Apr 102013

The Git mad App-A-Thon is back, and so am I (Taylor), along with continuing partner Larry, and new addition Tamil! This year’s contest will include GT WebDev as well, so we are looking forward to a bigger, better contest with more apps and more prizes!

Last year’s app-a-thon was a great experience, and as a team and individually we learned a great deal. The 14 hour ordeal took quite a toll on us, but we did stick it out to the end and had a working prototype to show off!

This year we are planning to do even better!

To start, take a look at last year’s research post here. It contains lots of background and useful information whether in the learning, design, or building phase of an app.

Next, if you haven’t yet, DEFINITELY read all the way through the Android training course. I can’t stress this enough, there is extremely important information in that.

-Android Training Course link

After that, take a browse through the API Guides / App Components section of the Android Dev website. This is where I currently am, and it covers material that is slightly higher level.

-Android App Components link

Lastly, for anything else Android related, Vogella has lots of good tutorials such as the one below which covers ListViews and Adapters. That site will definitely be a good resource if we get stuck.

-Vogella ListView Tutorial link


edit: 4/15/2013

Yo, App-A-Thon SP’13 is coming up soon. If we do the inventory app, which is looking more and more likely, I think we will employ some/all of these resources:

– Meteor Framework link – This will be used to rapidly develop a rich webapp with a fluid backend database.

– MongoDB link – This is the database that Meteor is based on. We’ll have to do some hand-waving to go back and forth with SQLite (the android db).

– Handlebars link – This is a minimalist js framework that provides HTML templating. It is the preferred template-r for Meteor. We can use this to lay out the page, and have full and mobile sites.

Read up on these and how to use them, because they are going to help make our app kick-butt!

edit: 4/18/2013

T-1 day on the countdown, here are some more links that I have been looking at in preparation for this event. A lot of them have to do with getting up to snuff with meteor!

A good thing to note is that the Meteor team likes answering questions on Stack Overflow ( Tag: meteor ) and on IRC ( link )

– ( link ) First resource, Meteor official Documentation. Has great information above the nitty-gritty as well

– ( link ) A team at CMU working with Meteor during a Hack-A-Thon

– ( link ) Collection of learning resources for Meteor

– ( link ) Another Hack-a-Thon experience, but this time information from the point of view of learning it on the fly

– ( link ) Third Party Fundamentals and Best Practices

– ( link ) Caveats of Javascript

– ( link ) Mozilla Dev Network JavaScript Guide (for da n00bs)





Nov 292012

First Things First

Get your computer set up to develop properly

1. Get the Android SDK: http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html

This step can either be completed with the first link, which includes a large bundle of everything you’ll need, or, use the drop-down menus to find other options (for example, if you already have an IDE). Android seems to prefer Eclipse.

2. Install Eclipse Plugin: http://developer.android.com/sdk/installing/installing-adt.html

3. Configure; download a few platforms, I grabbed 4.2 (Jellybean), and 2.2 (Froyo)

Had some trouble with this in Win8, needed to allow more permissions for the folder where it is holding the images and whatnot.

 4. Install Subclipse: http://subclipse.tigris.org/

I installed the 1.8.x Release of Subclipse, which corresponds to Subversion 1.7.x Awesome, now get developing! What, you need more? Read on then!

Notable Links

Main Developer Website – http://developer.android.com/index.html Training Home Page – http://developer.android.com/training/index.html Reference Home Page – http://developer.android.com/reference/packages.html Obligatory Wikipedia Links – Main: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system) – Version History: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_version_history (Useful for figuring out which Android version number goes with which Android Dessert Code Name)

Tutorial – http://www.vogella.com/articles/Android/article.html


Android Application Activity Life Cycle

An important thing to note (and indeed, something central to Android and all apps),  is that the Activity Life Cycle is super important. If you pay no attention to this, your app may not start, may lose data, and even act sporadically. Therefore, study the following diagram, as well as the life cycle as whole.

Note (from O’Reilly): “It is possible for a paused activity to be destroyed as well. For that reason, it is better to do important work, such as saving unsaved data, en route to a paused state rather than a destroyed state.”

Here is a set of Lecture Slides that was published online: AndroidLifeCycle

Activity Life Cycle

Or perhaps this illustration from the Reference section will appeal to you better.

Activity Life Cycle

If you prefer O’Reilly (owl), here is a link to an excerpt from Learning Android, which explains the Activity Life Cycle: http://answers.oreilly.com/topic/2692-android-programming-understanding-the-activity-life-cycle/

Documentation and Reference


Main Page: http://developer.android.com/reference/packages.html Activity Page: http://developer.android.com/reference/android/app/Activity.html

Lessons and Training

Getting Started: http://developer.android.com/training/index.html Building Your First App: http://developer.android.com/training/basics/firstapp/index.html Managing the Activity Lifecycle: http://developer.android.com/training/basics/activity-lifecycle/index.html Invoking Google Applications with Intents: http://developer.android.com/guide/appendix/g-app-intents.html


Random Collection





Nov 292012

UnRulyRecursion evangelists Taylor and Sterling will be participating in the GIT MAD Fall 2012 App-a-Thon in collaboration with Larry. This will be an exciting rush of mobile application development (stretching from Friday, Nov. 30 at 6pm to Saturday, Dec. 1 at 12pm) that will be judged at the end. We are raring to go, with a great idea for an app, willing and capable coders, and prizes looming.

If you are interested in following or seeing our progress, the repo and possibly TRAC will be added below.

Stay tuned to hear how it goes and see the app we build! The event’s webpage is here ( link ).