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Is there an easy way to make UIs?

Mark Spritzler
ranger
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Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17250
    
    6

My biggest problem I am having learning and creating Android apps is that UIs are defined in xml. Kind of like Html. I am a visual person and this method of xml does not work for me. It takes way too long to try to get something that looks good, and when you add a little complexity it gets completely impossible to define xml for it.

I tried Eclipse's UI builder but that is awkward too. I want something that I can drag Widgets to and move it to exactly where i want them and use it. Kind of like Interface Builder for iPhone development. Or Visual Studio for VB or C# forms. You know a good WYSIWYG designer for Andriod. All the rest of the code is really easy to understand.

Thanks

Mark


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David O'Meara
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Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

I'm going to assume you already Googled android wysiwyg, have you checked http://droiddraw.org ?
Mark Spritzler
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Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17250
    
    6

David O'Meara wrote:I'm going to assume you already Googled android wysiwyg, have you checked http://droiddraw.org ?


I was just playing with it. I guess Android doesn't have the same amount of widgets that iPhone has to make my UI. It acts just like the Eclipse plugin did, and the whole parts of Layouts is what is getting me all confused. I know it is like Swing with layouts, and that unfortunately is where my big problem comes in. I can understand it as I made lots of Swing UIs, but while I like Swing, I don't think this is the best way to implement a UI, especially with Mobile devices.

I'll just have to get used to it and wait till there is a better UI system that we can use to program it. (Opinion)

Mark
James Elsey
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Joined: Dec 21, 2007
Posts: 228

Hi Mark,

I totally agree with you, creating a decent UI is a real pain.

I've tried droiddraw a few times but with mixed results. If you start off fresh and keep it simple its reasonably ok, however if you import an existing XML layout into DD and try to amend it, its an absolute nightmare (doesn't seem to like nested layouts)

It can only be a matter of time before more options like this spring up, I'm surprised this area isn't already saturated to be honest...


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Akil Kumar
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Joined: Jun 08, 2009
Posts: 83
Hello,

I am also in the process of creating a UI for my application in android. This is my first application. I was also searching for a good prototyping tool to create android controls. I came across the wireframe sketcher and droid draw but still not able to create what I want with that.

I clearly know what should happen when I tap each control but not able to connect those dots. So for instance if a user taps the app icon in the home screen it should take them to a screen with various different options. Depending on the options they choose they should be able to navigate to the respective screen.

Like Mark mentioned is XML the only way through which I can create all the different controls for my human interface? The various events related with the menus should be coded in the activity and view class? Can anyone provide some help regarding this?

Thanks
Mark Spritzler
ranger
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17250
    
    6

Yeah, only xml or Java code but really that is like xml to me anyway in that you still have to think in these layout styles. It should be easier to break apart views into smaller parts and add parts together.

I watched a couple of interesting YouTube Google I/O 2010 videos about UI Design Patterns and one on the ListView.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1ZBjlCRfz0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDBM6wVEO70

I definitely understand what is going on here, I just have always found this way to be so unvisual way to design UI's which are all visual. Seems very counter productive to me, as HTML and CSS to me is counter productive because web pages are visual. It is my learning and creating style and it throws me out the window when it comes to asking me to write UIs with this approach.

Mark
Akil Kumar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 08, 2009
Posts: 83
Hi Mark,

Thanks for the reply. I checked you money mgt calculator iphone appi t's pretty neat. My requirement of building an UI in the android is almost similar to that app. When I say similar I meant the controls like UITableView or like having set of push buttons on a screen. How should one approach the similar implementation in Android? Do I need to define programmatically each individual controls? For instance if I am planning to have 3 buttons in the screen, do I need to define each of them with their respective size and create separate classes to handle different events? Could you please help or share your thoughts?

Thanks
Mark Spritzler
ranger
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17250
    
    6

Akil Kumar wrote:Hi Mark,

Thanks for the reply. I checked you money mgt calculator iphone appi t's pretty neat. My requirement of building an UI in the android is almost similar to that app. When I say similar I meant the controls like UITableView or like having set of push buttons on a screen. How should one approach the similar implementation in Android? Do I need to define programmatically each individual controls? For instance if I am planning to have 3 buttons in the screen, do I need to define each of them with their respective size and create separate classes to handle different events? Could you please help or share your thoughts?

Thanks


I don't know your answer. That is basically where I am at. Trying to figure out how to make a UI form. When there is a TableView with custom Cell views. I think there needs to be an xml file for the cell view, then another xml for the tableview or ListActivity or ListTableView, something along those lines.

Mark
 
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