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Jan 15, 2013

Powered by MonoTouch now. Changes to IPad and IPhone games

With the release of MonoTouch platform the Kruger’s game has changed dramatically. "It was like a love at the first glance" - Frank mentions. The new MonoTouch platform brings such powerful possibilities so that he could with ease replace C++ and Objective C by more advanced level of C# and use the wide portfolio of libraries provided by .NET platform. The MonoTouch also includes many C# bindings and replacements for absolutely all the structures of CocoaTouch API. Note that such bindings along with the interactive development environment like MonoDevelop are free of charge. They are open source and were designed specifically for C# and other programming languages. This is what allowed Kruger to verify syntax and debug easily. There is also a number of available classes that are provided by the platform and can be immediately used. As this is so important and needed necessary when you are using software development environment to build products of such a scale.
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«Objective C and C++ would work perfectly fine when you are going to implement any UI-specific task. However, when it comes right of the database or network - says Frank - they fail. When using devices such as the iPhone and iPad, you just have to be familiar with their database and network specifics. With MonoTouch all this becomes much simpler through such basic libraries like System.Net and System.XML. Moreover, developers will get dramatic advantage and benefit from modern language such as C# - with its level of security, memory management features, and Language Integrated Query library which is popular nowadays and the most important thing is the possibility to use iPhone CocoaTouch API with IDE without any knowledge of documentation from Apple. So they prefer .NET development.  «Only then I realized that I was not an expert in iPhone development. And the experience with MonoTouch was required for me to realize this», - Kruger admitted.

After the development of several programs for iPhone-screens in Apple App Store with the help of MonoTouch, Kruger understood that it is necessary to apply something significant. Having a master's degree of electrical equipment, he always was interested in such applied program as the free Circuit Simulator Java applet which was created by Paul Flested to help students in their research of behavior of analog and digital schemes. Kruger tried to apply this Java applet in his work on application for the recently released iPad. He decided to try to implement an application within 3 months - as this was the average time to write a new application most of the time.

Java Applet for the iPad application less than in 2 months

After Frenk licensed Circuit Simulator from Flastad, he started creating iCircuit itself. First he had to port the engine from Java to С# and only then to start working on its basic UI. As a result the code, as we know it consists of 8000 lines. However the most important fact is that Kruger spent less than 2 months in order to write it. Thanks to MonoTouch and С#. «I can't even recall when I could write the application at such a scale and in such tiny period of time, - he admitted. I coded this with incredible speed».

«At the same time the support provided by MonoTouch team was simply tremendous. I even think that my love to MonoTouch - was partly caused by this open community».

Frank made a demo of iCircuit back in August 2010. At that time Apple App Store already had more than 300 applications registered, despite of that Apple describes this app in such a way: "iCircuit is one of the best applications among 119 mandatory and necessary ones for fanatical coders."At the moment Kruger works with iCircuit on Android and Mac devices. He relies on MonoMac in order to port to Macs, and the similar one for Android - the Mono Xamarin. «The three platforms are the most popular nowadays: Android, iPad and iPhone, and also Mac. The modern solution services for IPhone from Xamarin supports all those. Do you have an unusual idea to create an application? You implement it by means of that language which is pleasant to you and offer it to audience. It is an incredible system!».

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