stuff. Before the main loop, I called SetFrameRate(5.0,0) and then just displayed the FPS along with other information. The Nexus went about 5.1 to 5.9ish and the Toshiba stayed in the 4.5 to 4.9ish rate.

3), 4), 5) ok

6) Probably related to the problem in 7).

7) As I said, it is a known and reported issue and I just set it as confirmed with the example I posted here as how to prove/test it. This will hopefully be looked into and fixed, now that it is officially confirmed.

8) My posted code seems to show that the file finding works within the limits of the directory setting stuff and it did find the file dynamically created.

9) My posted code did create the directory and it was there the next time the app ran. I also created a file in that directory. I did not test to see if the directory disappears if there is nothing in it when the app closes.

AGK assumes a media directory (in Tier 1) and will create a media in the app's sand boxed area (something Androids create for all apps) if you dynamically create a file and don't specify a directory. And it is in the sand boxed media directory that it first looks for files requested, then it will look in the app's initial media directory. So, if I build my app with a file named media/options.txt and then rewrite the file, the rewritten one goes in the sand box area (assuming it doesn't exist the first time the app is run). And the apps will then use the sand boxed one the next time the app is opened.

I just got to your 11). If you are testing everything in a Player, that might be part of your problem. The Player is more than likely going to clean up anything dynamically created after if finishes 'playing' an app.

10) I sort of understand why that fails to work. You are passing in a constant and it doesn't really have an area that is editable. Try this:

This will work because you are actually using an assignable place in memory. You weren't actually passing in a variable in your sample code. This is also a 'better practices' way to manipulate passed values. You copy into a local variable and manipulate it and return the local value.

11) I don't think anything is vanishing. It's just ending up someplace that is not visible to file browsers. That is not uncommon. If you are connected via USB to a Windows box, it will not show you everything that is on your tablet, not by a long shot. And file manager apps will also respect some restrictions on what is visible. It depends on the Android.

If you are using a Player that asks you to calibrate, than you are using the wrong Player. Please download the 'Android AppGameKit Player (beta)' apk file from your TGC 'My Products' page and install it on your Android. Or use the one attached to this post. It is nice and freshly built and guaranteed to be using the correct 1076 files. (It says interpreter_android.apk, but it is the Player).

As for Tier 2 templates, see this post. Also, there is a nice, newish, clean Android Tier 2 template in the TGC 'My Products' page, listed as 'Android 1076 Tier 2 Template'.

TGC will include new features, like in-app purchases, when they can be made to work for all platforms. DBPro works in exactly one environment, Windows with DirectX. AppGameKit is meant to work on multiple platforms, and it does.

As part of basic security, many platforms are now requiring that apps be sand boxed. Apple will not accept anything that isn't. And sand boxing means that your app can only look at its own directories, not others outside of its sand box.

In the full version of AppGameKit, the solid green button (not the one with the gear behind it) does not broadcast. It only runs on your Windows box. It will build an app first if it detects that something is newer. However, there is a known, reported and confirmed bug with using the green button to both compile and run. The running app and AppGameKit IDE will frequently hang. It is safest to use the build button (yellow gear to the left of green triangle) first and then the run button to run. This mostly guarantees that the app builds and nothing hangs (unless there is an issue in your code).

In the full version, the play button does not always compile, it isn't meant to. Part of the issue on that (known and reported) is that it looks at the executable to compare dates and the executable always has the same time stamp, and it doesn't reflect when you actually compiled anything.

It would be good to make sure that the demo version was completely uninstalled as well. You may be seeing some cross-over caused by issues with Windows registry.

Try copying just the code files (*.agc) and your media directory (minus the <yourapp>.byc, SourceCode.agc and SourceCode.txt files) to a fresh directory and create a new project with them and see how the IDE behaves.

Cheers,
Ancient Lady
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Cliff Mellangard 3DEGS
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Posted: 28th Sep 2012 08:22 Edited at: 28th Sep 2012 08:25
Tell me if iam wrong?

Didt tgc give it such an low price and call it comunity version because we actually beta test the software for them also?

Its still in development!

And a last suggestion is to listen to bjadams and ancient lady as they now wath they are typing

They have helped alot of people with agk and tier 2.

And sandwich and higher is extremely slow for most app making software because of many things and are a well known fact.
Download a couple of your favorite free games on it that neads fluid framerate and see how choppy many runs.(from the app store)

Android 2.3 Gingerbread , ZTE Skate , 480x800 , 800 mhz cpu , Samsung Galaxy Y , 240x320 , 832 mhz cpu
Android 4.0 Sandwich , Dmtech 3g 9738B , 1024x768 , 9.7 inches , cortex A8 1.2 cpu , 1 gb ram.
Ancient Lady
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Posted: 28th Sep 2012 16:44
Thank you Cliff. We just try to help.

Cheers,
Ancient Lady
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bjadams
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Posted: 3rd Oct 2012 20:41
Cliff, the story goes that TGC made AppGameKit for their needs to make apps easily on multiple platforms.

