Developing and Coding

Discussion in 'Android Hacks and Help' started by mrnelson86, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. mrnelson86
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    mrnelson86 New Member

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    So, if I were interested in finding out how to code and develop apps...where should I start? I know a lot about windows and a pretty good deal about macs, but linux is new to me and so is android. However, I am very interested in learning how to do all of that.

    Also, is rooting necessary? I would prefer not to root my phone due to the warranty issue, especially until I learn more about coding and what-not. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
  2. silverx10
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    silverx10 New Member

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  3. mrnelson86
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    mrnelson86 New Member

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    Thanks very much. I'm browsing that site now. Also, my fiance has an old laptop that she no longer uses (due to her getting a Macbook Pro, but she still has a Droid and loves it so don't hate! We are a couple of mac and droid loving people) that I was thinking of converting to Linux from Vista and using it for development once I get to know my way around the Linux/Ubuntu OS. Also, one of my IT friends at work told me about Python that he is interested in learning in addition to his XP/Vista everyday work. Anyone know anything about that?

    This is the CPU that I was going to convert http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834280004 would these specs be ok for developing Android apps? After I get used to the OS and learn how to code, etc. of course. Also, I'm going to google search and try to find out myself, but would there be any problems using that CPU for linux in anyone's experience?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  4. qoncept
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    qoncept New Member

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    You don't need a Linux box to write for Android. When you install the SDK it gives you an emulator and the tools to push your code to your phone for testing. I'd recommend sticking with Windows so you're not trying to learn two new things at once. Ubuntu isn't hard to use, though.

    Those hardware specs are fine. The emulator will run slow, but it runs slow on everything, including my 2.8ghz dual core iMac. Might want to toss another 1gb of ram in it at least, though, which should run you about 15 bucks tops.
  5. mrnelson86
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    mrnelson86 New Member

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    Forgot to say, the RAM was changed to a full 4gb. I wanted to try out Ubuntu as well because at my work I help the IT personell when they get backed up and there are some Linux systems at the USDA facility where I work. Also, I like to tinker :icon_ devil:

    Edit: That is a good point about the Windows emulator though, I suppose I can just partition my HD and install both OS on it and if I have too much trouble go back to Windows...just really don't like Vista haha. All my computers at work are XP and I have a mac mini at home.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  6. qoncept
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    qoncept New Member

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    I personally wouldn't bother dual booting. If you want to use Ubuntu, go for it, it's easy enough. And not much has to work to run Eclipse. :) I used PCs forever until one day I just got completely fed up with XP and installed Ubuntu. That lasted maybe 8 months until I was completely fed up with that and decided to try a Mac. I'm a better person now.
  7. mrnelson86
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    mrnelson86 New Member

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    Yeah I love my mac but learning new stuff about computers really intrigues me, especially after getting my DROID. Since the Android platform is related to Linux, I am now interested in that as well! Plus I like the idea of open-source everything, even if I am in love with my Mac Mini media station on my plasma TV :)
  8. mrnelson86
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    mrnelson86 New Member

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    Update: I got Ubuntu installed on the CPU after some difficulty (the CD I burned apparently didn't work the first time and was missing a file, but the next one worked flawlessly). Personally I really like the interface of the Ubuntu GUI but Linux and how the files are stored, how to navigate, etc. is sometimes very confusing to me. It's both similar and very different from Windows (ex. no program files folder, but folders containing programs are in the bin folders, etc. but just the executables) I am having trouble getting the android SDK to work, I'll have to tinker with it more later. I was able to get eclipse installed and working so I should be able to use the Android SDK

    Edit: Can a moderator move this to the "Hacks" or "General" section? I tried posting this in the correct forum but seems like very few people view this thread...maybe I'm just boring though!
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  9. silverx10
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    silverx10 New Member

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    Nah, 's not that. There's just not that many people here on the site that actively develop and offer tutelage on the subject. That being said, if you wanna get off to a good start, yeah, the official SDK site is pretty good for basics. You'll also wanna learn Java since the Android platform actually implements a Java VM. Sams Teach Yourself Java in 24 Hours is working great for that (bought it), and as far as the other stuff, just look around.

    When it comes to resources, remember: you get what you pay for. That being said, don't expect a lot from free tutorials. Though of course, if you find any, help everyone else out: post the links back here!

    This particular site offers what looks to be a very user friendly approach to Android development, though again: knowledge on Java is assumed.

    Android Development
  10. fragatak
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    fragatak New Member

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    Book

    If you want a book that goes through setting up a Dev environment and debugging in Eclipse then look at Amazon.com: Android Wireless Application Development (9780321627094): Shane Conder, Lauren Darcey: Books. I got it as I have never messed with Eclipse and wanted to know about debugging inside it. I have only gone through the building and debugging my first app right now that is just hello world. So far it is pretty easy.

