it would be cool if frihost has also blackberry apps, android, tablets and other smart phone devices so that we can access antwhwere we go.
it would be cool if frihost has also blackberry apps, android, tablets and other smart phone devices so that we can access antwhwere we go.
I welcome this idea.
I think it is already asked here.
Right. I'm sure if you Googled you'll find quite a few in the Sub-Forum. Bondings is aware of them, it's probably just a case of it not having made itself to the top of the list of priorities yet. Bondings seem to be the only active Admin around and I'd imagine that is keeping him more than busy.
Yes it has been mentioned before.
Though as Bondings has said before, nothing wrong with suggesting the same thing twice, it always brings new ideas and can change minds based on how many people are interested in the idea.
Programming a smartphone app is a bit different from web programming I believe. So whether or not Bondings is capable of it I'm unsure of.
It would be very nice though to one day see a Frihost app.
It can be accessed now via mobile, no?
Needless to any plugin.
Yes, but loading the entire forum pages on a cell phone is a bit much. The box where you type your message in also seems a bit buggy at times, but not always.
An app would make navigation around the site so much easier, as well as reading and posting.
Oh.. I see.. Thanks for those information.
As Dean said this suggestion has been suggested already. With this idea back fresh into my mind...it doesn't seem too difficult to make an app for it. It just is a lot of text and reading. The way I would do it is load the page grab the source and go through and read it's contents and separate it sort of taking the source and reading it like an XML file. If anyone wants I can start working on this...But it would only be for the Windows Phone since that is what I own....cherish...love...and admire.
Wouldn't it be easier to just make a mobile-friendly version of the forum, rather than an app for every different type of phone?
The problem with application is that not universal. Blackberry , iphone , windows mobile and android have differents apps. Hard to do it if you are administrator.
Here's what I can offer: A frihost launcher app for Android. This app would simply open frihost in a webview window, so you don't have to open a browser and type frihost.com or hit a favorites button. This app would land you on the frihost.com home page and you can browse into the forums from there.
This is all I have to offer at this time, as legitimate app creation is a lengthy process. If anyone is interested in a frihost launcher app that makes it so you can put frihost on your home screen, then this is something that I am willing to work on.
If you want to see this style app in action first, then check out the xMPACT! AstroTwister app on the Android market. This shows how this simple app idea works.
This might bring new users and it might not. New android apps don't get picked up for free advertising unless they are really trendy. My first app doesn't have that many downloads because I have yet to advertise it at all. Frihost app does not really mean that we'd get more users because of it, but it's possible if we all chipped in to make an app successful.
Just an idea... I can create this app for anyone who wants it, put it on the market, or upload to a location on frihost. I won't work it out unless there is demand for it, and remember it's a simple launcher app... nothing special. It will only take me a couple hours to put the whole thing together though... the biggest problem for me on this is managing some kind of frihost logo for the app since android has some specific requirements for icons and such, so I might have to make a frihost icon from the available images on the site if nothing can be made available to me for this little task.
Also, bear in mind that I will not release the app if such a request is made of me from frihost management.
Can you post some screenshot? What android version is applicable? This will have notification once your post comment.
Screen shots are impossible because they look just like the frihost.com home page. This is a launcher app: for example you can go to AstroTwister.com in a browser, but you can also download the app from the Android market. When you launch the app it opens a webview (browser without buttons) on astrotwister.com and allows you to browse the site. Basically it's a real android application, but it uses a webview and the phones internet connection to load the content. This imits development to the website, and cuts out 3 years of programming frihost to work as a client side java application, and that doesn't even begin to address the fact that there would have to be dedicated web servers to push info out to all the frihost java applications that would be pinging the server to death. This is definitely outside the current scope of frihost.
It will be available for Android 4 (ice cream sandwich) down to android 2.1 (Froyo) once I have built the app -- if you guys show more than passing interest.
Forgive my unfamiliarity with smart phones...
But on a computer, you could just make a shortcut on the desktop and put the website's URL as the target for the shortcut. No need for an 'app'.
Can't smart phones do this?
