Challenges with Android Development

Been working on several applications for Android, along with supporting Crisp Wireless‘s efforts and expanding mobile advertising opportunities, have discovered a number of issues working on applications with android. First many of the devices have been highly customized, creating significant amounts of fragmentation, which is complicated by the number of active api verstions 1.1 – 2.1, and varying features, for instance input types and navigation controls. Another challenge discovered has been a bug in the browser, that makes work with layers using z-index difficult in that the browser does not respect z-index when doing hit testing, so clicking on a top most level, could wind up activating controls or links on a lower layer. Developing image related applications revealed other issues, including differences between phones such as the Motorola Droid and Emulators. For instance in work with a scrolling, dragging, image browser works fine with the emulator and allows using the application as viewport into a larger image, but the Droid support for Image Views and Scroll Views causes the view to resize to fit, regardless of the settings

SmugMug Api

I have been working on an android app to work with SmugMug and their api. Getting started with their JSON api is good and works as advertised. It’s fast and reliable. Parsing using the org.json libraries (http://json.org) works well. For working on small footprint applications some changes to their api would be appreciated, particularly being able to work with a smaller result set or a paged result set from the usertree and albums interfaces would be good. In a larger footpring this isn’t a real problem.

Motorola Droid Review

Having been a Blackberry user before, I had waited for Verizon to do the Droid. I have been happy with their service and didn’t want to move to another carrier. I had been considering a better Blackberry, but made the leap to the Droid. It is easy to get started with and user interface good and it is enjoyable to use. It’s a little heavy and clunky. Ordering a case is a good thing, the finish is not as durable as many would like. The battery life span is not the best but given the features it is worth it. The camera sensitivity could be better. Other reviewers have noted issues on the keyboard, and there are with the pull out, working with the top row on the keyboard takes practice. On the other hand the on screen keyboard is good enough that you don’t really need the pull out keyboard much. The standard usable SD Card that comes with the device is more than adequate and works well with the usb cable. Voice quality is also very good. The screen resolution is also very good compared to other phones, and the photo and video quality is far superior to other phones I have used.

The New photobycnoyes.com

I talked about smugmug.com earlier. I had earlier used gallery2 for my photography. If you want to host your own and use an existing package, it’s actually one of the best. When I started working with smugmug.com, I discovered they have a lot of facilities, like a slide show object, and sharing and feed support, so I decided to use those to build a front page system to front my smugmug gallery. Using their flash objects, 1 php file, a couple of flash text images, courtesy dreamweaver, and I built a cool starting point in an afternoon. http://photobycnoyes.com

Photography Portfolio Sites

I have been trying to get more visibility for my photography. Yes, Flickr.com is good, but for serious photographers it has limitations. Another one I tried was zenfolio.com. They have an interesting system, and it’s decent, though some features for a more professional setup was lacking, but I still think it’s a good system. I finally found one that I really like SmugMug.com. My photography is at  http://cjnoyes.smugmug.com

Moving to Support Vista is a Bitch

Astro for Windows had been working well with Windows XP. Windows Vista adds a lot of challenges, particularly files that users modify that under XP could live under Program Files, have to be moved either to Public or the users directories. Security has become much more challenging, things that worked before now have to change. Moving from Earlier versions of Windows to support XP had fewer challenges and fewer issues surface, than supporting Vista