Caanoo Appstore


u9i

Call me Uni
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Hello folks

I am one of those who finds it annoying that FunGP is not running on the Caanoo itself. I am tired of plugging/unplugging my SD-card/Caanoo and manually downloading games and apps that could so easily be done over the internet, had GPH included a FunGP app.

The Problem
No FunGP app.

The Solution
Role our own.

So i've been working on a one-click installer for my Caanoo and an appstore to deliver the games to the device over the internet. Right now my system consists of a new launcher (although not necessary at all), an appstore client for downloading and installing games, and an appstore server managing the archive, ratings, reviews and statistics (or that was the idea).

How it Works
The appstore client requests a list of games from the server, which is delivered in xml format. The request includes search tags, so it is quick to narrow down what you are looking for. It can also request latest releases and automatically see if any of your installed games or apps need an update.

The xml includes the name, version number and other info about the game, such as how to detect currently installed version (for updates), and urls to icons, screenshots and zip files, etc. I would like it to include dependencies as well, so games requiring Ginge or BennuGD runtime, do not need to include them in their download.

My new launcher uses the Caanoo's own structure with .ini files, so you can always revert to using GPH's launcher.

Why Not use the Archives
I have created a separate appstore server instead of using dl.openhandhelds.org for several reasons. The openhandhelds.org archives include so much more then just games and apps for the caanoo, they include source code, libraries, desktop tools, tech-demos etc.

Further more, i am picturing people being able to provide direct feedback to the developers on the Caanoo, rate games and even modify tags so the games become easier to find for other people. I don't imagine ED will allow me to add data to his system.

A Proof of Concept Demo

( EDIT: I touched the edit button, and the video disappeared. Here's a link to youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw7FEhVx-IU )

What i am looking for here is opinions, your comments, suggestions, feedback of any kind. Is this something you would use? Is it something you CAN use? Are you upset it is not using the dl.openhandhelds.org archives? Am i wasting my time?
 
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kayuz

Active Member
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Mar 19, 2011
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562
fantastic, it can be really useful!
working on this! please! :) :)
 

Rikku2000

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Jul 2, 2010
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348
What about the Copyright? maybe tere is some dont want setup
the game on the appstore better you ask for perimision.
 

tryone

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Hi,
nice idea. But I personally don't like the "one-click" install method. I would prefer a info screen with a short description, screenshot and an install button.
Also a nice launcher there. A bit work (e.g. wallpaper and so) and it would be a very good looking alternative. And maybe the devs of gmenu2x could include your app-server, too. :)
I personally prefer installing my apps by hand, but nevertheless keep on. :)
 

u9i

Call me Uni
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Rikku2000 said:
What about the Copyright? maybe tere is some dont want setup the game on the appstore better you ask for perimision.

Yeah, i tried to look through the archives, and most of the games say nothing about redistribution. Which means i cannot. It is probably what will kill this project, because i have to manually contact every single person, many of which might have left the scene and whatnot.

spacechase0 said:
Neat. :) Are you going to make one for the Wiz, too?

The server can easily be set up to serve game for multiple platforms. Will you compile the client for me? :)

lenrlad said:
Hi,
nice idea. But I personally don't like the "one-click" install method. I would prefer a info screen with a short description, screenshot and an install button.
Also a nice launcher there. A bit work (e.g. wallpaper and so) and it would be a very good looking alternative. And maybe the devs of gmenu2x could include your app-server, too. :)
I personally prefer installing my apps by hand, but nevertheless keep on. :)

Hi lenrlad. I will definitely add an info page. Kinda like android market. There will be description, rating and screenshots, as well as a nice big install button. I also thought about providing some reviews from players who already have the game installed etc. (if i continue to work on this).

Btw, installing by hand still works in my launcher. It uses the same structure as GPH's launcher. Although i do want to add a sorting order, so you can drag the icons around in the order you want them... again, like android.
 