    *note* It assumes windows. Which isn't that hard to get working the same way in Linux as the SDK is pretty easy to work with.
  11. NaterGator
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    NaterGator New Member

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    What problems specifically are you having?

    I can help, I'm a longtime Gentoo user and have the Android SDK up and working on Eclipse in Gentoo.
  12. mrnelson86
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    mrnelson86 New Member

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    I was able to install the android adk and completed the hello, android introduction. The tutorial then says to do it in xml, which is confusing to me. I can't figure out how to complete that step!
  13. NaterGator
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    NaterGator New Member

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    Wait a freaking second, you're in Gainesville? Small world, go gators! UF Electrical Engineering student here.

    Ok, I assume you're here: Hello, World | Android Developers
    and specifically getting confused by the XML UI layout section. As a baseline, do you understand the principles of XML, have you ever written an XML file before (be it for a SOAP/AJAX transaction, Manifest, etc) and are you familiar with any GUI layout in any language/engine?
  14. neemo6
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    neemo6 New Member

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    Great thread, im a starting out programming student and would love to learn to make apps as a hobby. Subscribed.
  15. mrnelson86
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    mrnelson86 New Member

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    Yep born and bred in Gainesville lol. You are exactly right as to where I am stuck. I have no experience with XML or anything, I am completely just starting out in programming and development, no experience doing any of it other than rudimentary self-teaching in Windows. It is kind of overwhelming teaching myself linux, java, and android, and now seemingly XML, etc. I am usually pretty tech savvy and can figure things out, and I know that I'm biting off a lot here, but it should be fun, if frustrating at times. I think what helps is that I don't have a real reason to be doing this other than because I want to...not going to school for it or anything (that's what biochemistry is for lol)

    On a side note: I am really glad this thread is helping other people!

    Edit: What is Gentoo? I could google search I guess though haha
  16. NaterGator
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    NaterGator New Member

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    Alright then, you know where you need to start. Since the XML bit is your first stumbling block I'd start to learn the basics of XML. What you need to know first and foremost is XML is really just a standardized syntax/format specification that is used to encapsulate and convey data. XML parsers are fast and highly optimized, and APIs (application programming interfaces) usually have routines for working with XML structures. XML in itself is not a language in that it doesn't execute and it doesn't "do" anything... it is just easy for computers to parse/interpret and get useful information from. With that in mind have a look here:
    XML Introduction - What is XML?

    In the context of the Android SDK (specifically that example) the XML file you create is not part of the "programming" per-say, it is a description of how the rendering engine should lay out the GUI elements you want to use in your program. You might be better off thinking of it this way: the java file is code that is executed to run the program, the XML file is read to layout the visible elements.


    Gentoo is a source-based Linux distribution meaning everything I run (well, pretty much everything I run) is compiled first from the source code. Gentoo is a good distro to use if you want to modify the code of applications you are running or want to learn about different coding styles and structures.
  17. mrnelson86
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    mrnelson86 New Member

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    Thanks, I'll look at the XML stuff and try to figure it out.

    So Gentoo is similar to Ubuntu but just put together by a different group of people and is more relate-able for coders and developers with Ubuntu being more relate-able for windows/mac users coming over to Linux? I read Ubuntu was easy to learn so I figured it would be a good starting point for me at first, but I'm open to other distributions to try out later.
  18. NaterGator
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    NaterGator New Member

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    Yes, but trust me here... stick with Ubuntu until you know why and what switching to another distro will mean and do for you. I am by no means suggesting you should even think about switching to Gentoo, simply offering logos.

    I will also give you a sound bit of advice I got from one of my better professors in a tough class: learning is not a linear progress. Very few people endeavor in a tough study and make linear progress (IE: with x amount of time put in they get y more skillful)... instead almost everybody learns in a "stair step" pattern. That is to say you'll work at a concept for a while and it won't entirely make sense despite repeat attempts to master it, but one day something will just click and you'll have an epiphany as all your work at it falls into place and rather abruptly your skill level and mastery increase and plateau at a new level. Then you'll utilize what you've learned and expand what you are capable of, simultaneously exploring new concepts you don't grasp that would be helpful with your newfound knowledge and the process repeats again.

    This is very much true in programming, especially when starting out. You've gotten Linux installed, Eclipse set up, the Android SDK installed, and a Hello World application created, none of which is a small feat for somebody without experience with object oriented programming. You've just had your first exponential leap, so expect to plateau for a little while but keep at it and you'll reap the rewards.
  19. mrnelson86
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    mrnelson86 New Member

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    I appreciate the advice, hopefully my leap isn't quite over yet :) but I understand not to get too frustrated and quit. I try to take breaks when I feel like I'm getting to that point, plus I work on it so infrequently since it is a "hobby" between working full time and school and a fiance and just buying and renovating our first home... :icon_eek:
  20. acidbrn
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    acidbrn New Member

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    I know I will need the Android SDK, but are there any other programs that i'll need to download in order to begin programming for Android?
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