Yes they can.
@IceCreamTruck: Well maybe we can devise a plan? Me on Windows Phones...You on Android. I can come up with the works and design and I will send the source to you and then you can just port it for Android. This is something that I would be willing to do and it wouldn't just be a web windows view, but nice and friendly view.
I uploaded a few pictures if anyone wants to check them out. Obviously they are simple, probably add like more of a graphical design, but it's something.
Here is the link for those caring to see it: https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?cid=58f1aa6e1b2844da&resid=58F1AA6E1B2844DA!214&parid=root
(Make sure to copy the whole link Frihost is not linking me so I can't get the whole thing so you can click. Sorry about that.)
Yes, you can create a shortcut link which will open the browser to a specific page, but that's the browser. I'm talking about using a devoted window to frihost. One plus is no viewing area is devoted to browsing buttons or title bars, or status bars, or anything... just straight frihost.
The app is really a marketing tool, but adds the simple functionality of not having to figure out how to add a text link to the android home screen. For some people this is a functional easy solution. Just download and go, and it's easier to place an app icon.
This plan, however, limits my work down to the hardest part being creating an icon. I have already created the rest of the app for another project. I can just change a couple names and it's good to go!
Offer because it's simple, and I can get it done asap. I'm not offering to create a full blown android app for frihost as that is a lot of development, wouldn't serve much over the existing functionality, would introduce a world of new bugs and problems and back doors for hackers.
Asap170, I'm seeing some frihost linkage that is cool in your app designs, but I fail to see how this provides a new level of functionality. I'm not trying to discourage you if you have already thought all this out, but even taking it from what you have to a live functional app would take forever, and even then it wouldn't have as good of functionality then if people just browse into the site.
I will happily work on porting an app, which is basically like designing from new unless you are already programming in Java. I might be able to work out a Java port relatively quickly, but it would only be as good as you designed it, so I have some initial concerns.
The most important thing is getting the app to correctly read which forums have posts since the user last went to the forums, and to update the icons for each such as you see in frihost phpbb today. If we can't get that functionality into an app quickly, then it's simply not worth our time, and we're coding ourselves into a hole. People will not use what we make, and that's the truth.
There is something to say about programming an app to access phpbb forums, as this could be distributed to other websites using phpbb, but likely they are on a completely different version of phpbb. Frihost long ago stopped updating to the latest version of phpbb as this was creating too much work for the moderators and admin. If we build for phpbb then we miss frihost, and if we build for frihost then we miss phpbb. Bad place to be, as it would be preferable to hit frihost and phpbb with an app at the same time.
The existing web servers are not set up respond to rail queries in the forums. Login in to the website from an app becomes a problem without some kind of rails (web services machine hooked to frihost database) to serve out to the application requests. It's also not possible to quickly, and effectively, serve out all the thread topics and such needed to populate the application. We'd have to steal, and convert, the existing phpbb queries to get the info, and we'd have huge problems any time phpbb handled data in php instead of mysql, which it probably does a lot. Typically database queries are fairly simple, and complex operations happen on the data once it's been delivered to the php script before viewing in the browser.
What you've shown me is the tip of the iceberg in the design phase. We need about a year to complete the development phase, and only then could we start prepping the web servers to handle the large amount of queries that are already going on.
I just don't think we have the available man power to complete a legitimate frihost app in any realistic kind of time frame. What if they drastically change the architecture of how apps work. We'd need to complete the app quickly just to prepare for the coming changes to the app platforms. Yahoo widgets is already gone, and back in the day konfabulator started all this app madness, before Yahoo made it into yahoo widgets. I have no faith that apps will be the same in two years, so any project I work on must have a working chance of being completed within that time.
@IceCreamTruck: First off I would like to say I was planning on going to bed after I checked out the Suggestion forums since I saw I new post. Then I saw yours and was like yea not going to bed soon.
