On Android Development

I’ve been tinkering with Android for a few days now, and I am bit less thrilled now. The documentation which at first blush looked great, is actually pretty minimal at places, for example the API. It would be really helpful if there were links from the API to samples where the API was used. There are also places where the API is incomplete, with notes that more is to come. There is also something strange on the official Google Android web pages which keeps Firefox consuming about 10% CPU for every window that has Android documentation pages open.

It seems like you cannot construct a UI using just the Java API; you have to refer to XML files that specify at least some parts of the layout. All the samples I have seen so far in fact go straight to XML to show how the UI is done. This seems a bit backwards to me. I would expect one to have complete freedom to do the UI in Java, and the XML format is just a nice alternative to have. Like in the wxWidgets project. The XML also has some strangeness to it in my opinion, namely with the use of @-sign to point to other resources in attribute values. And it is kind of pity that this is yet another XML language for UI, when there are already other languages available.

The community has started some pretty nice resources for Android developers. anddev.org is my favorite. Another I found is Triled. Another good tactic, as usual, is to search the web. Although with a project as new as Android, the chances of finding anything different from Google’s official pages or those two community sites are pretty slim.

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