What is BizCore Popper
Well, originally I plan to call this BizCore Messenger but then there is no originality on that. And I wanted my apps to sort of look and feel unique. So I changed the name into Popper (it pops up a message, isn't it?). So there you go, BizCore Popper.
We actually have a messenger for our LAN here but said messenger do not run under Windows higher than XP. So it is half used in our office.
My BizCore ERP done in VFP9 runs though on any Windows OS we have so I thought instead of relying onto a 3rd party app, why not create my own? And then the thought got shelved somewhere in the corner of my mind and remained dormant for a very long time due to a lot other things I do.
However, one time Ony Too shared a new library with a cachy name FoxGrowl inside Foxite which is actually a desktop notification tool. And my plan on creating a messenger has been reactivated thinking I will turn FoxGrowl into a messenger. Though the design for FoxGrowl is to notify every one on the LAN and not a specific user, it can be turned into a selective/specific user notification.
But then, I realized I will have to change a lot on said Library to suit my needs that in the end the design will be totally different than the growling notification it is intended to be. So I abandoned the modification of the library and instead built myself something totally different which is what this ERP is using now. If you are intrigued on what FoxGrowl is, here is the link showing also the download link: http://www.foxite.com/archives/0000403119.htm
Making my Popper Unique and appealing
The original plan is to utilize the user's own images, shrunk to smaller sizes via Isometric value of Picture property. But initial testings have proven those to be unattractive. Or to retain the real sizes but then it eats real estate. Plus I wanted this to be looking unique so I decided to look for animated gifs in the web thinking I will let my users choose their own animated avatars later for the poppers.
But finding similarly sized or at least smaller appealing animated gifs proved to be hard. So I turned to emoticons instead as Avatars.
While surfing for cool emoticons, one character suddenly appeared in the midst of those and that is a minion of Despicable Me movies.
Said minion is looking attractive with that childish innocent grin appeal that it brings smile to my lips. And so goodbye emoticons, welcome Minions!
Attack of the Minions!
Here is the problem, once I started looking for minions, I was attracted to several looks and expressions that I was not able to help myself but started collecting those, LOL! In the end, I got 79 characters cleaned and stored on a memo field, with only 1 character of which is not a minion but I like it for our ladies so it was added.
Original design is for ssPopper (yes part of it is a class and so it starts with ss) to randomly pick one of the minions on every pop, like this:
But then I like things to be flexible so in the end I gave also users the ability to choose their own avatar instead of a random one cycling to each characters via the arrow keys. The last minion character shown (or their favorite) is retained on next opening until they choose another.
And here it is on Full Screen:
BizCore Popper is nothing but just a simple messenger right now. The purpose is for users of my ERP app to send messages to each other back and forth as long as said ERP app is running. Like other messengers, a user can send messages to any one of BizCore's online users, or to several users or to all users (Broadcast).
The purpose of this post is to give ideas on a possible look of a messenger. Maybe some of you will find this attractive enough to try creating one as well or to sort of copy the design and look or feel. Some may think this looks childish but hey, my users love these minions. I think they love these more than if I put their own pictures on the pop ups as while I gave the ability to initially choose an avatar, by design, I made the next pop ups (via replies) randomly picking a minion. So it adds a sort of surprise or expectation as to which minion will appear next. :)
"Life is like a box of chocolate. You'll never know what you're gonna get!" - Forest Gump
Some says VFP is dead. But in my end, whoever sees newly my ERP app with even those who has developing skills often asked me, "on which PL was it is done?" And when I say VFP, they can't help themselves but openly admire that VFP is really that awesome.