Friday, August 18, 2017

What's new in WRoom 0.0.10?

If you did not know, I have been working on a new open source project called WRoom in the last few months.  It's a big technical experiment but it has a lot of potential at the same time.

Basically, WRoom is a new web browser where you navigate virtual rooms create using a simple text file.  It's easier than HTML/Javascript and you can create maps all over the web, linked together with Teleporters.

I have released a new version today: 0.0.10 ALPHA.  In this new version, I have integrated Texture videos and a bunch of new stuff.  Currently, the Windows version works pretty well and it kind-of work on Linux, at least on my Ubuntu Mate laptop.

Here's a demo of the latest version:

The main features of WRoom:
  • 3D Browsing à la Doom FPS game
  • Supports textures (PNG, JPG) 
  • New Video Textures using FFMPEG
  • Embedded chat room, (Simple avatars are showing other visitors) 
  • Triggered actions: Teleport, play sound, open door
  • Animated textures using multiple image files
  • Easy to create your own using a simple text editor
  • Free as in Open Source

WRoom is a new twist on creating communities online without having to learn HTML and Javascript.  A map editor is on the way to make things easier.  Maps are hosted on any web hosting plan such as Mochahost or your own web server.

Here's a simple map example:

# Set the title for the room
title=Planet Mars
# irc server
# Load the textures
#Load background sound file
# Set the map
# 15x10
#Set the starting point
# Define the actions
# Actions are: teleport, sound, message, download
# After the action command, enter the location of the action x,y
# Then the parameter
# action=teleport,x,y,URL
# action=sound,x,y,sound.wav
# action=message,x,y,Message string...
# Actions are triggered by pressing the action key: space bar...
action=teleport,43,29,,Congrats! Back to homebase
# Load text to display on walls
# TEXT=x,y,HTML text entry... 
text=1,3,<div style='border:solid red 3px;background-color:#441111;color:#FF0000;font-size:12px;text-align:center;'>Welcome to Mars!<br>Can you find your wayback to WRoom homebase?<br>Good luck!</div>

Hope you like WRoom!

Visit the homepage at

Saturday, August 12, 2017

iOS 11 Beta 4 almost bricked my iPhone 7

As usual, I have installed the beta version of the next iOS version on my iPhone 7.

As I was controlling my Apple TV 4 with my phone, using the shortcut in the Control Center, I had to enter a code ID for buying a movie on the iTunes Store.

All was going well, as usual, until the iTunes Store asked me to enter my 3 digit number from my credit card to confirm the transaction.  So I left to get my credit card and it took a few minutes.  Meanwhile, my iPhone 7 went into sleep mode as it was waiting for the keyboard input for the Apple TV...

When I came back, I unlocked my iPhone, as usual but the screen was all blurry and nothing was reacting to the touch events.  I pressed the Sleep button and it was the end.

The iPhone was completely unresponsive.  I tried to reboot it, call it with another phone, pressed several times on the button but nothing was happening and the screen stayed black,

Ultimately, I used the VoluneDown+Sleep buttons, pressed for a good 10 seconds and the device finally rebooted.

If you're stuck on your iPhone 7, the VolumeDown+Sleep buttons will save the day!

Note: The bug has been reported to Apple.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Browse the web in 3D with WRoom

I've been quiet for a while as this is summer time and I have also been working on a new idea:  a 3D web browser.

This idea is not quite new as I've been thinking about this for a few years.  In the last few weeks, I did some testing and finally found a way to do it.  The main goal was to make it easy to create a virtual space without having to learn HTML and advance Javascripting.  Then I had an epiphany:  Forget about using Chrome, Edge or Firefox and just create something completely new.

WRoom was born, late at night, on a cheap Windows 10 tablet.  It's a big experiment, but it's fun to learn new stuff while making it.

Currently, only binaries are available at for testing the concept online.  You can test WRoom on your computer by downloading the WebRoom.jar file.  Java 8 Runtime must be installed as you guessed it, it's a Java+JavaFX application.

Download the JAR and execute it (double-click on the file).  You'll be presented a basic browser interface with the default URL already entered.  At the time of writing this post, the only room that is available is at ;)

Current features supported:
- 3D virtual room rendering Doom-Style
- Overlays on the walls (Text, HTML, images)
- Custom textures of 256x256 (images are resized automatically)
- Web links (to display external websites)
- Embeded videos
- Background sound playback
- Actions: sound, doors, messages
- Teleporting point to other WRooms

Everything has been developped with Netbeans under Windows 10.

Ubuntu is able to run WRooms, but video playback do not seems to work, even with the JRE from Oracle...  This is a JavaFX issue and my be resolved in a near future.

Here's a demo of the version 0.0.5:

Try it and leave your comments here or on Twitter: