Android Question Some really basic questions

8051 Programmer

Member
Licensed User
Hello:

I am a new user to B4A but not to basic principles of programming or code assembly, etc.. Most of my experience lies in microprocessor firmware development and related motion control applications.

2-3 months ago I purchased the full B4A installation as well as Wyken Seagrave's 555 page book.
I am also familiar with online resources such as: the Users Guide, Beginners Guide, B4A Code Snippets, etc. Since that time I have made some progress in assimilating B4A.

I am trying to break into this new language and to develop the natural proficiencies that normally come when one writes a simple program followed by progressively more complicated applications. It seem however that something is missing. I just can't find the answers to what seems like simple questions.

For instance when analyzing a code example at the top of page 491 of Dr. Seagrave's book I see the lines:

lstCSV.Initialize
lstCSV = StrUtil.LoadCSV(File.DirAssets, "book2.csv", ",")

Apparently this will open an Excel file of the name: book2.csv which is located in the File.DirAssets directory which uses the comma symbol as a separator within the spreadsheet.

From the related DIM statements and general structures shown I can see parameters such as: strRow and iRowCount that are being passed back and forth but where can I get a complete listing of all possible variables and their syntax. There must be a lot more than what's shown in the example. For instance, once the Excel file is opened there must be a way to address string fields by row and column number. Where is this information found?

Obviously the line: lstCSV.Initialize initializes the array. But how would one know that when the symbolism is more cryptic? What else can be put after the dot, or within parenthesis?

What are the variable names? How are they passed? How are they read? What else can the subroutine do that is not obvious in this particular example? Where can I find this sort of information?

I have noticed that the editor does make suggestions as part of the auto complete function, but there is no explanation as to what those suggestions are nor what they actually address.

Also, the editor seems to color code text. Red means one thing, Green another, etc. Most of that I've figured out on my own by now but isn't there an explanation somewhere in the documents which explains basic things like this? What does it mean when the editor color codes a word in Blue? Where is this addressed?

Please help. Any advice you can offer will be appreciated.
Thank you.
 

warwound

Expert
Licensed User
Have you seen the Object Browser?

Download & install, configure it to look at both your official b4a libraries folder and your additional libraries folder.
Now click on any object and see it's methods and properties and any available help/comments.

Martin.
 
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NJDude

Expert
Licensed User
Welcome to B4A,

There is documentation available, you can find it HERE, also, some of the features are posted on the forums (color coding for example).

I would suggest, in case you haven't done it yet, to download and read the 2 guides on the link I posted above.
 
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8051 Programmer

Member
Licensed User
Hello NJDude:

Thanks for your reply. I have scoured both of those documents (and others) in my search.

Per your suggestion, I will check the forum for the question on colors. Can I assume then that the documentation really does not address text colors?

Thanks,
8051 Programmer
 
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8051 Programmer

Member
Licensed User
Have you seen the Object Browser?

Download & install, configure it to look at both your official b4a libraries folder and your additional libraries folder.
Now click on any object and see it's methods and properties and any available help/comments.

Martin.

Hello Martin:

Thanks for your reply.
Not yet familiar with the Object Browser. I'll check it out.

Thank you,
Al
 
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8051 Programmer

Member
Licensed User
Welcome to B4A,

There is documentation available, you can find it HERE, also, some of the features are posted on the forums (color coding for example).

I would suggest, in case you haven't done it yet, to download and read the 2 guides on the link I posted above.

Hello NJDude:

Thanks for your reply. I have scoured both of those documents (and others) in my search.

Per your suggestion, I will check the forum for the question on colors. Can I assume then that the documentation really does not address text colors?

Thanks,
8051 Programmer
 
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Eric H

Active Member
Licensed User
Hello and welcome.

