04 December 2015
From the Forum — Issue #101
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!
Learning the network. APIs
Corona is great because of how quickly you can get a project from start to finish, with the minimum amount of wheel reinvention. APIs exist for a broad range of functionality, and various plugins and third party libraries can be leveraged to extend your apps and games into the development stratosphere.
Maybe because of this ease of use, one Corona-provided API that is often overlooked is the network.request() call. This versatile piece of work helps us get data out of our programs, giving us some much needed scalability when dealing with cross platform solutions.
Below is a great link explaining one of its more advanced usages, and how mime64 encoding fits into the picture. Head over to the forum thread below.
PDFs around the world
There has always been a strong desire from the Corona community to get native PDF handling into our apps. It’s one thing that would add that extra bit of slickness to a business app, keeping all interaction within the app ecosystem.
But the desire to have native handling could be considered fruit best left unsqueezed. There are several options that a Corona developer can use to open PDFs, keep the user’s focus within the app they are using, and still let that same user have a modicum of control over how the PDF is handled. This last point might seem to run counter to the idea of having the Corona app handle everything, but there are a great many users who would prefer to have a specific app open their PDFs (on Android, at least!)
Check out the links below that discuss options for handling PDF files on different OSes.
Textfield styles in Win32 apps
Desktop is the new frontier. A platform that has been oft-sought for Corona app deployment, it is not within our reach. Though in beta, developing Windows apps with Corona has borne fruit for several developers, and it makes Corona a viable option when providing a frontend for functionality that might need that extra bit of horsepower.
However, for some, there are a few issues that make desktop Corona apps a hard sell. Specifically, limitations on textfields in Win32 development. Using the native.newTextField() API means that your app inherits the natural “border” that Microsoft’s classic UI owns. In some cases, it can be a bit jarring for users to see the schism in graphical objects.
In the thread below, a developer and a Corona engineer discuss some legitimate options for circumventing these issues, and some third party options that are just as useful. Roll down to the original thread to read up on these options.
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.