Joomla Slide Menu by DART Creations
Middleware Matters

Day 2 was the official start of the classes. These classes covered just about every conceivable topic that someone in the Android business could ask for. There were classes on the business end for sales and marketing folks, classes for QA folks, classes for newbies, and classes for experienced Android developers. My picks for day one were as follows:

  • Coding for the Motorola XOOM Tablet
  • Android Internals: From SDK to NDK to APIs; and
  • Open Source in Android Apps

The first class on the XOOM was very informative WRT to Honeycomb, which is Android version 3.0, and the actual look and feel of the XOOM. What can I say, the XOOM is cool. Much of the low level graphics programming for the XOOM is done in C and requires knowledge of Java native development. Android provides a NDK (Native Development Kit) separate from the SDK. My main concern with Honeycomb is the divergence from the latest Gingerbread version. The focus of pre-Honeycomb Android versions (Froyo, Gingerbread and the rest) was for both phone and tablet platforms while Honeycomb is only for tablets. There is a plan to merge the two code lines together in the future.

The keynote address by Motorola’s Christy Wyatt was very nice indeed. As a code soldier, my personal criteria to “take the hill” is:

  • The hill in question is the correct hill to storm; and
  • That the cause is just.

I believe Christy Wyatt did both. Motorola’s investment in Android as a corporation and their belief that the phone is a person’s information hub is a strong and vibrant mission statement. People are starting to understand that the phone is no longer a phone, it’s a computer. And Moore’s law being alive and well, the future looks pretty exciting WRT to mobile computing.

The next class, Android Internals by Marko Gargenta, was informative and focused. His example of how to use Android’s AIDL (Android Interface Definition Language) to expedite communication between Activities and Services was very crisp and clear. He also dabbled a bit with the NDK and demonstrated how to use the NDK in an Android app. The class also showed some performance numbers using native and Java code. Again much of the format of the class can be found in Marko’s new book.

The last class I attended that day dealt with licensing issues in using open source code in your applications. In summary, make sure you know the licensing issues of using open source in your application so you don’t have legal problems.

In my next post, I’ll describe the classes on the last day of the conference.