Thursday, June 25, 2015

Steady As She Goes

Another hurdle I had previously, was how you take an idea and make it a thing.  Bring it to life. Where do you even start, basically.  How do you know what all you'll need to make it happen?

After more videos though, I'm starting to get the picture.  I'm beginning to understand the idea of a "life cycle" for an "activity", and how to use .xml files to create layouts for basic screens.  I get the idea that every screen is an activity, and that you can pause it, stop it, destroy it and so on.  I'm still nowhere near taking an idea, especially for a game, and turning that into anything on my own, but I feel like I can at least make a basic screen that says something, haha.  It is a start.

I also thought I'd mention that we made the switch from using the Eclipse IDE to Android Studio, in light of learning that Google would no longer be supporting the Android Developer Tools (ADT) plugin for Eclipse.  So far, we're both liking Android Studio, I don't think either of us (my brother or I) have any major issues or dislikes with it.  Honestly to me it looks and feels pretty similar to Eclipse, and I'm learning it little by little as I go just as I was with Eclipse.

Other than that, it's been pretty steady as she goes lately. I've been working on a few various tutorial apps with following these videos, from Hello World ones to playing with different layouts, and a basic registration form, all while testing on my phone and an emulator.  I guess my next challenge would be simply figuring out how to make things like buttons work, and opening up new activities from a Main Activity.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Learning Java: The First Post

For this first post, I'm going to try to backtrack a bit and mention a couple of the first things that crossed my path in this journey since I had considered making this blog for awhile before actually doing so.

So my main regimen to learn Java, has been to watch tutorial videos online and with the help of my brother who is a programmer, though he is just now learning Java as well.  For the videos, I mostly use a site called, which has really great tutorials.  My brother has found some good videos on YouTube as well, but for now, for learning the main core idea and getting started, that's mostly where I go.  At first of course, it's pretty simple, and guides you through installing the JDK and JRE, as well as an IDE, which at first I was using Eclipse, as the videos were too.  As is the norm, the first program it has you create is a "Hello, world!" program.  No problems there.

The first real problem I recall having, is just that I had a disconnect trying to figure out how typing in code and creating classes and objects, converted magically into images.  The next project the videos worked on, used the example of creating an olive press to crush olives and produce olive oil.  So I could see the code and the logic and all that, but how, when and where does it go from simply having it output text that says "You crushed 2 olives and got 4 units of olive oil" to an image of a press and oil?  I think I understand now that you would use different means to accomplish that, what we plan to do for example is use libGDX.  I have also previously dabbled with programs like Blender and Unity, but doing Java from scratch is kinda a different animal.  So I guess I see you would import images and the like, and the code will just dictate how they act.  Still, "rendering" and manipulating 3D images and objects is still a bit over my head, but that's for another day.