Tuesday 11 September 2012

Quick Update to the Jupiter Broadcasting Android App

So I have replaced the parser with a variant of my parser from my JavaME app. I have also replaced the GUI from the RSS reader and will be implementing a download feature as well as the stream and go to web page features currently available. I have just replaced version on the market with the new version and will wait a few days before implementing the download feature as this will require a permission change and I want people to auto update to the latest UI before I ask anyone to update which I will have to do if I change the permission settings.

Android app on Google Play

The code is now on github here under the MIT License so if anyone wants to help out feel free and don't just the code to harshly as I originally wrote most of this app a year or so ago, while overly caffeinated watching a live episode of techsnap.

On another note, the app now has a competitor Callisto. Frankly its awesome and choice is always good also since both the apps are free and open source its hardly that much of a competition as either of us could take each others code whenever we pleased. Although I think my license is more compatible with that sort of behavior. Its still in alpha but I recommend you check it out and see which one you like better. I quite liked the in built IRC client in Callisto. Another awesome thing about Callisto is that it supports from android 1.6 up which means it supports older phone that my app doesn't. Unfortunately it also means supporting the live video stream for Callisto is probably not going to happen. However the creation of Callisto might give me the opportunity to change the API version of my app to 3.0 to support the HLS video stream rather than the RTSP stream with the knowledge that my users have somewhere to turn in Callisto. Anyway best of luck to Callisto and its developer, who I have to give mad props to doing this in Android 1.6 as I personally wouldn't have creating my Jupiter Broadcasting app with out the Media API that came in 2.2.

Thursday 6 September 2012

Java ME Permissions Suck and another Jupiter Broadcasting App

So I decided on the development platform and the app, I was going to write for the new/old phone the Sony Ericsson P1i. I would write the app for JavaME because at least then other people can use it. There are supposed to be more JavaME enabled phone in the world than androids. Therefore this way it won't be completely useless to others.

Getting setup up for development wasn't very difficult. I downloaded NetBeans with the JavaME plugin. (Note in order for JavaME to work you'll also need the JavaEE plugin. Its a bug :( ) I also downloaded the Visual Designer Plugin which is a really nice bit of kit to help with both the flow of your application and GUI design. I felt it really helped me to keep most of the back end code abstracted from the GUI.

The application I decided to write was a Jupiter broadcasting app because the default RSS reader on my P1i can't handle the feeds from the Jupiter broadcasting properly. I didn't port my android app instead I decided to do a complete re-write. Although I'm very tempted to swap out some of the old android app's parser with the new one from this app. Deciding I wanted a videos feed and a MP3 feed. I sat down a wrote an xml parser using the java sax library.

What's interesting about programming in JavaME isn't not what it can do but what it can't. I had to forgo the use of many features of Java that I'm very used too. The lack of generics and "for each" loops especially made me cringe but I persevered. The only major issue I came across was the permissions for JavaME Mid-lets. They are, to put it lightly, the most annoying thing I have ever seen on a phone(including crazy frog) and without a certificate, from Verisign or Thawte (Very Pricey), they don't go away. I mean every time a platform request or access to anything outside the app is made it asks the user about permissions and then doesn't save that as a setting !!!

I'll have to say some nice things about JavaME after that rant.

  • Its looks and feels for the most part native. (Which isn't something you can usually say about a java app)
  • Even though its all Java. It was much easier to pick up than I remember android being.
  • Its on a lot of devices. It even over took android, for while at the start of this year.

Anyway for those Jupiter broadcasting fans who have JavaME enabled phones.

Source code is on git hub
Download the jar to you phone.

It's still in active development(beta) so if you have any bugs let me know. I'm currently looking at new features like a
  • Live stream
  • Categorized show feeds (Done)
  • A file browser for previous downloads
 I'm probably going to MIT license it.

Here are a few more screenshots for those interesting. I think my phone's theme lends a lot to them but you have to admit the app looks a hell of a lot prettier than than my android version: