New Website!!

Hi!

I just completed the first build a my new website. Its online now and can be found here.

I have pasted in my first 2 posts from this blog and from now on I’ll be posting the same posts on both sites simultaneously until such a time as I feel that my website is up to scratch. The site is built using HTML and CSS3. I though it best to get the basics right before messing around with JavaScript animations and stuff. It looks best on Safari and Chrome as they both have full support for CSS3.

The two CSS3 features I used were rgba color and border radius. The first (rgba) allows the user to define the transparency value of the color(a) as well as the red, green and blue(rgb) values. This feature works on Safari, Chrome and Firefox but not IE! This left me with a problem! The text was unreadable when viewed on IE. IE doesn’t recognise rgba so the result is no background color at all. A quick a google led to a simple solution! This was done by using normal rgb in the CSS file before the rgba like so:

{
background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.4);}

So now a browser that dose support rgba will first set the rgb color, this will then be superseded by the rgba color. If the browser dose not support rgba it will display the rgb color. This means that the website looks quite different when displayed in Internet Explorer but at least the text is now readable.

The second feature is boarder radius. It allows the user to create curved edges on the boarders around different divs. It is supported by Safari and Chrome but not Firefox or Internet Explorer. As a result the boarder edges appear square in these browsers. A possible solution is to create .png images to be uses as backup backgrounds for the different divs. This is something I might get round to in the future but hopefully I wont have to if Firefox and Microsoft get there act together!!

I hope to use JQuery to add some nice effects in the coming weeks and I also going to look into linking the site up to facebook/google.

Later!

Neal

Leaf Blower

In October 2009 I received a project spec. To build a 2D game for iPod Touch. I was assigned to partners to work on this project with me. 
This would require coming up with a game concept and implementing it using Xcode’s iPhone OS3 SDK. At the time I only had limited experience with C programing and not even the faintest clue as to how Object Orientated Programing worked. With iPhone OS programing done mostly in objective C, I knew we had a lot to do. For the first 3 or 4 months we  played with different ideas and researched our options. Then in February 2010 I received the news that my 2 partners had dropped out. With loads left to do and only a brief outline of what the game was going to be I consulted my project supervisor who suggested to going down the path of producing a web application. Something which the iPhone OS is ideally suited to. He handed me a book called Safari and Webkit Development for iPhone OS 3 which proved to be invaluable.
And so I began. With my partners out of the picture I changed the planned game! The original idea of snakes and ladders was chosen because it seems as though it would be easy to implement. The new game would have to be something that would use JavaScript animation to manipulate images on the screen. These images would be placed in named div tags which could be moved around the screen my mean of JavaScript animation loops. I came up with the simple idea of a game where a leaf blower was used to steer falling leafs on to a pile. The game would then time how long it takes the user to put 10 falling leafs on the pile before advancing to the 2nd level where….wait for it, they are confronted with the daunting challenge of two leafs falling at the same time with a target of 15 leafs to collect. Once this is done the user is presented with there final time for both levels. 
The game serves as a proof of concept. The game can be played at this link and works best on safari for Mac/ Windows or mobile safari on iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch. 
My full and final report can be viewed here (right click and save, .docx format). It includes all the code and graphics used and explains how to do it yourself. There are certain features which I was unable to implement, for different reasons, such a HTML5 offline cacheing. I also had a look at phonegap.com , a website that offers tools to allow developers to port web application to run natively in several different mobile platforms, including android, iPhone OS and blackberry.
Have a look at the game, take a gander at the source code, download the report for more info. Anymore questions feel free to contact me at neal.heneghan@gmail.com
See ya later!!

My first Post

Hello,
I have started this blog as a way of keeping track of my current software and web development projects. Over the coming weeks and months I will be writing about projects I have completed in the past as well as current project and areas of interest to me. I also hope to eventually port this blog to my own .com web address and display it on a website entirely designed and built by myself. I hope to take advantage of HTML5 CSS3, JavaScript as well as PHP to build a very cool interactive interface, explaining how the new features work as I add them. I hope to able to reach out to other like minded people to work on innovative projects in area of web and mobile development. I would welcome any ideas that anyone may have for iPhone / Android applications. I cant wait to get started! I will be writing about software Design and Development project within the next week. The project which was titled: A 2D game for iPod Touch.
Chat to you soon,
Neal