Could Use A Bit Of Beta Testing Again

Hideho everybody.  After a week of being truly swamped at work I’ve managed to get back to my computer and, hopefully, fixed the errors that borked the Mac and (native) Windows builds last time.  If you could take a moment and confirm that they run as expected, that would be great.

The easiest way to check is to install the program, run, select any Wizard, and then print one bingo card.  If everything works, great.

With particular regards to the Mac version: I’m in the very unenviable position of having to release Mac software without a) having touched a Mac in 10 years and b) without having access to a Mac to test on.  That fact that this is even possible is near miraculous (yay for Java), but if you notice any niggles (window opens at wrong place, etc) I’d love to hear of them from you prior to hearing of them from my customers.

Windows version (requires Java 1.3+ installed)

Windows version (native — doesn’t require Java — and a honking 13 MB install means that this time I actually included the right stuff!)

Mac version (shouldn’t require anything you don’t have)


What is new:

1)  Windows version only: shell integration with .BCF files (finally!)

2)  A few improvements under the hood  (“write once, debug everywhere” oriented)

3)  Everything from previous post

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13 Comments on “Could Use A Bit Of Beta Testing Again”

  1. Downloaded the Mac version. It looked like it launched by nothing ever showed up in the dock or on screen.

    Mac OS X 10.5.6

  2. ColinM Says:

    Native windows version work okay on XP.

  3. Ruben Gamez Says:

    Hey Patrick, I downloaded the Mac version and clicked to launch the app and nothing happened. Seems like the same issue that Marcus mentioned.

    I’m running: 10.5.5

  4. Ruben Gamez Says:

    I think I found the problem, I opened the package contents and found that your executable didn’t have execute permissions, so I went to the terminal and changed permissions on it:

    chmod 755 JavaApplicationStub

    Then I double clicked on the app and it opened up fine. I added a few words but I’m not connected to a printer right now (macbook). I’ll give the printing a shot tomorrow and let you know.

  5. Jordi Fita Says:

    I’ve downloaded the Mac version and found the same problem as Marcus and Ruben on an OS X 10.4.11, but doing Ruben’s chmod trick did work.

    I don’t have a printer right now, but I found that some of the Foreign Languages Wizards don’t look right on the screen. For example, the Colors (spanish) shows “marrón” as “marr?n” and the Numbers 1-25 (Japanese) shows ? instead of the expected characters. But Colors (Japanese) looks fine.

    I’ve tried to enter new words both in Japanese and in Spanish and in both cases the words were shown correctly.

  6. Patrick Says:

    Thanks much guys, especially for the help with the Mac stuff.

    I’ll look into the issues tomorrow. Whee for being close to release!

  7. I got the native Windows download, using WinXP.

    – I have no network printers available currently, but I tried printing to a network printer expecting to see an error message – when I clicked “Okay” in the print dialog box the dialog box disappeared, but I got no error message saying “printer not found” or something similar.

    – If I have the window maximized and select a new Wizard, the window resizes – I would expect it to stay at whatever size I had it before I selected a new Wizard. The same resizing happens if I have a non-default window size and select a new Wizard.

    – “If you want to use a pre-made word list, select from the Wizards dropdown menu.” Perhaps you might say “select *one* from the…” ?

    – If I make the window small enough that not all the bingo card squares are visible, sometimes (not every time!) the square text for the non-visible squares changes to “sample1,” “sample2,” etc. The font for “sample*” is smaller than the default font, and it’s not bold.

    – It’s unclear to me what the big plus and minus buttons do (near the top right of the window).

    – When I click Options->Word Wrap (either enabling it or disabling it) the words in the squares rearrange themselves – I’m not if that’s supposed to happen.

    – On the “check if I have updates” web page, it says: “If you have any ideas for what list we should include” – you may want to change that to say “for what lists…” instead of “list.”

  8. Joel Jirak Says:

    I successfully installed the Windows (non-native) version and printed a card with no problems. OS: Windows XP SP2


    Joel Jirak

  9. Kevin Walzer Says:

    Mac version: Can you use the native menubar at the top of the screen, instead of embedding it in the application Window? Just a thought…

  10. Andrew Says:

    I’m on a PPC Mac 10.4 and have had the same issues as everyone else (wouldn’t start till I changed the permissions).

    I just opened a pre-defined word list and printed it. There was something weird that flashed on the left side screen a few times during the printing. Also the print out worked although the margins seemed to be a bit out and the BINGO row at the top was missing it’s border.

    Another things isthe rows/columns combos on the toolbar are getting clipped and feel quite cramped. I’ve attached a screenshot at

    I’ve done a bit of Java Mac development and found that Quaqua is a great library. It’s not everything but it takes you a long way towards Mac compliance. I wrote a blog entry on using JOptionPane ( and you can check out Quaqua at

    Things at random for the Mac.
    – Use the screen Menu bar (System.setProperty(“apple.laf.useScreenMenuBar”, “true”);)
    – Don’t use mnemonics in your menus or buttons
    – The default accelerator for the Mac is the command key (not control). You usually need to use Toolkit.getDefaultToolkit().getMenuShortCutKeyMask() to be platform independant.
    – The file menu structure is different on a Mac and “Quit” is on the Application menu (as is the standard “about” and “preferences” menu items). MRJAdapter is your friend and makes this easy (

    I’m only party along the Mac compliance route but am happy to share anything I know if you need any more info.


  11. Patrick Says:

    Thanks for all the comments everyone.

    Encoding issues with word lists: This was a data encoding issue, left over from when I wrote those files 2 years ago. Whoopsie. I’ll fix it for the release.

    Kevin: Yes, I think I can do that. Previously I did but the application I used when I packed the Mac version gave me a deprecation warning for the setting that I used. I just looked around the Internet and figured out the new property name, so that will be fixed in my next build.

    (Set property apple.laf.useScreenMenuBar to true, for anyone looking for the answer.)

    Christopher: I will look into those issues. Some of them are more … curious implementation choices of the Java Swing API than they are related to me.

    In general, BCC is rather more authoritarian with respect to its window size than most applications. The biggest reason for this is that a significant portion of my customers are insufficiently skilled to manipulate window size effectively. Accordingly, most internal state transitions are accompanied by the program resetting itself to a thought-to-be-good configuration.

  12. DanH Says:

    Installed Windows Native version on XP SP3 with 1024 x 768 display
    – “Upgrade to full version now?” dialog is wider than my screen. All text is on one line with no break so it drag the window off my screen a bit to the left to see that word “now?” at the end of the sentence. Add at least one line break.
    – The text in the Advice frame is selectable with the mouse. There’s no right-click menu option but if you press Ctrl+C it does copy the text to the Clipboard. Usually the text in the labels on forms isn’t selectable. Just a quibble.
    – When the app starts it is centered on the screen. If you to to Wizards > Langauage Arts > English > Acclaimed plays the main form stretches to the right going off my screen. I’d say that if you are going to automatically resize the form that you should either always re-center it or at least check to see if the new dimension takes the left end off screen and re-center to correct.
    – Clicking Open button displays an Open File dialog that defaults to the application folder. I couldn’t see if the Save dialog defaults to the app folder as well but you should keep in mind that unless your installer changed the write privs for the app’s folder Windows users with either Standard User accounts and Vista users with UAC turned on will have problems if they try to save files to the app’s folder. Better to use My Documents or a sub-folder in My Documents that your installer creates.
    – Printed fine to my local printer. Printed with no problem to my network printer as well but the print quality was faded. Wait – not your fault. I need to change the toner cartridge. 😉

  13. DanH Says:

    Almost forgot: I can’t figure out what hte plus and minus buttons do either

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