Friday, January 14, 2011

Thoughts about Google's Notepad Example 2

So I'm not going to rewrite the Example 2 app like I did for Example 1 but here are some thoughts after going through the exercise.
  • Firing intents via startActivityForResult(): It's a little tedious packing items into the extra Bundle, especially if you have a lot of data but I'm sure it's much faster than hitting the database again.
  • Local variables versus accessing the Dalvik VM: It's included as a note in the example text, but it bears repeating, especially for mobile developers: "Accessing a local variable is much more efficient than accessing a field in the Dalvik VM, so by doing this we make only one access to the field, and five accesses to the local variable, making the routine much more efficient."
  • XML layouts are hard to debug: While the schema is pretty straightforward, it's not like there's a debugger for your XML files so any dumb mistake can make for very tedious troubleshooting.
  • Once you get a Virtual Device going in Eclipse, don't turn it off!: Upon starting up Eclipse, the AVD fires up very quickly when executing a program. But if I shut it down, do some coding or whatnot, and try to run it again, it often sits on the "Waiting for HOME ('android.process.acore') to be launched..." step. Out of habit, I sometimes kill the AVD mistakenly.

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