Valor Apps secure website launched!

I am happy to announce that my secure online digital store, Valor Apps, is now up and running!

I will be using my new site for purchasing of all my commercial Joomla extensions! The site is run under my business name, Valor Apps. You’ll find more information on all my software. I will be updating the site in the next month or two, adding more documentation for your favorite software.

This blog site will still be used for my personal affairs, and also to promote my software in a general sense. My ultimate aim is to separate my software business from my personal blog. One of the major benefits of this is that I no longer will be sending download emails, but rather you can log into the Valor Apps site and download any software your purchase.

Thanks for your continued support, everyone!

iOS: Calling unknown methods from an unknown object

Introduction

What if you wanted to call an unknown method that belonged to an unknown object? Or even multiple unknown methods from multiple unknown objects?

Huh? What am I talking about? You don’t think you would want to do that? Well, guess what? I wanted to do that just this past week! Yep! I wanted to call an unknown method (or methods) of an unknown object (or bunch of unrelated objects).

What’s that? Why would I want to do that? Well, have you ever used a UIControl, such as a UIButton, and you wanted to make the click event trigger a particular method in one of your project class objects? How would you implement that? Well, it’s quite simple, you just do the following:

Read More

Please stop sexualizing everything!

Hi everyone! I don’t usually post about social issues. However, this issue has been on my mind for quite some time, and I want to post my opinion on it. A few hours ago, my wife asked me if I heard about this situation about the petition to marry Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street. When I heard it, I was really floored! My reaction had nothing to do with the debate for or against homosexuality. Rather it was because I have a 3 year old daughter and she watches Sesame Street at times, and Read More

Message for Father’s Day 2011!!!

(I started to write this on father’s day. However, I only finished it on the following Saturday, 25th.)

Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers out there!

I know the day is almost done, but this the first time for the day that I have been able to be on my blog! My daughter, wife, parents and other relatives and friends wished me a happy father’s day today! It was a good day… a busy day… but, a good day!

Today, I gave a short sermon at church today for Father’s Day. I wanted to share a summary of it with you all. I hope it would help to encourage all you fathers out there to strive to be the best dad you can be. My message was based on an acrostic of the word FATHER that I devised:

Read More

Try Dreamhost!!

Hi Everyone! Recently, I have realized that a lot of persons are considering changing their web hosting company. I did that recently, when I changed from GoDaddy.com to Dreamhost.com. One of my main reasons for switching was that I needed secure online source code versioning. I wanted a web hosting that offered it as part of its package. I didn’t want to go to host it separate from my websites, and have to pay extra. Read More

Cocos2D: Using HD images for iPad in a Universal App

Introduction

This is my first tutorial, and I am proud to make it be about writing Objective C code for the iOS and Cocos2D. Since the debut of the iPad, there has been much talk on the Cocos2D forums about how to code one Universal app that will work on the iPhone/iPod touch (resolution: 320×480), the iPhone4 Retina Display (resolution: 640×960), and iPad (resolution: 1024×768). As it stands, Cocos2D 0.99.5 to 1.0-rc accommodates for iPhone and Retina display resolutions automatically by appending the filename with ‘-hd’. So, if you have a background file named, background.png that works for 320×480 resolutions, all you have to do is create a larger version of the file named, background-hd.png. See here. The second issue of how Cocos2D accommodates for iPhone and Retina display is in positioning. Since version 0.99.5, Cocos2D automatically does this using points instead of pixels. So, in the normal display, the normal display, setting the position to ccp(100, 100) is automatically translated to ccp(200, 200) in the Retina display. The issue remains regarding how to accommodate specifying the images and the correct positioning on the iPad. In my research on how to do this, I came across the following discussions on the Cocos2D forums: All of these discussions were excellent in helping me understand the problem, and presented various solutions, but none of them worked for me. Even when I got the HD images to work, the positioning was all off. So, I decided to come up with my own solution, and I wanted to share it with everyone. My goal was to reuse the HD images that I made for the Retina Display, and center my app in the screen, so that the entire app had a black border.

Code Setup

First I created a header file to maintain my constants, such as file names. This header file was called Constants.h. I also created another header file that contain macros to detect and handle the different device details. I called this file DeviceSettings.h. [sourcecode language=”objc” title=”DeviceSettings.h”] #import <UIKit/UIDevice.h> /* DETERMINE THE DEVICE USED */ #ifdef UI_USER_INTERFACE_IDIOM() #define IS_IPAD() (UI_USER_INTERFACE_IDIOM() == UIUserInterfaceIdiomPad) #else #define IS_IPAD() (NO) #endif /* NORMAL DETAILS */ #define kScreenHeight 480 #define kScreenWidth 320 /* OFFSETS TO ACCOMMODATE IPAD */ #define kXoffsetiPad 64 #define kYoffsetiPad 32 #define SD_PNG @".png" #define HD_PNG @"-hd.png" #define ADJUST_CCP(__p__) \ (IS_IPAD() == YES ? \ ccp( ( __p__.x * 2 ) + kXoffsetiPad, ( __p__.y * 2 ) + kYoffsetiPad ) : \ __p__) #define REVERSE_CCP(__p__) \ (IS_IPAD() == YES ? \ ccp( ( __p__.x – kXoffsetiPad ) / 2, ( __p__.y – kYoffsetiPad ) / 2 ) : \ __p__) #define ADJUST_XY(__x__, __y__) \ (IS_IPAD() == YES ? \ ccp( ( __x__ * 2 ) + kXoffsetiPad, ( __y__ * 2 ) + kYoffsetiPad ) : \ ccp(__x__, __y__)) #define ADJUST_X(__x__) \ (IS_IPAD() == YES ? \ ( __x__ * 2 ) + kXoffsetiPad : \ __x__) #define ADJUST_Y(__y__) \ (IS_IPAD() == YES ? \ ( __y__ * 2 ) + kYoffsetiPad : \ __y__) #define HD_PIXELS(__pixels__) \ (IS_IPAD() == YES ? \ ( __pixels__ * 2 ) : \ __pixels__) #define HD_TEXT(__size__) \ (IS_IPAD() == YES ? \ ( __size__ * 1.5 ) : \ __size__) #define SD_OR_HD(__filename__) \ (IS_IPAD() == YES ? \ [__filename__ stringByReplacingOccurrencesOfString:SD_PNG withString:HD_PNG] : \ __filename__) [/sourcecode] The idea is to have a set of macros that handle the checking for iPad and substitute the correct filename and coordinates (points/pixels) on the screen. Here is the constants file: [sourcecode language=”objc” title=”Constants.h”] /* TEXTURE FILES */ #define kSpriteTexture1 SD_OR_HD(@"GoodGuy.png") #define kSpriteTexture2 SD_OR_HD(@"StageBoss.png") /* FIXED POSITIONS */ #define kSomePosition ADJUST_CCP( ccp(200, 100) ) [/sourcecode]

