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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Android Meetup Talk: Tips for Better Android Development

I gave a talk at a Toronto Android meetup earlier today. The turnout was great and I am glad that everyone enjoyed the content. I hope that it will help guide Android developers down the right path. Here is the abstract from the talk:

The goal of this talk is to help bridge the gap between amateur, intermediate, and advanced Android developers. Pierre will provide his tips for more professional, productive, and effective Android development while sharing common mistakes that new and even experienced Android developers make. This talk will be more of a general discussion about software development in the context of Android than a hands on tutorial on how to solve specific programming problems. Pierre hopes to illuminate the path to becoming a highly valuable Android developer and a software craftsman.

I promised I would post my slides and notes so here are the slides and the notes ready for your consumption.

Thanks to everyone that came out and I hope that this information will be useful as well for those who did not make it.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Installing IdeaVim on Android Studio Preview

Update: This post is no longer relevant. IdeaVim shows up in the Android Studio plugin repository and can be installed as expected.

The announcement of Android Studio at Google I/O 2013 marked the rise of IntelliJ Idea as the new standard for Android development. Being a long time Idea user, I'm glad to see Google moving away from Eclipse and Idea stepping into the lime light. The "What's New in Developer Tools" session from yesterday was essentially an introduction to Idea featuring the CTO of JetBrains and an Android Tools engineer touting the new screen layout preview skins, the resource string hints, and the like. This is a good talk for Eclipse users who want to upgrade to Android Studio, however it was quite tedious for seasoned Idea users.

I was excited about switching from my normal Idea environment to this new Android Studio and loaded up my Android project to find that the IdeaVim plugin no longer showed up in the Plugins repositories. This could be a deal breaker for me. The advantages of Android Studio are easily offset by the loss of productivity I'd suffer if I couldn't use IdeaVim. I'm sure support will be added eventually but that doesn't help me now.

Turns out that a manual installation of IdeaVim works. Here are the steps:

  • Download IdeaVim plugin from JetBrains Plugins
  • Extract and copy Vim.xml to $HOME/Library/Preferences/AndroidStudioPreview/keymap/ to get the Vim keymap
  • Open the Plugins dialog in Android Studio and select "Install plugins from disk..." Locate your extracted IdeaVim.jar and load the plugin.
  • Restart Android Studio and the plugin should be activated

It seems that I have IdeaVim working correctly. I haven't spent too much time in Android Studio to know if there are any issues with IdeaVim. I'll keep everyone posted.