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A counter argument - please keep Dropbox even if you implement direct IP ...
Started by ksan Jun 29 2014 09:37 AM

30 replies to this topic
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#1

ksan

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First off, at the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, I'd like to thank CL for introducing Corona Viewer. When it was first announced on the blog page, I gave it a less than positive welcome but after trying it out, in particular while working on a camera dependent module I'm trying to piece together, I came to realize how useful it can be. So I take back what I said on the blog and apologize for my earlier criticism. 

 

Now regarding the Dropbox synch... It is working like a charm and I did discover an amazing use case. I happened to have a text editor on my iPad that can link to Dropbox. I can now take my Corona Development on the road and do a bit here and a bit there whenever I have some time on my iPad. Edit the main.lua located in Dropbox on your iPad and Corona Viewer picks it up right away and you get to see the results of the changes you just made right away. Its like magic! 

 

The era of PC-less, Mac-less Corona development has arrived. So please, even if you implement IP connections for Corona Viewer, please don't ditch Dropbox support. It has this (at least for me) magnificient side benefit of mobility and portability. Great job!!!



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#2

J. A. Whye

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ksan, what an awesome tip!

 

I didn't I had a current need for Corona Viewer, but this use case will help me a LOT! 

 

Great find!

 

 Jay



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#3

Gremlin Interactive

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Indeed, great point!

Ksan, can you tell us the name of the editor please? ;)

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#4

ksan

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Glad to hear you like the idea. I might even go back to a full size iPad just for this reason. 

 

The editor I have is called PlainText and its by 433 Labs. It has an ad supported free version which has full DropBox support (along with iCloud and saving on iPad etc) and costs $2.99 to remove the ads. This is the one I happened to have and works well but I'm sure there will be others out there too. Please post back if you have any other Dropbox capable editors which you find works well with this use case. 

 

Thanks much!!! 



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#5

Guest_Guest_*

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Now *that* might even be worth re-thinking my workflow... great find!

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#6

Gremlin Interactive

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Glad to hear you like the idea. I might even go back to a full size iPad just for this reason.

The editor I have is called PlainText and its by 433 Labs. It has an ad supported free version which has full DropBox support (along with iCloud and saving on iPad etc) and costs $2.99 to remove the ads. This is the one I happened to have and works well but I'm sure there will be others out there too. Please post back if you have any other Dropbox capable editors which you find works well with this use case.

Thanks much!!!


Thanks, I assume it has Lua syntax highlighting?

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#7

ingemar

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How did my post above end up as Guest_Guest?  :huh:



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#8

ksan

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Thanks, I assume it has Lua syntax highlighting?

 

As the name implies... its a PlainText editor with very little bells & whistles. I'm sure there'll be a better editor out there for our purposes.



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#9

ksan

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I must also raise a small concern about this use case.

 

If someone was to compile the Corona Viewer into an app, name it something else and put it on the App Store as a free app, anyone who downloads it could potentially develop using Corona SDK on their iPads without paying Corona Labs anything. They would also presumably have access to all Pro features without paying Pro fare.

 

Not sure if CL will be concerned about this but thought I should air the possibility out here so they can make the decision on whether to build some controls in or not... 



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#10

ksan

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There is a great list of IOS editors here. Not sure how current it is but its a start : 

 

http://brettterpstra.com/ios-text-editors/

 

This one looks great! Texttastic. Seems like it supports a number of languages. I'm sure LUA is in there. Will check it out. The screenshots look great! 

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id383577124?mt=8



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#11

J. A. Whye

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I've used Textastic quite a bit -- in fact, it's the only code editor I regularly use on my iPad. Has Lua syntax highlighting, etc.

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/textastic-code-editor-for/id383577124?mt=8

 

I'd never used the Dropbox connectivity before, but I'm playing with that now -- about 5 minutes ago I wrote my first Corona mini-app using the iPad. :)

 

[Edit] It's a 2-tap process to save the file. Well, it saves local automatically, but to send it back to Dropbox you tap an icon in the toolbar and then tap Upload from that menu.



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#12

ksan

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Great! Thanks for confirming Texttastic. Buying it now. Will be a great $8.99 investment.

 

Congrats on your first mini Corona SDK app. Thinking about it, this will make a great demo platform for those evangelizing sessions.



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#13

ksan

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This gives me an idea. How about a mini-hackathon. 1 hour, only code on ipad. Those who code on the train or bus while commuting to work get extra credits! Who's in?  :)



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#14

Rob Miracle

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Kerem, you have to be a Pro or Enterprise subscriber to use CoronaViewer.  You still can't deploy any app without actually running the Build step from Corona SDK, so at best if someone were able to get it, they would at best be able to develop an app they couldn't do anything with.

