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Thoughts on Conxsys, Notes/Domino, LotusScript, & Technology

Word Connectors iOS 8 Incompatibility

September 18th, 2014 by Corey Davis

Due to changes in iOS 8, Word Connectors v1.0.2 and below do not work properly on the new operating system.  We are currently working on a new version of Word Connectors written entirely in Apple’s new Swift programming language. As soon as we can, we will get a working version of Word Connectors back online. For now, Word Connectors has been removed from the Apple App Store. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Posted in Apple, Conxsys, Games, 2,476 views, 0 Comments
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April 25th, 2014 by Corey Davis

Until I released Word Connectors I didn’t fully understand just how important rating apps is to indie developers. Once your app is released you have a small window of time in the New Releases section which sometimes gets you on the main App Store page and usually gets you on the main page of a specific section (for Word Connectors it was Word Games in the iOS App Store and for Google Play it was both the Word and the Puzzle categories). This visibility is important because it is how many people find new apps. I know I peruse the different app store sections weekly looking for new apps and games. An app will stay in these sections after release for as long as it takes for enough new apps in that given category to simply knock it off the list. No favorites are being played here, it is just a matter of first in first out. Word Connectors  stuck around for about three weeks while Word Connectors Free lasted only two weeks. After that you are relegated to the masses. Dropped into the big pile o’ apps. You have no visibility. It is now up to the developer to tweet or Facebook or buy ads or find some other way to market their app. There are only two ways back into this haven of visibility: downloads and ratings. Downloads are great, but they are not enough.

As with most things these days, you need interaction in order to rise to the top, and that is where ratings come in. All of that marketing effort put in by the developer could result in hundreds or thousands of downloads, but it won’t mean much without the ratings. This is why most games have that annoying “rate us” pop up. It is essential to the livelihood of indie app developers. Let me say that again: it is essential. Regardless to the media hype, the App Store is not a money machine for indie developers. Most just do it for fun, a few stay afloat, and the minority hit it big. For those that do it for fun or just stay afloat, your review will mean a world of difference. So what to do about it?

I only just heard about this today, but in January developer Luc Vandal of Edovia tweeted about a new initiate called #RateFriday. He blogs more about it here, but essentially every Friday you pick one or more of your favorite apps, give them a rating in the app store and then tweet about it. I can attest that this is just as important as buying them. So, you know where I am going with this. If you enjoyed Word Connectors or Word Connectors Free and you have not yet rated it, please make it your first #RateFriday pick by rating now in the App Store and then tweeting about it. If you have not yet tried it, check it out and then rate and tweet about your current favorite app or game. And then do it again next Friday. And the next. And the next.

Posted in Android, Apple, Conxsys, Games, General, Titanium, 5,745 views, 6 Comments
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Word Connectors: 1,000 Downloads Milestone

January 27th, 2014 by Corey Davis

appicon-72I am amazed to report that Word Connectors broke the 1,000 downloads milestone in less than a week! This has been a very interesting week watching the downloads and reviews come in. Thank you to all of our new customers and everyone who has downloaded, reviewed, and paid for Word Connectors.

Posted in Android, Apple, Conxsys, Games, Kindle Fire, 6,397 views, 2 Comments
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Word Connectors

January 21st, 2014 by Corey Davis

appicon-72It has been a long time goal of mine to enter the gaming market. I’m thrilled to say that, after entering an agreement with game designer Ann Stone last year, today we are releasing Word Connectors and Word Connectors Free! This fun, word association game is great for both quick bursts of play or for longer marathon sessions. Word Connectors was made for people who like word games such as crossword puzzles or any of the popular tile-based word games. You start with four words. Three are connected. The goal is to figure out which word does not belong. It may sound easy, but it isn’t.

With Word Connectors you are free to play at your own pace. There are no timers, no annoying jiggling icons, and best of all you will never need to pay for hints or clues to move forward! It is a challenging game, but never frustrating.

Word Connectors is available today for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android devices and Kindle Fire. It is on sale today for the introductory price of $0.99! The sale will be in effect until February 21, 2014 after which the price will go up to $1.99. This gets you 500 challenging puzzles and no annoying ads. Not ready to buy? Word Connectors Free offers 100 puzzles free of charge. Both are available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore for Android, and the Kindle Fire. Find out more and get yours today!

Posted in Android, Apple, Games, Kindle Fire, 22,204 views, 48 Comments
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New Direction

January 21st, 2014 by Corey Davis

Today something very different is coming from Conxsys. As a long time IBM Business Partner, Domino consultant, and maker of tools for Domino administrators, today starts a very new and very different chapter for this company. We are not leaving Notes and Domino behind. We are not leaving our enterprise customers behind. What we are doing is diversifying our portfolio into a broader market. We hope to bring new customers to Conxsys who have never heard of us before, and we hope that our long time Notes and Domino customers come along for the ride as well.

UPDATE: More info on the new direction has been posted.

Posted in Conxsys, 6,447 views, 1 Comment
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Seeing White Square Instead of Sprite with Platino on iOS

December 28th, 2013 by Corey Davis

Recently I have been doing a lot of coding in Titanium working on mobile games for iOS and Android. I have teamed up with a woman who has been creating games for years and our first game, a simple but challenging word game, will be out in about the next month. I have been looking into creating 2D games (side-scroller games, tile-matching games, etc.) with Titanium and have recently been testing out Lanica’s Platino game engine. My first “hello world” was just some simple code to make sure I understood how to display a sprite. I instantiated the sprite like this:

var sprite = platino.createSpriteSheet({
image: '/images/SpriteSheet.xml',
selectFrame: 'TestSprite',
x: width / 2,
y: height / 2,
z: 1

All I ended up with was a white square the size of the sprite. When searching I found some other people having this problem, but none of the solutions applied. After some trial and error, I found that the problem was the way I was referencing the sprite sheet. Instead of

image: '/images/SpriteSheet.xml'

it should have been

image: 'images/SpriteSheet.xml'

Note the missing forward slash before the images directory. I began putting the forward slash when referencing any resource in Titanium when I starting working on Android apps. When developing for Android the forward slash is required otherwise your resources will not be found. For the last couple of months it has just become my practice to use the forward slash for both iOS and Android in order to promote code reusability. Apparently Platino is strict and the slash is a no-go (at least on iOS; I have not tested on Android yet).

