It has been a long time since my last blog posting. I am trying to get back into the habit of regular posting, so I thought I would start off again with a beta release of a project that I have been working upon recently.
As I mentioned previously Simon Tatham’s Portable Puzzle Collection is a high addictive collection of 27 logic puzzles that can be used on Windows, Mac OS , Unix and PalmOS powered devices. I have picked up the existing Windows Mobile PDA support found within the SVN repository and improved the port, making it more functional and compatible with a wider range of Windows Mobile devices.
I am at the stage where I am getting ready to make an initial release. As such I have decided to make a beta release, in the hope that it generates some feedback which will allow me to further improve device compatibility and iron out any kinks.
Download the attached ZIP file and extract the CAB file called Puzzles.ARMV4.CAB located within it. Once you transfer this CAB file to your device, you can install the games as you would with any other CAB file.
Once installed, you should see a Puzzles folder underneath the Games section of your device’s Start Menu which contains 27 new games to occupy your time with.
The single CAB file should be usable on any Windows Mobile 2003 or above device – Smartphone or Pocket PC, QVGA or VGA, Landscape, Portrait or Square screen. It would probably even work on the OFone if one actually existed! The user interface dynamically adapts at run time to its current situation. For instance it uses a slightly different menu layout on Pocket PC 2003 devices, and hides a toolbar if it finds itself running on a smartphone with a numeric keypad.
On the device compatibility front, if anyone has a Windows Mobile Standard (smartphone) device with a QWERTY keyboard such as a Moto Q or Samsung BlackJack which I could borrow for a short time, I would love to hear from them… especially something running WM6.
From anyone who downloads this beta release I would be interested in hearing feedback on:
- Any bugs and/or device compatibility issues
- If there is interest in a localised version (i.e. having the UI in French, German or Japanese etc)?
- If there is interest in support for “raw” Windows CE based devices?
As with all beta releases there are a couple of known issues which you will need to be aware of. Many will hopefully be resolved before I make a final release. These issues include:
- The lack of proper start menu icons.
- Usability issues with many of the games on non touch-screen enabled devices.
- Some Cosmetic issues within the custom game configuration dialog.
- The game “filling” has some corrupt pixels on the edges of the game board.
- The game “inertia” is currently unplayable via keyboard, due to not being able to move on diagonals.
My next steps
Within the next day or so I will clean up my patch to Simon Tatham’s original source code and post it to this blog along with compilation instructions (for Visual Studio 2005) etc. Then I will start producing a plan for the additional work required to make a proper v1.0 release.
In developing this port I have also came up with some ideas for future blog topics. These blog topics will be of interest to native (C and C++) developers, instead of Compact Framework developers, and will focus on topics such as SIP handling, Smartphone and Pocket PC UI differences, and cross platform development tips.
I also have a couple of blog postings about popup notification balloons to follow on from my previous entry on the subject. So hopefully I’ll get back into the swing of things over the next few days.