I am finally done with lesson one. I can tell already that the lessons are too long for the brief periods of time I have available to work on them, at least this past week. It has been somewhat frustrating because of that. I need to set aside bigger chunks of time. I wish that I were only paying for when I am actively using Udacity, instead of the clock running all of the time whether I am online using the web site or offline doing something else.
The lesson was not too frustrating until the end where things got really confusing between when they were using TextViews and when they were using ListViews. It would also help matters a great deal if they would spell out what variable names to use instead of me having to go back to my code and say, “Oh, I called that a widget when they called that a whatsit.” Most of the time, our variable names are in sync because we are both using logical names, but sometimes the good-name space is just too large.
And I am fairly certain that “listview_forecast” was originally “list_item_forecast” in an earlier video. “listview_forecast” is the better name, but only if you actually assigned it to the ListView earlier instead of “list_item_forecast”! On the positive side, I can tell that developer.android.com is going to be my new best friend, along with the excellent book on Android development that I just purchased.
I mean to keep track of my time in this course, just to compare to what Udacity has listed. Keep in mind that I usually go more slowly and more in-depth than average, just because I feel like I learn more and learn better that way. Anyway, I have spent about three hours so far on the course, mostly because of the time necessary to download and install Android Studio.
The title to this blog post refers to the “Sunshine” app that we are building in the course and the “Hello, World!” app from which we are starting. I have successfully downloaded and installed Android Studio and created the initial app as laid out in the course.
There were a few stumbling blocks however. First of all, be certain to work from the online Google Doc as your primary reference. It is much more up-to-date than the course videos.
My biggest speed-bump was getting to the SDK Manager. You can’t get there, or at least I could not get there, from the initial install of Android Studio 0.8.0. (The SDK Manager is listed, but it is grayed out and unselectable.) It is/was necessary to update to 0.8.2.
The twist is, I had launched the update to 0.8.2 prior to trying to get into the SDK Manager, but for whatever reason the SDK Manager was not immediately available. It only mysteriously made itself available after an unmeasured amount of time after I thought Android Studio had finished upgrading.
A minor issue is that Gingerbread does not appear to be an easily selected option for minimum supported version anymore. Following the directions in the Google Doc does eventually get you around this limitation however.
Bottom line: Use the Google Doc and be patient!
I have decided to try Udacity’s “Developing Android Apps” and so I have also decided to return to this blog to write about it. Today is Day 0. I am downloading and installing Android Studio as I write this. I will write more about it tomorrow.
And as for the over 500 spam comments to my previous posts since the last time I checked in, I am sorry but all of your comments are caught and discarded without ever having seen the light of day. If you happen to be a real person reading this blog and you want to leave a real comment, I promise you that I will review it and release it as quickly as possible.