What about Palm’s WebOS?

Michael Strupp took some time to try out NS Basic/App Studio on a Palm Pre Plus. In theory, it should work OK: it uses the same HTML5 + WebKit + JavaScript framework that NS Basic/App Studio does. Here’s his report:

I had a chance to try out NSBasic App Studio on my Palm Pre Plus and it looks like it works fine – even the email example worked great (the message loaded into my gmail app, including the body of the text). From what I read, WebOS (the OS running on the Palm Pre) is basically all built upon the WebKit model, so the two seem made for each other.

The only sample app that I tested that I couldn’t get to work right was the one where you squeeze and expand the picture of Mario – I think this is because the WebOS browser natively responds to those gestures already. Otherwise, it seems to work great.


Make App Store apps using AppMobi

Lennie De Villiers from South Africa has built an NS Basic app into AppMobi. AppMobi takes your apps and turns them into packages suitable for submission to the App Store. If you try this, let us know how it goes for you. We will probably turn this into a full Tech Note. Here are his notes:

  1. Register for a free account on AppMobi.com, this free account allows you to test the application but if you want to deploy to the App Store then you need to pay the license fee.
  2. Download and install AppMobi XDK IDE, this requires Chrome and Java 6 run-time. The XDK is a full IDE that run within the web browser.
  3. Run the IDE and start a new project.
  4. Choose “Open project folder” menu option.
  5. It open all the project folders… Within this folder you will find “image” folder and the index.html file
  6. Replace these files with your files (see attached sample)
  7. Back at the IDE choose the Reload button. You will see that the interface will change to show the Twitter example.
  8. Go to appmobi.com on your mobile phone
  9. Login
  10. you might need to download the test program to your phone (SlimFat)
  11. Choose your application
  12. Choose “Test Local” or “Test Anywhere”
  13. Chose Launch
  14. SlimFat will open up and run with your NSBasic application.
  15. To deploy to the App Store you need to purchase a license.

More information on how the XDK IDE works etc can be found on the AppMobi web site.

Tip: Images in a Grid

Ever want to put an image in a grid control?

a="<img src='mario.jpg'>"

The cells in a grid will render HTML as their values. We’re just creating a simple html tag that goes into the cell.

Tip: Using Japanese (or other extended alphabets)

Japanese and other extended alphabets are working pretty well with NS Basic/App Studio now, with one exception: the characters show up on the Design Screen as rectangles. It’s because the Design Screen does not  know what font to use.

The solution is to specify the font in the style property of the
control. Put this string into the style property:

font-family: 'MS UI Gothic';

and it will display properly. For other languages, you will need to change the font name to something that is appropriate.

Tip: Delay when refreshing app on device

Did you notice that the first time you hit refresh on the device, you don’t seem to see the updated app?

Here is what is going on:

First, there is a pause while the files are moved into place on nsbapp.com.

The next time you run the program (or refresh), the device runs its current version from memory while it gets the latest manifest from the server. It compares them: if the manifest has changed, it then downloads the whole application again and saves it to the device. Once this is complete, the new version of the app will run next time you do a refresh.

There are properties you can check to see if the download is complete.

Tip: Including JavaScript Libraries

Here’s a tip that came up in an email conversation with a beta tester:

>>>Wishes of New Functions:
>>>- Factorial, Combinations and Permutations
>>Here’s a really nice part about NS Basic/App Studio: it is easily
>>extensible. If you find a JavaScript library with these functions, it
>>can be used in your program.
>Is there possibility to have universal library with Factorial etc. and
>add this library to code (LoadLibrary, uses, include etc)?

Yes. Here’s how to do it:

  <script src="somelibrary.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

The code in someLibrary.js will become part of your program, and you will be able to call the functions in someLibrary just like you would function in your own program.

Tip: Accelerator Keys

If your system is not showing Accelerator keys on the menus, press the Alt key – they will show up. You can then press your selection, such as F to see the File menu.

Tip: Getting rid of URL bar on Android

1. Add this line of code to Main(). It forces the screen to
reposition, moving the URL bar off the top.

Sub Main()
End Sub

2. Put this code in your program. It makes the contents of the screen full size.


We will be developing a more elegant solution, but this should work for now.