Movie

Here’s a short movie which hopefully goes some way to explaining the project and my research behind it.

View movie 11.6MB

Still from project video


Project Abstract

Here’s the abstract for my project – download and enjoy.

Abstract


Nearly done

Shot some video with Jamie and Chelle earlier today showing them using the system. My plan for the video is to have stills of each of us using the swap app at various different stages with relevant text from my presentation slides interspersed amongst them. Not sure of the soundtrack yet. There’s a couple of pieces by The Sundays that might be appropriate.


Recycle done

Just finished testing the recycle version of phone2fone and everything is looking good with it at the mo. This differs quite a bit from the other 2 as an image is loaded up at the time of registering an item to swap and there is no way of guaranteeing that a swap has been completed so the date registered is the date that a swap has been agreed. Also, both parties get sent an email with their “normal” email addresses in it to arrange the swap. Seeing as they would have to meet sometime to swap, it seemed a bit silly to keep their identities a secret from each other.

I’ve now just got my presentation and slides to compile, a promo video to shoot and edit and a data disk containing everything to burn….not to mention the case cover. Sleep is very overrated :)


And another…

The trading card game is now finished. Preliminary testing is looking good so far and to celebrate this momentous occasion I’ve had a crack at padding out the website. I’ve added a registration page and an about page which does sound a bit like the home page at the mo but that’ll change once I’ve got more flesh to my presentation. At least the code and CSS passes validation.


1 down…

I’ve just finished testing the main app of phone2fone which is the file share/swapping app. I’ve just got the game to finish off and the freecycle version to do. I’ve been looking at WURFL which essentially is an XML file containing information about the capabilities and features of most of the mobile phones. There are loads of different features that can be checked, so many that I’m worried about getting distracted with it. I think I’m gonna use it just to check that the device can upload files and maybe look at it in more detail at a later date.


Testing

I’ve now finished the basic platform for phone2fone and have moved into testing phase. The browser that comes with Sony Ericsson phones seems to be behaving itself. The layout of each of the pages, the accesskeys and the way the pages render are all as I was expecting. Even the Openwave browser that some phones (Samsung for example) have seems to be working but the Nokia browser is acting a bit strange. The accesskeys don’t work which is a bit of a pain but not the end of the world. The main problem I’ve got with it is it seems to insist on selecting the first radio button on loading a page. Whilst this might not appear to be a big problem, it does make searching all files available for swapping difficult coz the file type “MP3″ is always selected. I was gonna add some browser checks but as you can’t specify “unchecked” with radio buttons that seems a pointless exercise so I’m gonna add something about it in the help section for that page. I’ve also noticed that with the numbering system within individual pages, the “back to the main menu” option is never 0 and I can’t see a reason why – yet another Nokia quirk.

So, back to the testing. I’ve got the basic file swapping to work and the rejecting of requests although I might change it to put in a reason. I have noticed that the signal strength needs to be up to maximum for the uploading of large videos to work. I appreciate that to get to the server, the file has to go over radio waves and thru’ the phone network before getting to the phone2fone server but that doesn’t stop me from being ever so slightly vexed about it :)

I’m hoping to get this first lot of testing finished in the next couple of days before finishing off the game and then starting on the recycle version which is gonna be similar to freecycle. After that, it’s the admin area and the main “normal” website to do. Sleep is so over rated.


New domain

Late last week was an open day and I volunteered to give a short demo of phone2fone. We met a couple of days before to run thru stuff and it was at that meeting that I was told that I needed a logo and 100-150 words summary about it. I was gonna do the whole identity thing over Easter but managed to quickly knock up a logo for it.

So that got me thinking about identity sooner than I had intended. I’ve now gone and got a domain for it, made a couple of small changes to the original logo to web2 it up a bit and built a website for it. Well, when I say built, I mean there’s a holding page for it with the blurb that I compiled for the open day. Even though it needed doing, it has distracted me from the last remaining bits of development…especially as moving it over to the new domain has meant that it’s broke!! What do they say about fixing stuff that ain’t broken??

Anyway, you can see the holding page at www.phone2fone.co.uk.


Nearly there

I’ve sorted out the problem with the page not refreshing when mail messages are deleted and requesting a swap, accepting a swap by choosing one of their’s and sending a reminder to upload the file are all done. I’ve still got to finish the rejecting a swap, the mechanics of completing a swap and uploading/downloading the files. I know exactly how I want to do all of them but I’ve just run out of time – still on course to have something to show on 29th though. Then it’s the admin backend, tarting up the frontend and writing the freecycle and game apps to go.


Back to Earth

So after the excitement of the other night, it’s back to reality. My project is motoring along quite nicely and I’m pretty confident that I’ll have a vanilla version up and running by the 29th. I’ve had a couple of interesting “issues”, one of which took me a while to resolve and the other I’ve got an idea of what I want to do to fix it. The first was with getting the file name of the asset being put up for swapping. Coz I wanted to make sure that the file being swapped was the file registered, I’ve put in a field where users can select the file on their phone and the name is added to the database. Testing on a “normal” computer it worked a treat but as soon as I tried it with a phone, it kept adding what looked like a file path. I eventually got round it by playing about with some of the variables used by PHP when uploading files via the HTTP upload feature.

The other problem I’ve got is with deleting mail messages. Again on a normal computer, when you select the tick box and press submit, the page refreshes and the message no longer appears on the screen but on the phone the message is still there so it looks as though the delete hasn’t worked when in fact it has. I haven’t found any reason as to why it would do that but I’ve got a theory. Coz the action of the page is itself and it’s wrapped in PHP which determines what to do if the page has loaded once or was posted to, as it’s the same file I think the phone just doesn’t reload the page in an attempt to save on bandwidth. Which makes sense although I’ve yet to have that confirmed. In a lot of the tutorials I’ve found on developing for the mobile phone, they say to have a page per function but they don’t explain why. I guess I’ve just found a good reason now. Anyway, to get round it, I’ll just post the deletes to a different file which will redirect back to the list of messages when it’s finished and that hopefully will sort it.