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Socoder -> Blitz Max -> BlitzMax for Desktop app development

Sun, 05 Jun 2011, 08:49
Its been yonks since I've been to Socoder, I'm hoping (once I get my artwork back) to finally get my first iOS game (a noir-based mafia game based off my prototype work detailed in my blog on socoder) out soon.

Anyway, the topic at hand is whether BlitzMax is good enough, powerful enough and ready for Desktop app development.

I've been looking at several key options.

1. Adobe Air
I don't know about you, but Adobe Air apps run damn slow on my Mac, but then again I think TweetDeck was built using Adobe Air.

2. Appcelerator Titanium
Heavily relies upon HTML5, JS (you'd have to do the UI stuff yourself) and you can use server side code like PHP, Ruby, etc.

But I don't quite like the fact its never really been updated, plus the docs for it are so-very poor, plus you have to pay $50 for the training videos (thats just for mobile, none exist for desktop)

3. Sencha JS
I don't know anything about this really


I am thinking about using BlitzMax for desktop app development, I built a PHP web app as a CMS to help create the data for my app and so will be using the following technologies.

My PHP web app I built has a basic REST API that generates the data I use in my iOS project and I'd like to use 1 point of reference for the data.

2. SQLite or something similar
But the issue with this is its quite a large package to install, and I'm not sure if I'm meant to bundle BlitzMax apps with SQLite, or assume people already have it installed.

Then we come to the UI side of things, I've only ever played with MaxGUI once and that was about 3-4 years ago and never touched BlitzMax or MaxGUI since then.

I'm wondering if anyone could clarify whether BlitzMax is good for desktop app development, cross-platform or otherwise.

Thanks for your time.
Sun, 05 Jun 2011, 09:00
I've never really done anything gui driven..
All my games are of the "It's a game, let's use what we can, to hell with the rest" foreground stuff, as opposed to the "background/occasional menu" app style things.
I'm not sure how nice BMax can play in the background like that.


''Load, Next List!''
Sun, 05 Jun 2011, 11:05
Oh okay, it was just a thought. I'll concentrate on getting my iOS app done first then worry about desktop apps.
Sun, 05 Jun 2011, 11:26
If your thinking of building this app as a webapp, then you could use GWT. Very mature, tonnes of plugins and stuff available online, excellent IDE support (through Eclipse).

You write the app in Java using their libs and it compiles to HTML+JS for the client and Java for the server side. It also handles client-server communication for you; so your client-server application looks like one app.

If you don't want to use Java server side, you can use GWT to build a standalone app and just make calls to a PHP server. I have done this myself and it's not too bad.
Tue, 07 Jun 2011, 15:50
I created a couple of desktop apps that made use of a "fake" GUI system.

MaxANSI - an ANSI/ASCII styled drawing app - https://www.iprice.remakes.org/my_stuff/MaxANSI.rar

MaxMapper - a very early WIP map editor - https://www.iprice.remakes.org/my_stuff/MaxMapper.rar

Both were created a few years ago, but I no longer use BlitzMax. But it is very capable of good GUI stuff without resorting to using MaxGUI (which I thought was absolute shite - had much less on screen, with major slowdown and other issues, hence why I created my own stuff).