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Tomlad

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Apr 19, 2009
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This looks like a real nice idea. i would love something like this similar as you say to the android marketplace

looks very good indeed :D
 

leodfs

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Mar 22, 2011
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Dude, amazing idea. But I think the success of your project, depends on the package's standard you choose. Mostly distros use simply a compressed file (zip, rar), with the absolute path folder where the files should be installed and a info file with version, name, files in the package. I think if you use a easy package, and a working application that uses it, the developers would adopt it.
My caanoo didn't arrive yet, but it seems that the zip packages provided by developers don't have a much complex structure. You could use the principle of slackbuilds. You just have to create a script for each package, saying where to fetch it (local or over the internet), and where to put( or delete, in case of undesirable source code) each file, this way I don't think you would need permission of authors, as you are not hosting or distributing their work, you are just saying to user's caanoo how to install it.
I want to help you more, but my country's post is not helping.
 

SiENcE

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Apr 11, 2009
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crankgaming.blogspot.com
Great!! I was also thinking about this. But no time.

So yes, please finalize it.

Please add an Info Page about the App when clicking onto the App-Icon. And than on this Page the 1-click install.
 

u9i

Call me Uni
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I'm glad for all the positive feedback. Most people seem to be keen on the idea.

I just received my Buffalo wifi dongle today (the microscopic one), and it works perfectly. I've installed my first game over wifi and now i can really appreciate how easy it is. I just got that feeling you get when you download your first game through android market or apple's appstore... "I'm never going back" ;)

@leodfs, currently, all i have done is use the zip files that where already uploaded to the openhandhelds.org archives. Some needed to be re-zipped so that the zip file root contained the gamefolder and ini file. That way it can be unzipped directly to the game folder on tthe sd card. So the package forrmat is pretty much what we already use. Dependencies i thought to encode into the appstore. You upload your game, and instead of including bgd-runtime, you specify what requirement it has when you upload. You do this pretty much by typing the name of the folder needed (e.g. game/bgd-runtime or apps/ginge.

I did think about the idea to just provide links to where to find the zip files, and as such have the appstore/repository only be a catalogue where to find games. But i worry that having files off-site will result in a lot of "broken links" down the road, and i don't want to end in that situation. Besides, i have a bigger vision with this.

leodfs said:
I want to help you more, but my country's post is not helping.

I didn't understand your last line here.

/Uni
 
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u9i

Call me Uni
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SiENcE said:
Great!! I was also thinking about this. But no time.

So yes, please finalize it.

Please add an Info Page about the App when clicking onto the App-Icon. And than on this Page the 1-click install.

The only reason the info page is not there is because i hadn't made any text rendering code. Just before making the video i quickly hacked something together and put the labels under the icons. In the xml from the server, the description is included, as is links to screenshots etc. So the info page is definitely coming.

/Uni
 
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leodfs

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u9i said:
@leodfs, currently, all i have done is use the zip files that where already uploaded to the openhandhelds.org archives. Some needed to be re-zipped so that the zip file root contained the gamefolder and ini file. That way it can be unzipped directly to the game folder on tthe sd card. So the package forrmat is pretty much what we already use. Dependencies i thought to encode into the appstore. You upload your game, and instead of including bgd-runtime, you specify what requirement it has when you upload. You do this pretty much by typing the name of the folder needed (e.g. game/bgd-runtime or apps/ginge.

I think you could use the openhandhelds.org as server, as it seems stable. There is some sort o cgi script that deals with the download of files, but it could be solved. You could also include a list of servers for each package and say where to install each one ( your work of re-zipping). But I totally agree with you, my suggestion was just because you said that copyright issues could kill the project, surely download and execute a ready package is better them download a package that will fetch another internet address, and download another thing .

u9i said:
I want to help you more, but my country's post is not helping.

I didn't understand your last line here.

My county's post office is keeping my caanoo for almost 2 months now.
 
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u9i

Call me Uni
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Messages
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Location
Faroe Islands
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riotdigital.com
leodfs said:
My county's post office is keeping my caanoo for almost 2 months now.
That is a long time :-( I probably have to return my Caanoo to gph myself so that is going to put a damper on progress.

But thanks for your comments. I might talk to ED about that.

/Uni
 
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