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Thread: GLBASIC, and programming for iOS (from Windows)

  1. #1
    Question GLBASIC, and programming for iOS (from Windows)
    It's been a while since I've posted here at mmi :P.

    I'm thinking about getting into programming/hacking for iOS. I've only ever programmed for Windows machines, my Ti-84 calculator, and a few retro-gaming consoles, so getting into iOS programming will be new to me.

    I've learned many programming languges over the years, mostly BASIC dialects (Q/Quick/Visual/Ti BASIC). I've also learned the basics of some various assembly dialects, including motorola 68k, x86 assembly, and r4300i assembly (for Sega Genesis, PC, and N64 programming, respectively). Furthermore, I've also learned some C++ during high school, but have since forgotten it out of disuse and dislike of the language.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I have read, some dialect of C is primarily used for programming on iOS devices, and ARM asm for hacking. This demotivates and depresses me, since I dislike and have forgotten C++ (and don't know a bit of ARM asm).


    So, my question is, what alternatives do I have for programming/hacking for iOS from a Windows 7 PC, without learning C++/ARM asm? Googling for answers, for programming, I have found a BASIC dialect called GLBASIC. The SDK has a free, lite version with some limitations, while the full version with all features costs E 80 (or approx $105 USD). I am going to try the lite version tonight. Does anybody recommend GLBASIC or something else? Furthermore, regardless of the programming language used, how do I put the app on my iOS device for testing?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamkis View Post
    It's been a while since I've posted here at mmi :P.

    I'm thinking about getting into programming/hacking for iOS. I've only ever programmed for Windows machines, my Ti-84 calculator, and a few retro-gaming consoles, so getting into iOS programming will be new to me.

    I've learned many programming languges over the years, mostly BASIC dialects (Q/Quick/Visual/Ti BASIC). I've also learned the basics of some various assembly dialects, including motorola 68k, x86 assembly, and r4300i assembly (for Sega Genesis, PC, and N64 programming, respectively). Furthermore, I've also learned some C++ during high school, but have since forgotten it out of disuse and dislike of the language.
    I feel your pain,
    but there is no easy way around it.

    If you know ansi C, you can write or port things directly.
    They'll only run in a console, and you may not be able to do most of the fun stuff (GUI) but it's a place to get started.
    Objective C++ is the native language the IOS sdk is written for. You'll have the most mileage from that,
    but you'll have to learn Objective C++. Fortunately, you can take a look at code samples posted on Apple's dev center to get a feel for how to do things. Unfortunately, you still have to learn.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I have read, some dialect of C is primarily used for programming on iOS devices, and ARM asm for hacking. This demotivates and depresses me, since I dislike and have forgotten C++ (and don't know a bit of ARM asm).
    Less than 1% of IOS developers know what ARM is, much less the instruction set or how to use it. You're already better off than most. I would bet there aren't more than a few dozen who actually *write* ARM for IOS, that aren't employed by Apple. If you don't plan to be one of those people, I wouldn't worry too much.

    So, my question is, what alternatives do I have for programming/hacking for iOS from a Windows 7 PC, without learning C++/ARM asm? Googling for answers, for programming, I have found a BASIC dialect called GLBASIC. The SDK has a free, lite version with some limitations, while the full version with all features costs E 80 (or approx $105 USD). I am going to try the lite version tonight. Does anybody recommend GLBASIC or something else?
    GLBASIC has the same problem that all the third-party SDKs have. (Others include Microsoft C++, Epic's Unreal SDK, etc)
    It can't build native iOS apps directly, and requires you to use a Mac to compile them and a subscription to Apple's dev program to code sign them.

    If you want to use GLBASIC you WILL NEED TO GET A MAC. Or a hackintosh (OS X running on a PC), or a VMware virtual Mac environment.

    If you want to distribute your final project through the Apple App Store (for non jailbroken devices) you will need a subscription to the dev program. $99 a year. no ifs, ands or buts.

    If you want to distribute your final project through Cydia for jailbroken devices, it's possible to patch the compiler on your Mac, or hackintosh to sneak around the code sign issue, and avoid the dev program. but that's a whole nother problem.


    Don't have a Mac? Don't want a Mac?
    You can set up a compiler toolchain on Windows with Cygwin.
    Roll your own for free, or buy Paul Baty's iOS Build Environment for Windows by Pierre-Marie Baty
    Or better yet, download his "free demo" instead because it isn't a demo but actually the full thing without restriction. Or better yet, DONT and stay away, because Paul does not understand how GPL licensing works and that "his" toolchain is in gross and flagrant violation.

    The only downside with a Windows toolchain is: absolutely no support.
    No integrated dev environment, you'll have to already know Objective C++ and write everything yourself.

    Furthermore, regardless of the programming language used, how do I put the app on my iOS device for testing?
    with a bare compiler toolchain, the end product is a .deb package that you can SCP over to a shell on the device, and use dpkg to install. Or stick it up on a repository somewhere for other people to download and install with Cydia.

    with XCode on a Mac and a proper code signature, the end product is on the Apple App Store. It may take weeks or months to actually get it approved and usable. There are other shortcuts for testing purposes, but I'm less familiar with them.

    with XCode on a Mac and no code signature, the end product would be an App installation folder which you can copy directly to your device with SCP, and place into the /Applications/ directory.

    with GLBasic, the end product would be an XCode project that you copy over to your Mac and compile via the approved or an unapproved method.

    Thank you!
    Good luck.
    seriously.
    Last edited by raduga; 03-15-2012 at 03:52 AM.

  3. #3
    So far, out of those languages, C++ would've been your best bet since Obj-C++ is a superset of C++ and Smalltalk. Object-oriented programming languages like Java might also help you out, but if you don't know either then that's ok. It's actually decent when you pick up on it. I adapted to it quite fast knowing C++. But everyone's different. It's also not "required" you have a Mac to program iOS applications. You can program iOS on Linux as well as Mac and even (code and compile native code) on the iDevice itself. Which is what I do. Good luck finding what works best with you!
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