The reason why I would do it the way I showed is for the user to be able to navigate the forms without zooming in and out because it becomes a drag if you have to keep zooming in and out to read something on a page. Also, this way of doing it may allow faster page loads. (maybe...not exactly sure considering it would still parse all of the data, but only pull certain things)
Anywho I am pretty sure I can just read the source. Since it is a forum all major elements are easy to grab since it is practically a framework. Each post body is in it's own class. Thus from that information I can just read the source and have it stop when it finds a certain tag then grab the information from inside the tag and throw it into a variable. It's some what a simple process to do. I never added the bottom bar for the those pictures with other stuff. I could add like login and profile stuff. I might be able to do the login. I am not quite sure.
I can also do images and that and make it like a row and a row. For example one row is like lighter blue and it has the image and then the subject. The next row would be a lighter lighter blue that has the image and then the subject. Obviously the image would be pointless because the user has to be logged in in order to know if there is new posts in a category for her/him.
In reality I am taking the webpage and making it to my liking after grabbing it from the web so there is not a need get MySQL Database access. And who knows...Bondings might be able to offer some insight on getting the Mobile Apps some special access that could make our lives easier.
Now for the language that I would use for Windows Phone is some form of C... Either or C# and C++ doesn't vary that much and Java is somewhat the same thing. I don't think porting it would be hard, but the only issue is I program apps to give the look and feel of the Windows Phone's Style. So you might want to change it to go nicer with Android devices.
I believe that is everything that I needed to say. So what do you think about all of this ICT?
(As I was typing this my toe/foot cramped up. I not sure why, but I like adding random comments to the end of a post. Keeps things interesting. And when I start typing I normally can't stop typing.)
This a great suggestion. It fits my needs because I usually participate in frihost using my android phone. It would be really nice if I can load frihost's individual pages by using a smartphone. You can also check tapatalk. It is a very good forum. If this doesn't proceed, frihost's inclusion in tapatalk forum will make it easier to browse here.
Yes, asap, you have suggested a solid way around the need for web services, which is good, but we'd need to have someone insert some good start and stop tags for us, if possible. Here's what I want to avoid: if the code changes slightly it might break our program, this has to be avoided at all cost. I don't want my work to become useless that easily. If we are going to use it this way, then I highly recommend picking solid anchors that won't change in order to do page scraping (slang term), or to get some solid anchors inserted for our purposes. I'm sure Bondings would be fine in helping us with something little like that -- putting say "<!--Begin Script Control Area--> ... <!--End Script Control Area-->" actually into the php code where suitable anchors for start and stop cannot be located, or the text changes.
We should collaborate on phone ideas, however. I already have some app ideas! I eventually want to push them out to windows phone.
Psh like phpBB is ever going to be updated on here. Adding in comments might actually work if Bondings is willing to do them for us. Not sure on what kind of schedule he has. Well it wouldn't give any advancement to the forum because the application can only do as much as the forum will allow for.
This will be a great learning experience for both of us. I don't think it would be that difficult to port it because all programming languages are built upon the same framework and usually are close in code. I am swamped too with a phone app, MapEditor, websites, Keylogger.
I guess I could make a Desktop Gadget I see no clue in why one would want it. Maybe we can do the Desktop Gadget to learn since we both are more familiar with the coding of gadgets and then from there we can expand. I was just thinking for the Desktop Gadget if it be at all possible to get the user and if he/she makes a post in a topic and someone else responses in the same topic to show the message or like "Someone posted in: topicName" click to expand or something like that... We could do a Desktop Gadget though to get started.
Also, if you want give me a PM about these phone ideas and/or hit me up on MSN or Skype (check my profile to grab my info. I am quite interested in these ideas.
Sorry, Bro, it's date night with a friend! How's tomorrow or sometime soon strike you? We will need to speed up our communications via skype if we are going to collaborate.
No good. It's Easter tomorrow man! But add me on Skype and then we go from there when we both are online at the same time. I am off from school on Monday, but I have to work so yea.
No rush, Asap, we'll work it out. It's kind of exciting to think that we might get some real work done. Hey, what if we start a topic on it, and invite others to join the meetings, and contribute if possible?
