Win a copy of Rust Web Development this week in the Other Languages forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other Pie Elite all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
  • Tim Cooke
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Ron McLeod
  • Liutauras Vilda
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
  • Junilu Lacar
  • Rob Spoor
  • Paul Clapham
Saloon Keepers:
  • Tim Holloway
  • Tim Moores
  • Jesse Silverman
  • Stephan van Hulst
  • Carey Brown
  • Al Hobbs
  • Piet Souris
  • Frits Walraven

To the Authors: UI development

Ranch Hand
Posts: 252
Android Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Satya & Dave,

As an Android developer, one of the most frustrating task I have found has been UI development. Even a slightly complex screen becomes a spaghetti code of Linear Layouts & Relative layouts with hardcoded values for height, width, margins. My iOS colleagues scoff at my efforts. Overheard on a Skype conversation between two opinionated iOS programmers "They have to design screens manually through XML? No wonder Android apps look so <expletive>" - true story!

So my question is - do you know of any good UI development tools for Android? Do you have any tips & does your book cover this?


Posts: 51
Android Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We tried to cover so much material in the book, but we didn't cover UI design tools per se. There's a brief mention of droiddraw ( as a GUI tool for Android but the book doesn't cover it (no room). Droiddraw is a pretty popular tool though. The Eclipse plugin has a graphical UI designer that gets better with every release. When you get really serious about UI design, the Eclipse plugin has a number of tools that help a lot. For example the hierarchy viewer shows you a graphical representation of the structure of your UI, which can help uncover problems and inefficiencies. That's covered in the book. I took a look at Google's App Inventor for Android but found it difficult to learn.

We cover the XML side of things in pretty good detail: the layout managers, the control specs (buttons, views, lists, etc), styles and themes. That's chapter 6 and it's 72 pages. I didn't find working in XML all that terrible, but then I haven't used the iPhone tools so I may not know what I'm missing. I don't think bad UIs are a result of using XML however.

- dave
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic