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Subject: I have created a Website for browsing BGG-forums on your mobile device rss

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Filip Stenbeck
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I have created a website aimed at mobile users who want an easy way to browse BoardGameGeek forums from their mobile devices. My site supports iPhone / iPad, Android and Blackberry devices and use of the phenomenal BGG XMLAPI to retrieve data from BGG.

The page is built with the awsome Sencha Thouch javascript/HTML5 library which gives the page a native mobile look and feel.

See below for images of the site is running in an emulator.

Hotgames


Search


Forum browsing


So point your browser in your mobile device to http://mini-geek.appspot.com/

Try it out and tell me what you think.
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Stuart Wright
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Great idea but I can't seen to get the functions to work on my BB Bold 9700 OS6. The curser won't even change to the "Pointing hand" indicating a clickable function
 
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Filip Stenbeck
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I must confess that I have not tested it on Blackberry, since I do not own one and in Sweden they are very rare. Im sorry to hear that it don't work correctly. The framework (Sencha touch) do support Blackberry so it must be something I did wrong then

I have one friend that do own a BB, I will borrow hers and try it out myself, maybe I can track down why it does not work.
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Mika R.
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Good idea! But it seems that it doesn't work in Android (2.2) either.
 
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Randy Snyder
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Works great on the iPad. Good job, really helpful.
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Chris Schenck
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I can confirm iPhone and iPad compatibility.
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Clem Fandango
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Curse you!@!

Now I'll bloody use this!
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Filip Stenbeck
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eikka wrote:
Good idea! But it seems that it doesn't work in Android (2.2) either.

Strange, I have tested it both on android 2.1 and 2.2. what brand of phone do you have? Also make sure you use the default browser not firefox or opera

On PC you could use chrome to test it.
 
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Mika R.
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efilips wrote:
eikka wrote:
Good idea! But it seems that it doesn't work in Android (2.2) either.

Strange, I have tested it both on android 2.1 and 2.2. what brand of phone do you have? Also make sure you use the default browser not firefox or opera

On PC you could use chrome to test it.


Ok, tried another time and it works. Seemed to be some sort of page loading error yesterday... I use Samsung Galaxy S at the moment.

I have a suggestion. Make the pages appear in night mode. This because the AMOLED screens on Samsung devices suck power like eels when black text is viewed on a white background (I know that viewing multimedia on OLED is more power efficient than viewing on LCD, but that's not the case when reading black on white).

The posts could also show the date/time of the posts and add swipe gesture for going back in hierarchy.

Otherwise, very good job so far!
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Filip Stenbeck
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Good suggestions! I have not even consider the power management side of it, I am not use to develope for mobile devices so that side of design is very new to me. I will give this some serious thought.

The date in post is a good idea which I will start on right away, (because it should be an easy fix), the swipe for going back/up) would also certainly be a nice feature.

This is exactly thye kind of feedback i was looking for, thank you man.

... Update: I have added date to forum posts, this update is now live
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Filip Stenbeck
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Some technical stuff for those who are intrested in that kind of stuff.

The frontend of my "app" is written using a HTML5/javascript library called Sencha Touch http://www.sencha.com/products/touch/. All my frontend coding is done in javascript.

Serverside I use java to read XML by calling BGG XMLAPI and my code then translate the partion of XML data that I need to JSON object which I then feed my GUI with.

You can take a look at the code at http://code.google.com/p/filip-stenbeck/source/browse/#svn%2...

I have decided to relese this project as OpenSource under GNU General Public licence GPL v3.

That meant that it is free for all to use as long as it is used in other GPL licenced code. The underlying framework "Sencha Touch" is also released under GPL.

As you can see from the code I have also developed function for displaying your game collection in the "app" but I have for now atleast removed that part of the application because of performance issues with large collections.
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Filip Stenbeck
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eikka wrote:
The posts could also show the date/time of the posts and add swipe gesture for going back in hierarchy.