Variables are not capable of being documented because they are user defined and can/will change depending on who is writing the code and what kind of code is being written. However, you can get information about a particular variable by highlighting it and hitting the F7 key. This will show you all the places where the variable is used, including the most useful place for figuring out what it represents, the place where it is defined in code (ex. Dim qwertyuiop as List). Once you see what the variable's type is, another useful way to see what you can do with that reference is to type the reference variable followed by a "." (without quotes), like this: "qwertyuiop." This will trigger the auto complete helper to show you what is available. The next helpful thing is to trigger the auto complete again for a particular function by putting an open parentheses after the function name, like this: "qwertyuiop.Initialize(" which will then show you what parameters the function requires.

In addition, you can also type a single function name into the search box of the forum and the first line item in the results will be the online help entry for that function.

Oh, and the object browser is very helpful too. If I remember correctly it will even pull the functions out of external libraries so you can get a glance of what is available there as well.

Finally, I am currently in progress creating an online video training course that will help with the learning curve in a more sequential way than digging through the forum. Although, as mentioned in your own post, the beginner's guide, user's guide, the B4a book by Phillip Brown and the 'tutorials' part of the forum are all great resources to get going with. I know there is quote a lot of material in all those documents, but if you feel like you are spinning your wheels a bit, even working through the simpler examples will help you with getting the flow down.

Best of luck!

Eric H
 
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8051 Programmer

Member
Licensed User
Hello and welcome.

Variables are not capable of being documented because they are user defined and can/will change depending on who is writing the code and what kind of code is being written. However, you can get information about a particular variable by highlighting it and hitting the F7 key. This will show you all the places where the variable is used, including the most useful place for figuring out what it represents, the place where it is defined in code (ex. Dim qwertyuiop as List). Once you see what the variable's type is, another useful way to see what you can do with that reference is to type the reference variable followed by a "." (without quotes), like this: "qwertyuiop." This will trigger the auto complete helper to show you what is available. The next helpful thing is to trigger the auto complete again for a particular function by putting an open parentheses after the function name, like this: "qwertyuiop.Initialize(" which will then show you what parameters the function requires.

In addition, you can also type a single function name into the search box of the forum and the first line item in the results will be the online help entry for that function.

Oh, and the object browser is very helpful too. If I remember correctly it will even pull the functions out of external libraries so you can get a glance of what is available there as well.

Finally, I am currently in progress creating an online video training course that will help with the learning curve in a more sequential way than digging through the forum. Although, as mentioned in your own post, the beginner's guide, user's guide, the B4a book by Phillip Brown and the 'tutorials' part of the forum are all great resources to get going with. I know there is quote a lot of material in all those documents, but if you feel like you are spinning your wheels a bit, even working through the simpler examples will help you with getting the flow down.

Best of luck!

Eric H
 
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8051 Programmer

Member
Licensed User
Hello Eric:

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. This was very helpful.

All the best.

Al

Hello and welcome.

Variables are not capable of being documented because they are user defined and can/will change depending on who is writing the code and what kind of code is being written. However, you can get information about a particular variable by highlighting it and hitting the F7 key. This will show you all the places where the variable is used, including the most useful place for figuring out what it represents, the place where it is defined in code (ex. Dim qwertyuiop as List). Once you see what the variable's type is, another useful way to see what you can do with that reference is to type the reference variable followed by a "." (without quotes), like this: "qwertyuiop." This will trigger the auto complete helper to show you what is available. The next helpful thing is to trigger the auto complete again for a particular function by putting an open parentheses after the function name, like this: "qwertyuiop.Initialize(" which will then show you what parameters the function requires.

In addition, you can also type a single function name into the search box of the forum and the first line item in the results will be the online help entry for that function.

Oh, and the object browser is very helpful too. If I remember correctly it will even pull the functions out of external libraries so you can get a glance of what is available there as well.

Finally, I am currently in progress creating an online video training course that will help with the learning curve in a more sequential way than digging through the forum. Although, as mentioned in your own post, the beginner's guide, user's guide, the B4a book by Phillip Brown and the 'tutorials' part of the forum are all great resources to get going with. I know there is quote a lot of material in all those documents, but if you feel like you are spinning your wheels a bit, even working through the simpler examples will help you with getting the flow down.

Best of luck!

Eric H
 
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