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Learning android -- tips?

Ben David
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Joined: Oct 01, 2010
Posts: 67
I have plenty of experience with scripting languages. I have just started learning Java, which is the first programming language I have done anything with. (had a course in school on it) and would like to start learning to program for android (for hobby).

A couple questions.

Is there any learning resource you think is best for newbies? Is it best just to read up on the official android site, or are there any particularly good sites or books, etc.

Are there any places to download source for simple sample apps? I learn well by being able to look at actual code for other apps, so I can see how things are done.

I was hopeful that I could perhaps use App Inventor to make certain things, and then download the source, to see how it was done. But when I download the source for a simple App Inventor app I made, the source does not look at all Java based. Am I doing something wrong, or does App inventor source just not done in the normal android java dialect?


Ben David
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Joined: Oct 01, 2010
Posts: 67
Just noticed this FAQ at the top of the forum which looks immensely useful!! http://www.coderanch.com/how-to/java/AndroidFaq


Though I would still be curious personal opinions about the best resources for a newb.

Ulf Dittmer
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Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41118
    
  45
Just noticed this FAQ at the top of the forum which looks immensely useful

That page is probably 75% my doing, so thanks :-)

I can't speak to the code App Inventor generates, but this kind of tool tends to generate source code that's not pretty to look at it or easy to learn from.

Some "official" example source code can be found at http://code.google.com/p/apps-for-android/, although these have not been updated to use all the latest Android 2.x features. But for a beginner, that's probably just as well.

The Android SDK also comes with plenty of example apps in the "samples" directory, although you kind of have to piece individual apps together, as they're all in one big source tree.

The articles on the official Android blog are useful as introductions to individual subjects, but do not make a good tutorial as they're kind of all over the place (as befits a blog). "Android in Action" is a decent introductory book; make sure to get the just-released 2nd. edition.


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Ben David
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Joined: Oct 01, 2010
Posts: 67
Thanks!!

So would you recommend Android in Action over Hello, Android?

I tried getting set up with the apps-for-android source. I got subversion installed and went to subverion-->checkout it netbeans, and used the URL "http://apps-for-android.googlecode.com/svn/trunk" -- it seems to have downloaded all the source. (inside a "trunk" folder in my netbeans folder, is a folder for each app, that looks like a project folder.

But I cant seem to get netbeans to see it as a project. Neither when I try to open as a netbeans project, or when I try to import as an eclipse project.

Any idea what I might be doing wrong? (or how I can manually make it see it as a project)


Ulf Dittmer
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Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41118
    
  45
So would you recommend Android in Action over Hello, Android?

I read the first edition of Android in Action, and it was OK, but not great, so I'm sure it's possible to do better. Whether any other book -or the 2nd edition- actually is better I don't know, as I haven't read any other ones.

But I cant seem to get netbeans to see it as a project. Neither when I try to open as a netbeans project, or when I try to import as an eclipse project.

I don't see anything in the directories that indicates they're set up as NetBeans or Eclipse projects. I think you'll have to create projects from scratch and add the directory contents as appropriate. I haven't used the Android support of either IDE, so I can't help with that.
Michael Rivera
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Joined: Dec 31, 2007
Posts: 118

Ben David wrote:I have plenty of experience with scripting languages. I have just started learning Java, which is the first programming language I have done anything with. (had a course in school on it) and would like to start learning to program for android (for hobby).

A couple questions.

Is there any learning resource you think is best for newbies? Is it best just to read up on the official android site, or are there any particularly good sites or books, etc.

Are there any places to download source for simple sample apps? I learn well by being able to look at actual code for other apps, so I can see how things are done.

I was hopeful that I could perhaps use App Inventor to make certain things, and then download the source, to see how it was done. But when I download the source for a simple App Inventor app I made, the source does not look at all Java based. Am I doing something wrong, or does App inventor source just not done in the normal android java dialect?




1. I suggest you read the android docs online and sniff in with the forums available.
2. for books i;ve reading/read Android Application Development or Hello Android
3. openIntent or simple stackOverflow will help you and there are a lot of other people pushing every tutorial they can give us .
4. App Inventor is nice for simple apps but i suggest you learn UI from the ground up!


So many things to do so little time !!!
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Ben David
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Joined: Oct 01, 2010
Posts: 67
Michael Rivera wrote:
3. openIntent or simple stackOverflow will help you and there are a lot of other people pushing every tutorial they can give us .


Thanks Michael!

are you referring to openintents.org and stackoverflow.com?


Michael Rivera
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Joined: Dec 31, 2007
Posts: 118

Ben David wrote:
Michael Rivera wrote:
3. openIntent or simple stackOverflow will help you and there are a lot of other people pushing every tutorial they can give us .


Thanks Michael!

are you referring to openintents.org and stackoverflow.com?




Yes goodluck!
 
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