HanDBase in the Android "multitasking" environment

Discuss plans for a future version of HanDBase for the Google Android platform

HanDBase in the Android "multitasking" environment

Postby Avi » Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:05 pm

Hi all,

I am not yet an owner of an Android device, in no small part because I need HanDBase to be working reliably in my pocket, so as much as I would love to be an early adopter and help with beta issues, it is not to be ... so in the meanwhile, I can dream, drool, envy, and investigate the technical issues of this platform from the outside.

One of the questions I had was how Android implements multitasking, and my son led me to a very interesting article http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2010/04/multitasking-android-way.html about the topic that I thought might be worth sharing. I'm not a computer programmer, but it would appear to me that a bit of attention to this issue is in order so that when Android "kills" the HanDBase process because the user has moved away from it and Android needs the RAM, no data is lost. It occurs to me that I might also be concerned about what happens if I've moved away and for some strange reason the device has to be re-booted. This may also have ramifications for some of the "fancier" field types that call external processes like GPS, camera, etc.,.

-avi
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Re: HanDBase in the Android "multitasking" environment

Postby Ben » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:11 pm

My misunderstanding is that Android closes data files and then the application. Anyway, a few have reported instability problems; however, my Evo has yet to suffer a reboot initiated by itself. I reset the Evo once a day in order to ensure the Blluetooth functionality does not become Bluebroken. Off and back on once a day keeps the Blueteeth working quite well. I have had applications that have failed and I have had to "force close" applications; however, as far as it rebooting without asking me, it has not done so. The Evo is for most users a very dependable device.
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Re: HanDBase in the Android "multitasking" environment

Postby curtterp » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:39 am

I am not speaking for Dave, these are my own thoughts.

Unless I miss my guess, Dave will have some sort of save built into the app to save data when the program goes into the background (no longer on the screen). Android will remember the state (screen that you were in last) and Dave will have the data save, so data will not be lost.

If Dave is unable to implement something like that, the practice of saving before doing to another application or the home screen is a good practice.

All multitaksing portable devices use this sort of practice of killing long running non active processes to reclaim memory. With the small amount of ram and resources, it is a must.
Have a good day

Curt
I am not a DDHSoftware employee, just a long time HanDBase user.... from Palm to Windows Mobile to Android, to iOS. Thanks to DDH, the database files transferred to each platform without a problem.
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Re: HanDBase in the Android "multitasking" environment

Postby dhaupert » Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:34 pm

Nice to see you all jumping into my world on this- it sometimes gets lonely thinking about all this stuff by myself! It seems each platform handles multitasking differently and I have to account for such things on a case by case basis. I typically wait until the end of my normal development to tackle things like this, so I haven't even addressed it yet with about a month more of development to go.

My plan on this is to handle an auto save each time HanDBase goes in the background. Then all open databases are saved back to the memory card. I would also save the relative place in the program that I am so that if the OS kills us off I can restore the position. That should cover it.. I hope!
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Re: HanDBase in the Android "multitasking" environment

Postby curtterp » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:23 am

I actually know your world Dave. I have been a geek for many years, and have been working in the computer related fields for 20 years (10 as a computer technician, 5 years at a Fortune 500 company's Help Desk, 5 years as a tester). During every part of my geek life, I have had to learn programs, computer systems, systems interactions, networks, internet etc. I self taught myself in 5 different basic programming languages, C, C++, Java, C#, SQL, Visual Basic. I call myself a hobby programmer (program different things for myself and family when I see a need), but decided a long time ago, I liked troubleshooting more than churning out code 8 hours a day. I also read up on the different OS's, watch videos from Microsoft's Mix, and Google's I/O conferences.

The mobile world does fascinate me. I have owned devices such as the Apple's Newton, 5 different Palm devices, Windows Mobiles from their first iteration to Windows Mobile 2003. My Droid X is my first Android Device which I am still learning the ins/outs of it, but I like its potential. If Apple would have come out with iPhone on Verizon a year ago, I might have taken a different track, but I refuse to go to ATT for my cell phone service. I also am not keen on the inability to load a program on the iOS devices without going through iTunes, so Apple has lost me there. Palm lost me when they decided to go to WebOS, and Microsoft lost me at Silverlight for Win Mobile 7.

I have had HanDBase for Palm, Windows Mobile, and when it comes out, I will go cross platform and get a license for Android. HanDBase is the last program that I used to make it to Android, but I do know some of the frustrations of having something not go as you planned, so that is why I am patient for HanDBase for Android. I do like your updates to let us know where you stand in the development cycle, and that helps with understanding the timeline. I can imagine some of the long days/nights when you are basically doing this all yourself, with bug fixes to more established platforms being important while trying to develop a new platform. I also pay attention to your answers to questions, bug reports, and other posts that you have made since the forum was on Yahoo (Personally I was glad when you brought the forum to your website). A lot of that information does stick, sometimes not enough to give an educated answer, but enough to look stuff up if needed.

So yeah, some of us know your world all too well.
Have a good day

Curt
I am not a DDHSoftware employee, just a long time HanDBase user.... from Palm to Windows Mobile to Android, to iOS. Thanks to DDH, the database files transferred to each platform without a problem.
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Re: HanDBase in the Android "multitasking" environment

Postby dhaupert » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:44 am

Wow, sure sounds like it- you have my life the last few years pretty well pegged. Wasn't always just me doing all this, but as the market got more diluted and more competitive, there just is no other way for me to remain successful with HanDBase other than by doing much of it 'lone wolf' style!

I'm very encouraged reading your posts and others like it- thanks for taking the time.
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Re: HanDBase in the Android "multitasking" environment

Postby curtterp » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:27 pm

IF my memory is not deficent tonight, didn't Roberto work with you a few years back?

One thought that popped up tonight, you might have already have done it, but I thought that a menu soft button called "Feedback" or "Help" that would bring up an email to send to you with problems, questions etc. This might help with the problem of negative feedback and enable you to directly correspond with the user to determine if it is a problem with HanDBase or something else.

Just a thought.. My apologies if you already have this done.
Have a good day

Curt
I am not a DDHSoftware employee, just a long time HanDBase user.... from Palm to Windows Mobile to Android, to iOS. Thanks to DDH, the database files transferred to each platform without a problem.
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Re: HanDBase in the Android "multitasking" environment

Postby dhaupert » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:32 pm

curtterp wrote:IF my memory is not deficent tonight, didn't Roberto work with you a few years back?


Yes, I didn't always go it alone! He hasn't worked here in over 5 years though. That said, he's not the only other programmer besides me to work on HanDBase code, but he and I have spent the largest amounts of time on the code.


One thought that popped up tonight, you might have already have done it, but I thought that a menu soft button called "Feedback" or "Help" that would bring up an email to send to you with problems, questions etc. This might help with the problem of negative feedback and enable you to directly correspond with the user to determine if it is a problem with HanDBase or something else.

Just a thought.. My apologies if you already have this done.


I have a button to link to the support page in the about screen of the apps, so they can find their way here or to submit a ticket. But a better integrated feedback system isn't a bad idea for the future!
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