Textures

So, from looking at the Constant.h file, you can see that we just need to define the texture in the SD_OR_HD() macro, and if it is the iPad, you will have GoodGuy-hd.png. If it is the iPhone/iPod touch, Cocos2d will load GoodGuy.png, and if it is iPhone4 Retina Display or iPad, Cocos2D will load GoodGuy-hd.png. [sourcecode language=”objc” title=”SomeCodeFile.m”] CCSprite *goodGuy = [CCSprite spriteWithTexture:[[CCTextureCache sharedTextureCache] addImage:kSpriteTexture1]]; goodGuy.position = kSomePosition; [self addChild:goodGuy]; CCSprite *stageBoss = [CCSprite spriteWithTexture:[[CCTextureCache sharedTextureCache] addImage:kSpriteTexture2]]; [stageBoss setPosition: ccp(0, ADJUST_Y( kScreenHeight*0.45 ))]; [self addChild:stageBoss]; [/sourcecode] For the positioning on the goodGuy sprite, you will have the following result coming from using:
  • iPhone/iPod touch: ccp (200, 100)
  • iPhone4 Retina Display: ccp(400, 200)
  • iPad: ccp(464, 232)
The way that I compensate for the iPad is to add 64 to the width and 32 to the height. This is because with the iPad, I gain 128 extra pixels in width and 64 extra pixels in height, if in Portrait orientation. So, I adjust everything half of the extra pixels, since Cocos2D takes the origin from the bottom left hand side of the screen.

Labels

Now, in the DeviceSettings.h file, I also have HD_PIXELS and HD_TEXT. I use these to adjust changes to coordinate and to the size of text used in Cocos2D, such as labels and menu items. So, for example, to move a sprite down by 60 pixels on iPhone and (the equivalent) 120 pixels on the iPad and Retina Display, I would type: [sourcecode language=”objc” title=”Example 1=using 2=code 3=in 4=a 5=class”] id action = [CCMoveBy actionWithDuration:1.0f position:ccp(0, HD_PIXELS( -60.0f ))]; [goodGuy runAction:action]; [/sourcecode] As for the font sizes, you can use HD_PIXELS, which is the most accurate method, but I often find the text to seem too big, so I use HD_TEXT instead, which multiplies the font size by 1.5, instead of 2.0, as with HD_PIXELS.

Spritesheets and BMFonts

This concept can also be applied to loading Spritesheets and BMFonts. You can make Spritesheets with Texture Packer, and you can make BMFonts with Glyph Designer. Basically, add the following to the DeviceSettings.h file: [sourcecode language=”objc” title=”DeviceSettings.h”] /* SD/HD Font file */ #define SD_FNT @".fnt" #define HD_FNT @"-hd.fnt" /* SD/HD Spritesheet plist */ #define SD_PLIST @".plist" #define HD_PLIST @"-hd.plist" #define SD_HD_FONT(__filename__) \ (IS_IPAD() == YES ? \ [__filename__ stringByReplacingOccurrencesOfString:SD_FNT withString:HD_FNT] : \ __filename__) #define SD_HD_PLIST(__filename__) \ (IS_IPAD() == YES ? \ [__filename__ stringByReplacingOccurrencesOfString:SD_PLIST withString:HD_PLIST] : \ __filename__) [/sourcecode] Using this code is simple. Here’s the code: [sourcecode] /* BMFont example */ NSString *string1 = NSLocalizedString(@"This works!", @""); CCLabelBMFont *notice1 = [CCLabelBMFont labelWithString:string1 fntFile:SD_HD_FONT(@"myFontFile.fnt")]; notice1.position = ADJUST_XY( kScreenWidth*0.7f , kScreenHeight*0.4f ); /* Spritesheet example */ //1. (Pre)Load spritesheet [[CCSpriteFrameCache sharedSpriteFrameCache] addSpriteFramesWithFile:SD_HD_PLIST(@"mySpritesheet.plist")]; //2. Get the image inside the spritesheet as a CCSprite // Note: mySpriteImage.png is in mySpritesheet.plist and mySpritesheet.png CCSprite *mySprite = [CCSprite spriteWithSpriteFrameName:@"mySpriteImage.png"]; [/sourcecode] This ends the tutorial. I hope my code is self explanatory.