I am a fan of small groups like 2 - 4 peeps. Not more. We can also get ideas from people and if good enough create them.....
I am quite excited.
Really excited... do you realize that I live in Lexington, KY right now? Where in Ohio are you? We might even be able to get together for some fun, or software promotions if we get anything good together.
So you guys are first planning to create like a desktop application? Just curious what kind of access to frihost you would need, if any?
Something like that would be cool. I have this idea in my mind, kinda like tweetdeck I think it's called. Am I on the same page here?
If you need any graphic work let me know.
A good place to get other contributors is the frihost IRC channel. I think everyone in there has experience in design and/or development.
I'm posting this from my iPhone now. One thing I can say, is I really wish the reply page was more mobile friendly. That and even readig posts could be way more mobile friendly.
I am super duper excited now ICT. Yes I know u live in Kentucky. I am at the Northern part of Ohio about 20minutes from Cleveland. Dude this is going to be awesome. I am dying to talk to you on Skype to start working out some details!!!!
@Ghost: I will keep you in mind and ICT probably will keep you in mind because a good graphic artist is always a good thing to have especially in this area.
So is any of this actually happening?
I'm still a bit unsure of what the actual plans here were.
Not sure what I can officially say here but ICT and I will have a another meeting to work what is going to happen. We plan on having an app for it and a desktop gadget, but there are a lot of details to be worked out and those can't get worked out until ICT and myself find a day and time were we are both free and avaible to talk.
Yeah, we will listen to any suggestions listed here, however, and attempt to add them or at least will come back and say why we didn't.
has the development of this app started..?
Officially we haven't talked much cause of our hectict schedules, but I have started working on the main part of how to make it work. So I guess it could possibly in progress but it really isn't yet.
That's a good idea~
Frihost is using phpBB as its forum system, isn't it? It seems there's some templates for phpBB which is mobile compatible. I don't think that would be a hard work to do.
I am not sure about that because it may just be a theme, but how do you access it without changing your preferences. If you do that then when you go on a normal computer it will be smaller and yucky.
Just changing the stylesheets would help a lot actually.
You could use media queries to choose the right stylesheet for the right device:
Or just in the CSS code itself:
It still requires that we have access to the frihost forum server to change files, and bondings has no extended that ability to this effort. I'm not suggesting he should, but that we have to work without file level access on the forum server.
People have addressed a few issues in viewing frihost on phones and other devices, and I'd like to make it easier, but I'm having problems with the project as well. I need to get a new router here in a minute because my existing router has been crashing when I hook up any android devices to the wifi. This is really frustrating because replacing the router was not in the budget yet.
Currently I've got a big week, so I plan to meet with ASAP170 today or tomorrow and discuss how to move this forward, but I'm not sure how much I will get done this week as I'm working on getting a new job. Things should be better by next weekend though, and I can continue working on an android solution. ASAP170 is working on a windows phone solution for you guys.
Anyone out there doing Apple apps? It would be cool if a Mac guy joined these discussions.
+1 about get acces tru TAPATALK there is version for IOS, Android, BlackBerry and Chrome
it is sound good.
I've decided to revive both this forum thread and this idea after receiving the warm reception from Bondings regarding my account hosted on server 1. I felt pretty touched by Bondings's free yet forgiving web service and support thus i wish that i contribute to this community through my expertise.
Like previous posts, making a launcher app is pretty simple for me. I just took a few hours this afternoon and did up a prototype for Android. Anyone interested can pm me for the apk download.
3 main issues:
1. I do not have access to backend content thus launcher app is all i can have now. I would not mind working with Bondings to get more done.
2. I am more familiar with Android thus currently only an Android prototype. I do know other ways to deploy on different platforms but that will take time to experiment.
3. It is a prototype so i welcome all feedback and help rendered.
I'm still here......uhm the only issue I am having is my code doesn't want to store the string for some reason like my code works when I tell it to stop at certain word.....i haven't been too active lately or in programming.....I'll see what I can do
What features does you app has? My prototype merely load up the frihost website within the app and added zoom, pinch zoom basic features. i've also added server status button, displaying server status like in my sig. Pretty primitive.. By the way what string are you referring to?