 

Rob



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#15

schroederapps

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+1 for Texttastic. I'm one of those subway commuters and have used it to pound out some rough-draft code while on my way to the office. Shame I won't be able to sync to Dropbox for CV use while underground, but still, it's a nice option when above ground. I also like the mini game jam idea using only an iPad. Fun!

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#16

ksan

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Rob, Yup. Thats true. And if one of us was to compile and put the viewer on the App Store that would be a nasty things to do which you could easily track down. I don't think its an issue either but I was just sharing the thought.



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#17

J. A. Whye

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This gives me an idea. How about a mini-hackathon. 1 hour, only code on ipad. Those who code on the train or bus while commuting to work get extra credits! Who's in?  :)

 

I'm in. Although I'll probably pick a coffee shop or library for my "mobile" location since I live in an area with no good public transportation. And I don't commute more than about 25 feet to work. :)

 

I'd like the idea of doing it on a certain day, but being able to pick any 60-minute period on that day. That way those of us swamped or with meetings/previous engagements could still participate.

 

 Jay



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#18

ksan

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@schroederapps, I was hoping Dropbox on the iPad would work exactly like Dropbox on PC/Mac where you access a local copy of the material even when you are offline but alas at least Textastic does not seem to work this way. If we can figure out how to do this then you might still be able to code while underground! :-)

 

Is there a way to open the file directly from the Dropbox on iPad with Textastic? I managed to create a local Textastic copy and upload/download but this is one additional step. PlainText seems to open the Dropbox local copy directly on the iPad and therefore does not have an additional upload/download step. I hope I can figure out a way to do the same with Textastic.

 

Edit : Just read a little on Textastic site that direct sync is not yet supported. Too bad as it looks like the best otherwise.

 

@Jay, your idea is great! Its a 24 hour world. We pick a day and anyone who wants to participate does it in any 60 minute period they choose with that day. 

 

Suggest we wait a bit though so we can all get sorted out with the editors etc. Also the subfolder issues need to be resolved so we can all bring in whatever tools / libraries we may wish to use. 



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#19

ksan

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Tried my offline idea with PlainText which has direct synch but it doesn't work. Just to recap, I was wondering if we could use an iPad editor + Corona Viewer on an iPad when not connected to the network. Sadly it doesn't work. This makes sense of course.

 

Unlike with PC / Mac where any access to Dropbox happens through a single set of designated Dropbox folders on an IOS device every app must use REST API to connect to dropbox and manage its own replica/synch set etc in its own sanbox folder. Since apps can't see each others sandbox folders there is no way for apps to share dropbox data while offline. Oh well... Not a biggie at all. Just no coding while underground for @schroederapps! 

 

PS. This could change in the near future as IOS8 will allow a family of apps to share a sandbox. We could potentially make a simple editor just to accompany Corona Viewer and build it as a member of the same family along with Corona Viewer and I bet we would be able to use this thing offline then. Something to investigate in the near future. 



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#20

ksan

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Textastic on sale at $3.99 - Grab it now if you don't already have it. Amazing deal! 



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#21

r.delia

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@ksan Thanks for the heads up! 

 

Just picked up Textastic, and in short order, I was editing code from my iPad, and watching my iPhone refresh the corona viewer.  Nice!



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#22

ksan

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@ksan Thanks for the heads up! 

 

Just picked up Textastic, and in short order, I was editing code from my iPad, and watching my iPhone refresh the corona viewer.  Nice!

 

Oooh! You went dual screen ha? Cool dev rig!!!  :)



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#23

Charles McKeever

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Great tip Kerem. Thanks for sharing.

 

If you don't already use TextExpander for iOS, you might want to check it. The video on this page shows the app in action.

Basically you can create snippets to reduce the amount of typing needed. Textastic integrates directly with TextExpander, so you access all your snippets in Textastic and other supported apps. If you have the desktop version of TextExpander you can also sync snippets between your desktop and iOS device using Dropbox automatically.

One thing to note is that when you add snippets in TextExpander, you will need to manually refresh your snippets in Textastic for any new snippets / changed snippets to show up. There may be an auto-update setting somewhere, but I haven't found it.

 

There's also a cool TextExpander feature called "Fill-in fields" that let's you create snippets with data placeholders where you want to enter values to be plugged into your snippet on the fly. I'm still experimenting, but imagine a code block snippet that gives you form field options to enter values before it expands the block in Textastic.

 

"Fill-in fields" are demonstrated at the 3:11 mark in the video:

Have fun!



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#24

ksan

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Wow. This is great!!! Thanks for sharing this tip. I can see this being very useful. Will get it right away.

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#25

J. A. Whye

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Anybody figure out a decent way to see error messages? I'm in a coffee shop writing code on my iPad and seeing my iPhone refresh -- it's so cool. Except I've apparently introduced an error and without a terminal I can't use print to debug. I have no clue where to look for the error. Ack! Any ideas? Jay


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