Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hello IT... Yes, the programmer messed up.

I've been meaning to post this for a week now (wow, time flies when work kicks your ass).  The problem looks to have been due to a change in the launch app when undocked feature that was added for the scrolling dock extension.  It basically boiled down to not encasing things correctly in curly braces {}.  I didn't catch it because I didn't test the app outside the dock (yes, I know bad programmer!).  The app launched and it checked the state of the device to see if it was in the dock.  When the answer was no I check to see if if was launched from the dock.  When the answer to that is no, it shouldn't do anything, but the missing curly braces caused it to exit.  When you do VB .NET for a living, those little things will get you when you're not used to it.

Now for a bit of good news, I finished (what I think) is the last new feature for the scrolling dock.  I'm happy to introduce: Tablet Mode.

Screen shot provided by the super awesome Aussie commenter Omniwolf.  I will be happy to purchase him a beer (or any other beverage of his choice) if I ever travel there!

The Tablet Mode will extend the dock the entire width of the screen and provide a smooth continuous (instead of five icons at a time) listing of your applications.  Tablet mode will only display the applications and actions that you have configured (ie you will not see a blank plus icon).  So, if you only have seven buttons configured, you will only see those seven buttons repeated.  Currently, there is no long press menu when you are in Tablet Mode, as I'm not sure it would work well in this case.  If you are using a theme, you may want to go back and re-download the theme to pick up the tablet dock background image (if applicable to the theme).

The last note about all of this, when I released the hot fix for the app closing issue, I had all of the Tablet Mode code in place but hidden from activation.  I started to get a bunch of error logs in due to some of the Tablet Mode changes, but by the time I realized that the code had changed to the point where I couldn't exactly pin point the issue.  I think that I have them fixed or trapped, but I'm not 100% sure, so if you have problems with the app force closing or if tablet mode just doesn't turn on for you, please let me know.  If I get an error log via the market with the latest version I'll be able to track it down and get it fixed.

What's next?  I'm going to go into maintenance mode for a little while.  I have a couple of minor bug reports that I need to look into.  The Theme Downloader sucks and needs to be looked at.  After that, I'm going to work on the advanced weather add-on.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hello IT...

While I do prefer that user's email me with issues, I do keep an eye on the comments for bugs and feature requests.  About two weeks ago this was posted:
Not working getting error "Update Location…"
I really didn't think too much about it as there wasn't much to think about (due to the lack of information) other than the XML string issue.  Although later that week I got another similar comment:
No longer works "Updating location" then won't open :( ... Droid Bionic
This started to raise some red flags.  I even got an email from a user who had helped with with issues previously asking about known issues.  I checked the error logs and  there was nothing... I couldn't think of what I would have changed that would cause any kind of problem like this.  Then on Saturday I understood exactly what both of these users were talking about.  I plugged my phone it to the wall outlet and turned on Desk Clock Plus manually.  After touching the icon, nothing happened and then I got the toast message "Updating location..." and then Forced Closed.  I tried it again and still nothing... I pulled a magnet off the fridge and found the magnetic dock switch (which worked).  I tried to think of what was wrong and what I could do and I thought rolling back to version 18.  After some WTF moments, I drew on my years of IT support and all of my learning from my advanced technical degrees.  I turned the phone off and on again...

Yes, that did resolve the problem.  What burns me though, is that it did fix it.  I was under the impression that things like this shouldn't happen in the *NIX environment (Android is based on the Linux kernel and keep in mind I'm not a Linux/UNIX guy).  The only thing I can think of is that the SD card was in some odd state or something as I know that other users have had issues with the themes not working.