No offense or anything, but that is quite lame...So all your doing is loading the Frihost page in a frame...And the features that you have can be found on any phone browser...
See I am pulling all the data from Frihost (code)...Taking that extracting parts of it and making it so it doesn't look like it does on a browser. It's going to be organized a more sleak for a phone. I gotta take a look at it. Try to figure out what's happening... The server status is a good idea I can add that on the app.
UPDATE: I fixed my bug and I will continue to work on it toady.
Haha... I do admit it's really low level what I have here. But I didn't want to crawl the pages of frihost for the data. It is an initial prototype for the app that i intended to iterate and extend. I though it would be more productive on the development if we can have access to the forum's database to retrieve directly.
You seem to have a better version than me. If you don't mind, I could help you to work on the one you have.
I am working on a Windows Phone version.... Currently I am doing the server status page. I will have the server status page finished today. The coding is going smoothly at the moment.
You mean your app will not be available on Android devices? What about IceCreamTruck, is he / she still working on this thing? I presume you are using a database to store the data extracted from the forums; what is your current plan on maintaining the data? Cron jobs?
Haven't heard from ICT and my app does not use databases. It extracts everything on the device in reLity it isn't much data at all. Uhm I am trying to make it run as smooth as possible with no real lag of the device cause of all the processing. I thought about a database but not too sure how to make that real time updating
Idea: if I have a database then when a device wants a refresh then it runs to my web server which extracts and organizes the data....then have it time stamped so if another device wants update then if the db is only 2 minutes old it will refresh the database and it will query everything.....
i guess we need to follow up this topic again..
I am working on the server status page since it easier and I can figure things out....i will get some screenshots if it works
"ReLity" is new to me. Were you referring to realtime or is that a programming language / software I have not heard of? Your idea about retrieving upon request is feasible, in fact, that is what some programs / apps do to reduce battery consumption and processing time.
I really hope we could get the attention and support from Bondings on this, but I guess you have more initiative then I do. I'll get more done when I can find the time this week on the Android version.
"ReLity" was a typo and my phone auto corrected it was supposed to be "real time"... Here are some screenshots of the server status page so far.
I still need to write the code for if something is offline. It is just time consuming, Like its easy, but just basically busy work. Also, I probably will add in some graphics and make it a little more warm and fuzzy, but at the moment that is for another day.
Looks pretty decent to me. Great job you have there. Looks like i've got to buck up on my development, haha..
I forgot to mention I will be adding a refresh button. Is anyone interested in reading through 1000+ lines of code to make the mobile forum part? Cause it will not be fun. my head is gonna go crazy. It went crazy to figure out what line in on and what I need to do lol
... I still don't get it... why is it necessary to completely reinvent the mobile browser, just to view and participate on one website?
... For comparison, my forum has a mobile version, and it's comprised of just a modified forum style; no need for apps or coding or anything; it just presents a version of the website that fits well in existing mobile browsers.
(go to www.bronyville.org, use the 'change theme to' box at the bottom to 'bronyville lite' to see what I'm talking about.)
It just really seems like people are reinventing the wheel here.
Meh I wasn't never fond of wheels.
App update: computer crashed I was able to recover the files so not sure yet
Okay ya'll I know a kid at my school who is a computer guy like myself and can program and such, but you do not really need to know the details. What you do need to know is this:
He has agreed to help me to finish this project!!!!!
After some testing I found that it is a pain for phones to go through hundreds of lines of code just to get a few things so instead of that I am changing my plan and doing things in a database and reading from there and using my own server to update it whenever a user asks for a refresh.
This being said we are no where close into finishing. I just finished setting up my server and stuff. If you guys have any questions or opinions or anyone that wants to help out with maybe graphics or porting it for Apple products....(I am developing for Windows Phone and ICT if he is still in this will be developing for Android devices)
I'm here to help. Working on the Windows Phone app with asap170. If need be, I am excellent at iOS programming.
guys. thanks for sharing. ^_^