25 September 2015
From the Forum — Issue #91
Welcome to the latest installment of From the Forum. In this series, guest blogger Alex Jackson highlights outstanding threads from the Corona Forum. The goal is to bring attention to the most captivating, interesting, and thought-provoking discussions taking place in our very own backyard.
Please visit the forum to join these conversations or start your own!
1. Just gabbin’ ‘bout installin’
Windows desktop. It’s a phrase that evokes a lot of emotions from the vast army of developers currently calling Corona their main SDK. It’s a platform that has been requested since Corona was first announced. All of the feature requests and clamoring in the forum has resulted in the ability to build for Win32 devices. And there was much rejoicing.
Now that we’ve got it, what do we do with it? Corona SDK now builds to a self-extracting .exe which, by itself, is all you need to run your app or game on Windows. But is it enough? A couple developers started some threads with that very question in mind, and they received some dynamite nuggets from one of the main Corona engineers.
Suffice to say, both threads below are worth a read. For those of us that are new to desktop development and deployment in general, they definitely worth a click!
2. Detecting that hard pressure
There have been reams of new documents made available to developers in recent weeks. Between tvOS, iOS9 and all of the intricacies surrounding Win32/OSX development, we have a lot of reading material to go over.
Perusing the feature specs for iOS9, it appears that Apple devices will finally support pressure-sensitive touch events. It’s a really cool feature, and Corona developers have already asked in the forums whether it and other new iOS options will be available. Now, it’s apparent that Corona has their hands full with all of the different options and platforms they are evaluating and testing. Since this is the case, the likelihood of having this new feature available immediately is extremely low.
Thank goodness this feature is already available for Android. And has been for about 2 years, according a Corona engineer commenting in the below thread. There is even some sample code that shows this feature in action. Head on down to the original thread to learn a bit more about what you can do on Android right now.
3. Unzip all of the things!!!
I admit to not using the zip plugin as much as I should. It’s such a handy function to free up space within your projects, and coupled with my constant calls to always attempt to package your apps and games with only the bare minimum of assets and download the ones you require, Corona developers can make their projects lean and mean.
One of the nicest things about the zip plugin, though, is it’s versatility. Recently, a discussion went down in the forum wherein a developer was looking for a way to read a normal Microsoft Word document, which has the .doc/.docx extension. We all know that this is a well-known and oft-used format that many businesses use to save their documents. What not all of us know, is that the .docx format is simply a group of zipped XML files which need to be unzipped and read in a specific way.
Enter the zip plugin. One of the swiss-army knife features let’s us get at the sweet chocolate center of those .docx files and extract the yummy text therein. Click through to the original thread because it’s a great read, and it demonstrates all of the ways we can take advantage of the zip plugin right now.
Alex Jackson is an indie developer and the founder of Panc Interactive, specializing in retro-style gaming. He has created several mobile applications, enjoys long walks on the beach, pixel art, and reading the Corona forums. Contact him by email or follow him on Twitter: @pancinteractive. Check out his new game Segreta on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Amazon devices.