Posted in JavaScript, Platino, Titanium, 48,573 views, 42 Comments
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IBM Notes 9 Wallpaper

November 20th, 2013 by Corey Davis

With a new look and feel for the Notes 9 Social Edition client it seemed only right that it was time to update the Notes wallpaper that I created back in 2009. This time around I have included the basic desktop resolutions (both 4:3 and 16:9), iPhone (standard and Retina), iPad (standard and Retina), and several sizes for Android. If your favorite resolution is missing just let me know in the comments. You can get the wallpaper at conxsys.com/wallpaper.




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Posted in Domino, 15,215 views, 3 Comments
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Thanks Bruce

October 2nd, 2013 by Corey Davis

Today is Bruce Elgort’s last day as board chairman of OpenNTF, Inc. and I wanted to take a moment to thank him for all he has done for the Lotus community. For years he has been one of the best speakers at Lotusphere, his blog is always worth reading, and of course he was a co-founder of OpenNTF.org. I have never told Bruce this, but he is the reasons that I decided to become more vocal in the community. I don’t recall at which Lotusphere I met him, but he energized me to give back to a community that had selflessly given me so much. His infectious personality provoked me to step out from the shadows of community consumer and become a creator. This is why I co-authored a couple of Redbooks, why I started blogging, why I contributed code, and why I joined the steering committee and eventually board of directors of OpenNTF, Inc.

Under Bruce’s leadership these past few years, OpenNTF has become a fully incorporated non-profit entity. OpenNTF now receives code contributions by IBM. OpenNTF has successfully run several contests, the most spectacular of which has been this year’s Appathon with an amazing $10,000 in prize money! OpenNTF has started other sites as well including XSnippets, XPages.info, and Collaboration Today. Needless to say, Bruce has been a major driving force and his presence will be missed on the board. But, Bruce has moved on to greater goal which is to educate our future programmers at Clark College and therefore I cannot blame him.

Thanks, Bruce, for everything!

Posted in Domino, 4,764 views, 0 Comments
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Book Review: Instant IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.3 How-to

April 26th, 2013 by Corey Davis

Instant IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.3 How-to is the latest Lotus Notes title out of Packt Publishing. If you are new to the How-to series, they are the Packt equivalent to the O’Reilly pocket guides. Hmmm, didn’t someone say that they should do this awhile ago?

This short to-the-point book will likely be a welcome sight to end-users who tend to have little to no interest in the massive tomes that are usually published. Each chapter follows an easy to understand format of problem or topic, followed by “Getting ready”, “How to do it”, “How it works”, and finally “There’s more”. When used properly, this formula can make it easy for the reader to find quick answers to specific topics or problems. Sadly, these sections really are not used to their full extent in many chapters. For instance, the chapter Mastering Calendar and To-Dos uses calendar federation as its “How to do it” with the real calendar mastering tips in the “There’s more” section. Maybe it’s me, but it just doesn’t read smooth.

Now, that said, it doesn’t mean that this book is bad. In fact, there are many very useful tips. I would go so far as to say that I would be quite happy if every one of my customer’s end-users had this book on their desk. You just need to look past this books quirks and you’ll find some wonderful nuggets of information.

Disclaimer: Packt Publishing provided a free review copy of the book for the purpose of this review.

The book is available now from Packt Publishing and Amazon.

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Posted in Domino, 20,453 views, 3 Comments
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Flow v1.1 Released on OpenNTF

December 10th, 2012 by Corey Davis

It has been 4 years since I released the first beta version of Flow on OpenNTF.org, and almost 2 years since the last update. I must apologize to the users who suggested modifications to Flow and have been waiting for me to get them into the code. This is a minor release, but it does have some nice new features thanks to those patient users.

Critical Error Logging
Error logging has to be part of any logging tool, and Flow was no exception. However, now you can trap for critical errors and in one line of code log the error to the log document and send an e-mail about the error to whomever needs to know about it. This will alleviate the tedious task of looking through your logs for those critical errors because you will be notified by e-mail as in the example below:

Log Summary
While logging is a great way to see the step-by-step process that your agents take to ensure healthy activity, there are times where you only want to see a quick summary such as a successful completion message or number of documents processed as in the example below:

Task Timers
Two different timer functions were added so that you can easily time and log how long different events in your code take to process. These convenience functions can be exceptionally useful during performance tuning.

No More Formula Errors in the Log View!
Yes, finally, the ugly date/time formula errors in the log are a things of the past! As soon as the log document is created, the start date is recorded and the summary flag set so that we no longer get those ugly errors:

That pretty much wraps up the changes to v1.1. Instructions for how to use these new features can be found in the Flow API Guide. Flow, the advanced LotusScript logging engine, can be downloaded from OpenNTF.org. Flow is free and open-source, so feel free to modify it in any manner that suits your needs. If you do make an interesting modification, please let me know and I may incorporate it into the next version.

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Posted in Domino, 4,186 views, 0 Comments
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The Conxsys Blog by Corey Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License unless otherwise specified. Based on a work at conxsys.com/blog. All code on this blog is licensed under the CC-GNU GPL version 2.0 or later unless otherwise specified.

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