I have added your suggestion and other I have revieved since yesterday to my TODO list which can be found here
http://code.google.com/p/filip-stenbeck/issues/list?thanks=9...

... Update: I have added date to forum posts, this update is now live
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Wade Nelson
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I've noticed on my phone running Android 2.3 (cyanogenmod) that it doesn't always detect screen size properly, i.e. the bottom bar may show up anywhere on the screen or be too wide. Happens about 30% of the time.

Other than that it works pretty well, I like it
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Filip Stenbeck
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wadenels wrote:
I've noticed on my phone running Android 2.3 (cyanogenmod) that it doesn't always detect screen size properly, i.e. the bottom bar may show up anywhere on the screen or be too wide. Happens about 30% of the time.

Other than that it works pretty well, I like it

yes I have noticed that also on my 2.3 android, I do not know if its my code or the framework itself but I am looking into it. A reload or flicking the phone to "landscape" and then back to "portrait" usually fix the problem for the entire session.

Glad you and other seams to like my little "app", yesterday I had 180 unique visitors, pretty good for the first day


... Update: I may have found the issue, two diffrent lists (hot games and forum)where competing for fullscreen, I changed this and hopefully this fixes the screen size issue.
 
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Filip Stenbeck
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I did a minor update, the following things were added

colonist All thread post now have dates in the header.
colonist Added Published year to the Information page
colonist Added BGG rating to the Information page
colonist Added number of players to the Information page
colonist Added a link to the boardgamegeek page to the Information pag
colonist Added a list of all videos for a game with link to youtube

I also did an update to fix the issues with the detection of screen size, Im not sure it helped though, now the address bar often shows when browsing to the app-page. Flicking the phone to "landscape" and then back to "portrait" usually fixes the problem though.
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Stuart Wright
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efilips wrote:
I must confess that I have not tested it on Blackberry, since I do not own one and in Sweden they are very rare. Im sorry to hear that it don't work correctly. The framework (Sencha touch) do support Blackberry so it must be something I did wrong then

I have one friend that do own a BB, I will borrow hers and try it out myself, maybe I can track down why it does not work.


No worries, I'm sure that you will do your best, While I think Blackberry is a great device (for me) I don't believe it is a great device for entertainment purposes I.E games and apps

Stuart
 
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efilips wrote:
I have created a website aimed at mobile users who want an easy way to browse BoardGameGeek forums from their mobile devices. My site supports iPhone / iPad, Android and Blackberry devices and use of the phenomenal BGG XMLAPI to retrieve data from BGG.


My Windows Mobile doesn't like it, surprise surprise.
 
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ŁṲÎS̈
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efilips wrote:
Some technical stuff for those who are intrested in that kind of stuff.

The frontend of my "app" is written using a HTML5/javascript library called Sencha Touch http://www.sencha.com/products/touch/. All my frontend coding is done in javascript.

Serverside I use java to read XML by calling BGG XMLAPI and my code then translate the partion of XML data that I need to JSON object which I then feed my GUI with.

You can take a look at the code at http://code.google.com/p/filip-stenbeck/source/browse/#svn%2...

I have decided to relese this project as OpenSource under GNU General Public licence GPL v3.

That meant that it is free for all to use as long as it is used in other GPL licenced code. The underlying framework "Sencha Touch" is also released under GPL.

As you can see from the code I have also developed function for displaying your game collection in the "app" but I have for now atleast removed that part of the application because of performance issues with large collections.


good stuff, dude.

Server side java on appengine with a js/html5 front-end. I pretty much took the same approach with my site. I'm a little more partial to dojo then sencha, but they do about the same thing.
Hope you don't mind that I took your Hot Games list idea Good to see a couple of similar projects going. Who knows, maybe you'll see some stuff on mine that you want to re-use as well.
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Filip Stenbeck
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monteslu wrote:
good stuff, dude.

