Your development experiences

General topics about the Android-Platform itself.
Coding issues please to the subforum right below.

How would you rate the current preview SDK?

Grade A (Best)
6
8%
Grade B
22
28%
Grade C
31
39%
Grade D
15
19%
Grade E
4
5%
Grade F (Worst)
2
3%
 
Total votes : 80

Your development experiences

Postby plusminus » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:24 pm

Hello Community,

I'm going to have an Interview for BusinessWeek.com today, so I just wanted to request some of your good AND bad experiences during your development process towards the Android SDK :!:

Any comment is desirable :!:

So I could represent the opinion of the whole community :)
Please do the vote above also :)

Some things you could think about
  • Problems during development process
  • SDK Documentation
  • Missing Features
  • ...
Best Regards,
plusminus
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Postby snowtiger » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:32 pm

Just merge your thoughts:
  • Problems with missing documentation
If you want, replace "missing" with "inexistent" :P
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Postby BackwardsDown » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:40 pm

As a student which just likes to program sometimes I think it is a very accessible environment to work in. With the tut you've got eclipse up and running within minutes and all the examples are not too hard to understand. Maybe the documentation is not yet finished but I think it will get more complete overtime, but there are also lots of great website's wich will help you guide the way :wink: . Also in the mailing lists the devs are very helpfull, altough there is much competition on some projects everyone still wants to word together to make android a great platform :)
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Postby Asgard » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:41 pm

My worst exprerience is about android API documentation. It's very poor, and not comfortable for using. not enough examples and common processes description. I prefer to ask question here or somewhere else, then try to find it at API docs.
The second bad experience it that each time I found new interesting method I don't know whether emulator supports it. I think that android team should specify what is stable and working already and what is unstable and doesn't worth trying to implement.

My common feelings about this sdk is good, it's well enough designed, easy to remember if you used some features once. But some of my colleagues stop using it because of its documentation and unspecified bugs. :(
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Postby charroch » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:46 pm

Hey PlusMinus you are becoming a staroid!

Plus points:
1. dynamise the market
2. Enable interesting projects and OS on the mobile which was less accessible before
3. community vs 3/4 companies that decides how we should use internet on mobiles
4. Good platform from google to develop application with eclipse - the tutorial and documentation makes it easy to begin and program our own ideas
5. Gives the geeks something to chew on

Minus POints:
1. Lacking documentation on several lib
2. Several critical bugs not sovled (toFloat for the sqlite lib, onMotionEvent for the maps etc...)
3. lack of documentation about the above bugs
4. It is hard to know where Google should implement an intent - such as taking a picture - and where external projects should develop their own (I am developing part of projects that I am pretty sure will be replace by native calls - wasting time?)
5. It is still unclear on how much google will take part in the overal system


In overall, I really like the idea that a company such as google decides to go into the mobile market. I remember buying nokia n95 because I wanted Internet on the move. The nokia system imo is very bad and slow and buggy. IPhone is nicer but I am not a big fan of apple - I rather go for the OS. Opening a platform such as android for anybody is crucial for the evolution of the mobile market and will change how we use internet. This is the main point why I like the idea.

This is my 0.01£ - I ll edit it if I have some more comments.

Enjoy the interview ;)
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Postby stephenelf » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:01 pm

Hi,

In general, I think that Android platform has been released too early, it coud be ok for a pre-alpha version, but Google was supposed to work on Android for the last 2-3 years!!!

To list just a few:
- missing documentation
- unimplemented or half implemented API
- strange inter API's references (maybe different teams that did not communicate?)
- bugs, bugs, bugs....
- bad implemented API's. Content providers should be able to use other persistence mechanism different than SQLite, but it is tighly coupled with SQLite.

I would expect often Android updates (weekly? monthly?), but the only update available only fix some (important) emulator bugs, but not platform bugs.

bests
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Postby faceman » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:14 pm

If not for the high quality of this Android Developers Forum, I don't think I would have even considered trying out Android. I am not a Java programmer, I tried Eclipse when it first came out and didn't like it (intimidating interface, clunky, and - at the time - no visual editor), and the documentation for Android (beating a dead horse here...) is not suited for non-Java programmers such as myself.

