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Any update as far as launch date for embedCONTROL? RSS feed
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kritischer


Joined: Oct 4, 2020
Messages: 25
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I hope you keep doing what you're doing... knocking down barriers
davetcc


Joined: Jan 19, 2019
Messages: 492
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We've taken a few weeks out to get all the documentation up to scratch first and improve the stability and usability of the designer, as it's become the biggest issue for most people now. The Designer UI is now stable but the documentation is probably even more important than bug fixing! After the documentation has at least caught up with the libraries again, a beta version of embedControl will follow pretty quickly. Probably supporting ethernet first on iOS and Win10 (also Bluetooth on Win10). Followed by Android, then BLE.

We've taken the step of making our roadmap public this week, so people can better see where relative priorities are. You'll see starting with the next sprint, embed control comes back centre stage (forgive my use of popular album names for the sprints but you've got to have some fun in the process of planning): https://www.thecoderscorner.com/products/product-roadmap/

Public beta, around a month, if we had not taken the call on documentation and ease of use, it would be out already on Win10 and iOS. After documentation, it's the next priority. If you wanted an early test version on Windows UWP to try, I can zip a version up and send it to you.

So in summary: EmbedControl app is actually working and quite well tested (cosmetic details aside) on Windows 10 and iOS, (Android is also working but not as well tested yet). It's written in Xamarin (the same as the store versions of tcMenu Designer) and unlike the designer which uses direct UWP on Windows and Cocoa on Mac, the controller uses Xamarin's cross-platform UI so it's a lot quicker to port.

I know this is a somewhat long post for a very simple question, but a lot has been going on in the Nutricherry company household, we are basically a very small family business, and we've finally recognized that, and recognized that we're not going to compete with the large IoT providers in any way, and actually we don't need to. So we've decided that we'll just support everything that we can basically. So, along with embedCONTROL that will target local monitoring over the LAN / BLE, as commercial users require it, we will also start looking into supporting endpoints for services such as Blynk, Amazon IoT/Alexa, Google home, Apple home, Adafruit cloud, Azure and Arduino-IoT. There will probably be a one-off cost for using those endpoints, and we'll probably offer support services around them all. What has recently surprised me is how quickly I can build endpoints to other services. On a larger board we could even support more than one at once.

Priorities:
1. Get the documentation sorted out and make sure a new user can find their way around it quickly and effectively
2. EmbedCONTROL for iOS and Win10
3a. Some small fixes for the designer, graphical plugins and library
3b. BLE for EmbedCONTROL on iOS and Win10
3c. EmbedCONTROL for Android

(the order of 3a,b,c is going to depend to some extent on feed back from step 2)



kritischer


Joined: Oct 4, 2020
Messages: 25
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Thank you for the thoughtful and detailed reply

The Designer UI is now stable but the documentation is probably even more important than bug fixing

For a guy like me that needs explicit examples and disambiguation... most definitely!

If you wanted an early test version on Windows UWP to try, I can zip a version up and send it to you.

I would be delighted to evaluate it and give feedback on features that give me trouble settings up. It's the solution It's the solution for rapid BT integration without having to hire another consultant. I would rather pay a predictable amount for support using TcMenu and embedCONTROL rather than hire another consultant after I fail for months trying to get a control app working. Whether a stable release becomes available next month or in February it's the solution I want.

(forgive my use of popular album names for the sprints but you've got to have some fun in the process of planning): https://www.thecoderscorner.com/products/product-roadmap/

If you're not having some fun you're doing something wrong

This probably isn't the best forum topic to give feedback on tcMenu but after I updated to 1.7.5 on the Windows Store I had problems. I tried removing/reinstalling but I'm having intermittent issues.
-Sometimes adding an element to a submenu does not actually create the element even though the ID index does increment. A subsequent attempt usually creates the element but the ID is +2 from the last created menu item.
-In general I do not like "Windows Store" apps. the installation location folder and app details are hidden and took me longer than I care to admit to remove. I have used the downloaded application before but that version isn't up to date. Can you make a stand alone application version available?
-I wish there was a "Save as" feature. I find myself having to create a copy of a project and then open it
-Opening a project confused me for a while because I was expecting to open the .emf file and it took me a bit to realize I need to select the folder containing the emf file

Those could just be me problems so take them with a grain of salt.
davetcc


Joined: Jan 19, 2019
Messages: 492
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In general I do not like "Windows Store" apps. the installation location folder and app details are hidden and took me longer than I care to admit to remove. I have used the downloaded application before but that version isn't up to date. Can you make a stand alone application version available?


Agreed, there are a lot of issues around where things are stored and control of the version. I'm really aware of that and try to make sure I keep backward compatibility at all costs, as it will upgrade itself on users without them knowing. Maybe the best answer is to also provide it as standalone as well as the store version. I would need to look into the hows and whys of that, as it needs thought, it would probably be a side load situation, but at least you'd have control of the version at that point.

I wish there was a "Save as" feature. I find myself having to create a copy of a project and then open it


Noted, will add that in a patch soon as it is a significant oversight I'd not even thought about, but is trivial to implement.

Opening a project confused me for a while because I was expecting to open the .emf file and it took me a bit to realize I need to select the folder containing the emf file


Another side effect of UWP (a Windows 10 app basically). To be able to write into a directory, it needs to have been selected using a folder selection dialog. This was an easy way to make that happen. But agreed, I'm not sure it was the right approach. Again the Mac version doesn't do this, you select the emf. Then if the project is outside the "Arduino" aka projects folder it pops up another dialog to get permission the first time around.

Sometimes adding an element to a submenu does not actually create the element even though the ID index does increment. A subsequent attempt usually creates the element but the ID is +2 from the last created menu item


I'll try that and see if I can re-create. It sounds like there's an edge case somewhere, does this only happen on a specific project or even on a new project?

I have used the downloaded application before but that version isn't up to date


Actually the old Java is not technically that far off, it can generate exactly the same menu, it just looks a bit odd.
davetcc


Joined: Jan 19, 2019
Messages: 492
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Those could just be me problems so take them with a grain of salt.


No, it's not just you, there are a few commercial users that are not completely behind the store version. The issue is that there's one thing that's needed for companies, and another for personal users. We are going to take stock on the best plan for this, and we'll update this thread next week.

A few notes:
- Save As, already fixed, will be in the next version we release.
- The issue with submenus not being creating, I cannot re-create. I created submenus in every way I could think of, in many combinations, could you confirm if you can recreate it in a new project, or if it's specific to a project?
- We are looking at reversing the open folder decision and going back to emf file opening, I'll be honest our tester didn't like it either. Admittedly, I prefer the way it works in the Java and new Mac version, to be honest. We have an easy fix that works really well already on the Mac store version. Again we'll update on this next week.
davetcc


Joined: Jan 19, 2019
Messages: 492
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I've moved the designer part of this to a new thread.

http://www.thecoderscorner.com/jforum/posts/list/0/87.page

It's a bit like whack-a-mole at the moment. The documentation is now updated. But the latest window store version has a severe problem, my tester was away during the last release, and unfortunately, it showed! I'm sorry for that.

A very early beta for evaluation of Embed control is undergoing certification now. But we'll do nothing more on that until the windows store version is sorted.
 
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