Server side java on appengine with a js/html5 front-end. I pretty much took the same approach with my site. I'm a little more partial to dojo then sencha, but they do about the same thing.
Hope you don't mind that I took your Hot Games list idea Good to see a couple of similar projects going. Who knows, maybe you'll see some stuff on mine that you want to re-use as well.

Thank You, feel free to grab any idea you like and I would love to see what you are doing. Where is your site?

UPDATED: I found your site from the link in profile, Wow your site rocks! I´m glad I did not find it before I started my project then I would never have bothered, your site does everything mine does and much more and btw I love the YouTube clip.

Is dojo any good to work with? It was a long time since I checked it out and have forgotten all about them. From the showcase on there web page it looks real promising. JS/HTML5 is certainly the new cool, I would love if BGGAPI would support JSON, then I could skip my "server side" layer completely cool
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efilips wrote:
monteslu wrote:
good stuff, dude.

Server side java on appengine with a js/html5 front-end. I pretty much took the same approach with my site. I'm a little more partial to dojo then sencha, but they do about the same thing.
Hope you don't mind that I took your Hot Games list idea Good to see a couple of similar projects going. Who knows, maybe you'll see some stuff on mine that you want to re-use as well.

Thank You, feel free to grab any idea you like and I would love to see what you are doing. Where is your site?

UPDATED: I found your site from the link in profile, Wow your site rocks! I´m glad I did not find it before I started my project then I would never have bothered, your site does everything mine does and much more and btw I love the YouTube clip.


Then, I'm glad you didn't see mine first Plenty of room for both mobile sites! Both sites will get better by seeing what the other is working on.


efilips wrote:

Is dojo any good to work with? It was a long time since I checked it out and have forgotten all about them. From the showcase on there web page it looks real promising. JS/HTML5 is certainly the new cool, I would love if BGGAPI would support JSON, then I could skip my "server side" layer completely cool


I really like dojo because things are well structured and it uses namespaces and modules. It takes a little bit longer to learn, but it's definitely worth learning.

My server layer is really just to translate the XML to JSON and be accessible via JSON-P. All of the work of creating the display is happening on the client which is actually hosted on a different domain.

Keep up the good work!

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Filip Stenbeck
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I made a minor update today. In every thread I have added a link to the corresponding thread here on boardgamegeek. So you easily can jump to the real site bgg-if you like.

Also i have added an about page with some licensing information and a link to the source code as well as to my BGG profile page.

Still working on the problem with certain threads getting cut of. I have tracked the problem to my XML parsing that somehow screws up the images tags. Meanwhile you can use the link mentioned above for these threads.
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Very cool little webapp you've got here. It's certainly possible I'm just being thick, but is there no way to browse the "main" BGG forums. Like General Gaming, BGG General, etc.? I'm not seeing it at least.
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vantageGT wrote:
Very cool little webapp you've got here. It's certainly possible I'm just being thick, but is there no way to browse the "main" BGG forums. Like General Gaming, BGG General, etc.? I'm not seeing it at least.


There isn't yet a way to get a list of forums for anything other than a specific game. This sounds like a good enhancement to ask for.

Maybe it should be added to: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/XML_API_Enhancements ?
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Evan Stegman
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This is roughly what it looks like on my phone (Evo 4g, Android 2.3, unrooted):



Note: that is not an actual screen capture but a pasted together pic. I lost that ability with the upgrade to 2.3 but it is pretty close to how it looks.

The forum names are tiny and if you zoom in so they are readable, you have to scroll, scroll, scroll, to the right to get to the button to go the forum and hopefully you didn't lose track of which line it is.

A simple fix would be to move the button to the left of the name. Or eliminate the button altogether and make so you can click anywhere in the game's line and it takes you to the forum.
 
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Filip Stenbeck
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Thanks for posting, I have no idea why you get that crazy behavior. I myself run android 2.3(.4) on galaxy S and it work fine.

What happens when you flick the phone to horizontal/landscape, does landscape also look strange?
 
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