Then at one point they released what they had at hand to the community.

Obviously different people have different needs, and people started to find shortcomings in AGK. AppGameKit did not fulfill everyone's needs.

There were a few updates, we got a lot of new commands, and we were moving somewhere but the updates stopped. TGC even put a lower price tag on AppGameKit, since I assume they did not reach as many sales units as they hoped for.

And now we have Freedom Engine!!!!!
Santman
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Posted: 3rd Oct 2012 23:58
Hello.

Ok, I;ve moved on and am now looking at the HTTP commands, which I got happily working quite nicely on the PC......but then as usual not pn the player. This one is odd though. Using the latest Beta player, as soon as it gets to the command

it exits out with the error code "Unknown instruction 890". Now, the ONLY command that comes before it is the defualt set display aspect....so have I missed something???
Ancient Lady
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Posted: 4th Oct 2012 01:07 Edited at: 4th Oct 2012 01:08
The error command you are seeing indicates that you aren't using the proper player.

Try the one I attached in my 26th Sep 2012 17:28 post in this thread. That is guaranteed to be a proper v1076 player.

Also, did you uninstall the player on your Android device before installing the other one?

EDIT:
I know the http commands work on both the 3.2 and 4.0 Android because I use them in my WIP game without any problems.

Cheers,
Ancient Lady
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Santman
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Posted: 4th Oct 2012 01:50
It's very odd - I uninstalled my player, then downloaded the beta version from the downloads on the site (the .apk file, modified Aug this year), and it didn;t work, but then I recompiled my app as a player and that player seemed to work????

Anyway, do you know this? In this thread http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=196570&b=41
The code is set to download a file from a sub folder, however that doesn't seem to work?? Say the server is "HOME.com", and the file I want is in "HOME.com/files/myfile" - this works perfectly from the PC, however the phone refuses to get it. If I move the file to the root then the phone has no issues. Is this the android system's point blank refusal to accept folders again, or am I again missing something???

I am connecting to the server at "www.server.com", then getting the file with "/files/myfile". I also tried "files/myfile" but that didn't work.

Any thoughts???
Santman
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Posted: 4th Oct 2012 02:09
Ok, never mind - I don't know if it's the android system, or the player, or my hosting service, or the phone......but the problem was a SPACE in the folder name. so a folder called "my files" doesn't work, but "myfiles" does.

Anyway, it appears to be working now, so thank you once again for your help. They should put you on the payrole!!!
Ancient Lady
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Posted: 4th Oct 2012 17:10 Edited at: 4th Oct 2012 17:11
Assuming your server is linux based, it would theoretically work with a space if you put "/'my file'" (the single quotes). But IMOH, no one should put spaces in directory or file names. I blame Windows for that.

EDIT: Also assuming a linux based server, it is totally case sensitive about file/directory names. MyDir and mydir are not the same.

Cheers,
Ancient Lady
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Santman
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Posted: 4th Oct 2012 19:35
Ah, that would explain it. It's an American host and I believe it is Linux based now you mention it. I thought about the case sensitive thing because of the Android limits for this, but not spaces. Spaces in folder names aren't important, working around that easily, it was more allowing public access to the server but restricted access to the folders I needed.

Since you're here, and you know about this, can you use post data to communicate with servers that accept bash instructions?
Ancient Lady
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Posted: 4th Oct 2012 19:51
You can only post to specific web pages, not to the core server.

If the page is not there, it won't work.

However, if your server is set to allow your web pages to do things at the command level (possible with php, maybe with perl cgi, but probably not possible with strict html), then you might be able to do server direct stuff. But that is not recommended for security reasons. If you allow command access via web pages, you can bet some hacker will find it out and corrupt your system wonderfully.

Having said that, I also have not heard of using http to do bash instructions? Is that doable? If so, tell me how so that I can block it on my server. There is no way I would want anyone to be able to execute bash instructions through http. That is asking for serious trouble.

Cheers,
Ancient Lady
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Santman
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 4th Oct 2012 20:29
Ah ok, I may be totally picking up the wrong end of a stick then as html, php etc I know nothing about. To be more specific though, it's Google checkout. They have the facility to connect and process payments through their system in lots of ways, and bash code seemed the easiest as, from what I can see, you connect to them then send a whole list of condensed instructions that allow you to charge. I know you can do it with a simple java script, that's probably easy enough through tier 2,but I've not looked at that either. That's what I was aiming to do??
Ancient Lady
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15
Years of Service
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Joined: 17th Mar 2004
Location: Anchorage, Alaska, USA
Posted: 4th Oct 2012 21:07
I probably am not understanding your use of 'bash code'.

If you give me an example of how you use it, I might be able to help. But this is now a different topic from the original post. You should start a new one with a heading that others could use to find this issue. If we figure out how to do it, others might be interested as well.

Cheers,
Ancient Lady
AGK Community Tester

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