Friday, February 12, 2016

LiveForIt Music and UTF8.library

I have not really written a lot on blog lately, mostly just doing my own thing.

Anyway, I have finally found a program worth doing on AmigaOS, well actually there many programs, worth doing, it's just finishing the programs, and having the tools you need to write programs, is not always easy.

One of this tools is UTF8, is widely used text format that unlike ASCII preserves chares in a format can be shared on the internet, instead of chars, UTF8 uses glyphs or same numbering as used by your fonts, so you don't need to lookup glyphs from a code page table.

It's compact, and is compatible with ASCII 7bit, or US chars, 8bit is used for encoding, this allows 2 or 3 or more bytes, if required to store glyph numbers, it's sort of a compression, but as developer you don't need to think about that as long as you stick to UTF8 functions.

Besides being able to convert between ASCII and UTF8, you need a way to display the text format. This been totally lacking, in AmigaOS, and continues to be issue, today. But I don't need to wait for Hyperion and there slow progress, some things I can do myself.

But every attempt I have tried as failed until now, I blame bad documentation, and lack of simple examples. Every time I have asked for help, I have been pointed in direction of big hunk of code called NetSurf, that by the way hides just the part I need to know. In different file then one I was pointed two and it also hides, font engine part in macro, so what I was looking for was not really a different variable, but outline fount struct. That I had all along, coding can be frustrating some times, but so pleasing when find out way did not work.

Once I found a BlitzBasic2 example that tried translating, it was just a waste of time.

The other document I have looked at, was the page on the Amiga wiki, that suggest using bitmap fonts, the document is obsolete, and has more historical value then real value. Someone started the transaction of document but stopped half way in.

But as long as one don't give up there is hope, just keep on keeping on, like the Americans say.

The Amiga developer saying "Two more weeks" is not what I'm thinking of, that sort reminds me about when I wake up in the morning sleepy as hell, thinking I have time, I sleep just a few min more, and the I wake up 15 or 30 late for work, and wake up praying there no traffic. Lucky everyone else on road is also late for work so at least only a few people are driving under speed limit o_O.

I'm not 100% sure I know what "keep on keeping on" means, but it sort sound like stay focus on what you're doing, and don't give up. When write software it easy to get distracted and will not do something else, and that might be good thing some times, but it extremely easy to just forget about things, and they never get finished. You need to keep some focus on what you're doing.

And it's probably better to release something that is 90% finished then to never release the software at all. That is sort what I did with UTF8.library, it did have text formatting part done. More or less, now, it time up upload a new one, I need some time update the documentation.

Next is getting LiveForIt-music ready, as I was saying before I'm not on a dead line, I'm just making sure the things that should work works.