When I first developed the Android version of SuDokuSolver, it was derived from a Windows-based, mouse driven version which had been running for some years. The first thing I noticed when I started to use the Android version "for real" was that the screen was the wrong way round. As it was touch-based, touching the buttons on the left hand side with my right hand obscured the working areas in the centre and right, and that what I needed to do was reverse the order of these three principal screen areas.
However, instead of doing just that, I reasoned that I already had a version that was suited to left-handed people, and it seemed a shame to throw that away. So I introduced some alternative screen layouts for right-handed users, and a menu-driven facility to switch from one to the other.
I recently managed to break my right wrist and elbow rather badly, and for the last few weeks I've been in plaster from the hand to above the elbow. I've used the enforced idle time that this has generated (I should have been sailing for six weeks by now) to work my way through the pile of Sudoku and Killer Sudoku puzzles I had waiting to be processed by Sudoku Solver. Using the Left-handed facility, of course! It's worked a treat. I've also taken the opportunity to make some changes to the layout XML files to bring them more in line with the latest Android standards. I'll make a new release of both Sudoku Solver and SuDoku Lite when the plaster is off my elbow and I can type normally again; at present I'm restricted to using just one finger on my right hand.
However, though the left-handed facility worked just fine, I did notice one issue: my ComboBox widget had the drop-down button on the right-hand, so the text in the ComboBox was obscured by my left hand when using that button. So after digging around in StackOverflow and other useful Android support sites, I've found a way to implement a layout parameter that enables me to specify whether the dropdown button should go on the left or the right. This is now working, and by introducing left-hand variants of the Select Game and Save Game functions I can use this left-handed ComboBox in those variants. This will be in the next releases of SuDoku Solver and SuDoku Lite. I'll share that ComboBox code via this website, again when my elbow is better.
There's been a somewhat prolonged hiaitus in this blog during the summer, not all caused by some extended sailing trips. The olympics is partly to blame! But I've gone back to the PC version of PCDB Waypoints, and finished the rather tedious task of preloading it with all the information I can find about lighthouses, buoys and beacons around the UK and near European coast. That is now complete. I can also take that information (from a Microsoft Access database) and load it into an empty PCDB Waypoints app running on my tablet. Doable, but somewhat slow. However, it means that I can really load-test the app on an enormous amount of data before releasing it into the wild.
There's a funny glitch in Androis whereby if I run a number of debug sessions of the same app on the same device, I get a number of identical icons in the Apps screen on the tablet, each corresponding to some terminal state of the app at the end of a debug session. I've got roughly a screenfull. I uninstalled PCDB Waypoints and reinstalled it to get rid of those, and then found some errors in the database import process which are now fixed. So now I can get on with completing the functionality of this app and getting it ready to market.
Along the way, I've uploaded a new version of PCDB SuDuku Solver, at a reduced price. The new version follows the evolving Android conventions for widget appearance which are designed principally to conserve battery power. Next, I need to upload the same version of PCDB SuDoku Lite...
Also along the way, Samsung successfully upgraded my tablet from Android 3.2 to 4.0. I've picked up the latest version of the Eclipse IDE and now need to explore the facilities of both new versions.
I've just been notified by Google that PCDB S*D*K* Solver has been removed from the Google Play store in Japan. Searching the web, there seems to be a concerted campaign by a Japanese company to remove any app with that word in its title, other than those they own, from the Japanese market. Surprisingly, the Lite version (free) wasn't mentioned, but just to be on the safe side I've removed that from the Japanese market too.
There doesn't seem to be any such pressure elsewhere in the world.
PCDB SuDoku Solver has now been released to the Google Play market, and can, all being well, be purchased by anyone with an Android device running Android 3.2 (Honeycomb MR2) and a screen size of 1024 x 600 density-independent pixels (dips) or greater. For comparison, my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a size of 1280 x 800dips
Nothing is easy, and Google Play continued to throw up "gotchas", refusing a couple of times to be able to process my uploaded .apk file. However, it relented in the end. You can find it by clicking on the Google Play button here.
I've asked for it to be available in the English-speaking countries and the Eurozone. The app itself only "speaks" English, but so do 99% of all apps ever written so I'm not too bothered about that yet.
The next stage is to publish the free "Lite" version with restricted facilities.