After going through the tutorials, I found that the SDK was very easy to use. However, it is hard to stray too far from the examples (which just means I am a novice). Documentation should help.

I don't like Eclipse. It is just way too complicated for my needs. It gets in the way of learning how to use Android. The tutorials do a good job of helping the novice "poke through" Eclipse to get something useful accomplished, but I still don't like using it. Maybe I'll get used to it.

I do like Android, but lots of work needs to be done to make it more useable for everyone (not just experienced Java programmers).
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Postby rtreffer » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:26 pm

Ok, here is my "Android is shit"-list

1) It's alpha quality (or should I say the version number should be 0.01?)
2) It's not Java
3) It's OSS but owned by google - not community drive
4) apache license allows vendors to lock you into their software - there is no impact on end user freedom yet

The worst thing is 3... Did you see the bug-tracking messages on groups.google.com? No public bugtracker, no svn, just releases from time to time. If you know "the cathedral and the bazaar" you will notice that it's a cathedral - it has nothing in common with communitiy driven oss projects.

Let's look at 1+2. It's alpha quality - a 0.01 release. It's based on harmony - which is not Java compatible atm - but this will improve (I expect google to port harmony improvments to the Android platform - so I can't understand all the "it's not Java" bashing). Many bug's. Everything that isn't documented isn't supposed to work. Faulty documentation or even no documentation for large parts of the system. No learning trails, especially not for internals of the system. Highly IDE bound. YAFFS2 kills your partitions way to often.

So what is 4 about? Tivoization for the kernel - apache for the rest. The apache licenese gives the vendors more freedom. It's not about end-user freedom. Your vendor is allowed to:
- lock you to his kernel/userspace (due to digital signatures + bootloader)
- alter the system in any way - including the possibility to disallow you to alter anything
- close the source (except for the kernel)
I actually expect devices that are much more locked than todays devices - although they'll be hard to sell. This is a worst-case scenario - but it's a possibilitie that's highly pushed by google (have you heard how often they say it's completely open and covered by the apache license? But the apache license doesn't grant any rights to the end user... Dull)

It's the classic fud - but google doesn't try to destroy these fears as they would cut the freedom of there partners if they grant you more right...

Anyway: the mobile device sector is changing - and this is good! The whole movement towards open systems, open source and free access to all tools is a good thing and should bring up more and better phones. Google is the winner - no matter if android or openmoko - the message is "online, everywhere, anytime". Google will be happy to deliver advertisement while you are on the go.

Have fun with BusinessWeek.com!
root@localhost# : ( ) { : | : & } ; :
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Postby igal » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:33 pm

Plus:
hopefully open the whole mobile market, currently closed by careeres.
Android takes into account specifically mobile devices - Windows Mobile not

Minus:
Poor documentation
Miss a lot of API functionality, given 21 centure hardware possibilities
Emulator too slow

Total: while it was in small Android company it is OK, but get such thing from Google is a shame.
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Postby tum0rc0re » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:45 pm

- Poor documenation
- Slow emulator on my computer
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Postby paller » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:05 pm

I like the SDK. At least, it is much better than Series60 SDK was at the beginning.
Of course, the big question is how the SDK will behave wrt the real phones.
That's the 1 million dollar question nobody knows right now. :-)
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Postby don » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:08 pm

I think I have to agree with some of the others--Android wasn't ready for release. Documentation is poor and the SDK is buggy. I think the potential is amazing and I hope that the issues are worked out, but I think Google released this too early.
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Postby paller » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:15 pm

rtreffer wrote:Highly IDE bound. !

I don't agree with this. I agree only command-line tools, not Eclipse.
http://mylifewithandroid.blogspot.com/2 ... -line.html
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Postby paller » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:18 pm

"I agree only command-line tools, not Eclipse."
I mean: I work only with command-line tools ...
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Postby AndreySerj » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:21 pm

* inconvenient and uninformative documentation
* very slow and freezing emulator
* unexpected or strange behaviour of some components
* lack of useful methods for ui-components or its strange location
* a lot of point at issue and bugs
* very poor database implementation
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