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Android Programming

Developing Android Apps Visually, In 3 parts 78

An anonymous reader writes "Dr. Dobb's has a three-part blog (all three parts are up; this is part 1) about using App Inventor. The focus isn't so much on the technology but rather the discussion of 'can visual development let anyone program?' If so, is App Inventor really visual development? And should we be teaching real programmers about visual development. Most of the conclusions are in part 3. As a byproduct, they show you how to put App Inventor output on the Market and there are two games on the market (free) that resulted from the articles." Here's part two, to round out the trilogy.
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Developing Android Apps Visually, In 3 parts

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  • Not worth it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pieterh ( 196118 ) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @06:10PM (#35987068) Homepage

    Coincidentally I just started learning to develop mobile apps last week. I'm using Sencha Touch and PhoneGap, Eclipse, and the Android SDK. The combination works pretty nicely, and lets me build fairly pretty pseudo-native apps, working in JavaScript. Best, they will run on iOS and any future mobile device with WebKit.

  • IntelliJ IDEA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Timmmm ( 636430 ) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @06:35PM (#35987182)

    Slightly off-topic, but Android development for me has been marred by the steaming pile of dung that is Eclipse. Netbeans is ok but it's android support isn't great.

    I finally got around to trying IntelliJ IDEA, and hooray! Android development is now possible on my lowly 2009 PC. It is so much better than Eclipse. You should download it now and forget about Eclipse this instant. Let's see:

    Cons compared to Eclipse:
    * Not the official android IDE.
    * Doesn't have some android tools built in (ddms).
    * No GUI editor for the manifest.
    * No GUI layout editor (although the Eclipse one is unusable anyway).
    * Logcat always autoscrolls. It's slightly annoying.

    Pros compared to Eclipse:
    * The main UI is way faster and more responsive.
    * The 'smart' features (code completion, refactoring etc), are even more clever than in Eclipse -- they practically read my mind.
    * No retarded 'workspace' paradigm.
    * The code editor is way more responsive.
    * The UI is a lot more sane, and much less cluttered, even though it still has a ton of features.
    * Built-in git support. Maybe this is in Eclipse, but I'm sure it is way more complicated.
    * No retarded 'perspectives'.
    * The UI is cleaner IMO, although it is a little win95-ish.
    * I have no idea why, but it manages to detect my phone even though adb doesn't. (I know right?)
    * It's just way better. There are tons of features that make you think "Wow, they really spent time implementing that (in a good way)?", random example: if you create a new class, edit and press undo, it will ask you if you want to undo creating the class!

    In conclusion, fuck you eclipse. You suck.

  • by JerryLindenburg ( 2048934 ) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @06:42PM (#35987212) Homepage

    See, the one fundamental concept programs like this miss is that ANYONE CAN PROGRAM!

    I'm sorry guys, I hate to break with the fleet of devoted programmers needing to feel like they have something on the world, here.

    Programmers are no better than people in any other skilled trade. And, I'm confident that I could work in any skilled trade I wanted to. If I could learn how to program in twelve languages, who is to say that I wouldn't be a genius with plumbing, or electricity? The difference here is that I want to program applications, so I do it. People who don't want to be programmers don't. That's all there is to it. Anyone can program, and anyone can learn programming.

    There's no doubt in my mind that this is development because a program is being created.

    And if you're creating a program, you have wanted to create a program.
    And that makes you.... a programmer.

    Microsoft in the 90's showed us beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt that no matter who easy you make the programming tools for non programmers, they're not going to use them because non programmers are devoted to the almost religious idea that they can't do it. It's like anything else that way. Tell yourself you can't do something, and you'll be right 100% of the time.

    So if you want to create Android apps, create the damn android apps, but like it or not, you're a nerd now.

    You're a nerd now.

    Now you just need to become an expert at War Craft and Dr. Who, and you'll fit right in with the rest of us.


  • by Tinctorius ( 1529849 ) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @04:32AM (#35989376)

    Anyone can program, and anyone can learn programming.

    No and no.

    I have seen many people struggling to learn PHP (as part of their education). Not because they had any issues with the language itself, but because they couldn't systematically approach their problem. And if you would have read the TFA, or even simply peeked at the pictures, you would have seen that this IDE is almost a glorified code coloring editor, where words of code fit together like jigsaw pieces.

    The art of programming is actually the art of reverse-engineering: you put your program together like you take your solution apart. If you don't know how to carefully dissect your ideas, then you are not a programmer.

If you want to put yourself on the map, publish your own map.