Skip to main content

Lessons Learned from Titanium SDK

It's been fun hacking together projects that integrate with Facebook's Graph API. In a matter of a few minutes, I was able to get login working, fetching friends, relationships, and profile information. Titanium team has been doing an amazing job at providing examples and documentation.

Don't trust the comments in Q&A section


Sifting through pages and pages of questions and answers that seem somewhat relevant to your issue will take an exhausting amount of time. Adding to that, some answers are 3 years old! I don't even know why they keep that sort of information around -- it is incredibly misleading. I really wish they would move to StackExchange.

Dig into the Objective C libraries


When I couldn't understand why I wasn't able to set http headers using the out-of-the-box HTTP Client in JavaScript, I figured out that there are only specific times you can set HTTP headers. Thankfully, I built a Service Locator and Service class that poly-filled everything for me. It is used internally within the HTTP Client 

Use the right source of documentation


When you google, "Titanium ui view", you'll most likely land here: http://developer.appcelerator.com/apidoc/mobile/1.7.2/Titanium.UI.View-object. This page is actually part of version 1.7.2 -- Some of the methods may still exist in 2.1.3 (latest), but you're sure going to hit a wall soon if you're working with "soon to be" deprecated methods. The right source is here: http://docs.appcelerator.com/titanium/2.1/index.html.

Use an MVC framework 


The examples in the Titanium documentation write UI components in a way that is reminscent of Java Swing. This is fine but really, developers should be encouraged to use the right pattern for UI development. This would be Model View Controller. Here is the frmaework that is suggested: https://github.com/appcelerator/alloy.

Use keybinds to increase productivity


I'm a gamer -- I used to play World of Warcraft where I had every single ability bound to a key even if it was something as useless as targeting a specific mob. Anything you can do to shave off seconds will help you enjoy development more. Below are screenshots of my Eclipse keybinds.



Capture metrics and behaviours


Titanium has an API for tracking navigation events and feature events. If you come from Google Analytics or Omniture, we can easily describe these events as page views and custom events. Adding analytics will give you the insights you need to optimize certain views to increase XYZ action. For example, if you're creating an application with shareable data, you basically want to increase sharing throughout the network. Adding metrics around determining if users are seeing the Share button can be done to optimize this feature's value.

Loving it


I've really enjoyed working with Titanium. I definitely will be using it other hacks. At first, it seems daunting but that's only because the documentation and SEO can lead you down a dark path. Look for the real sources and you'll find yourself being productive! 

Cheers,
Jaime



Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

TextMate Tutorial: How to add a Strikethrough keybind to your Markdown bundle

Markdown is awesome for quickly generating Readme's on Github. After looking at other projects using the strike tag, I've decided to create a custom keybind for it in my TextMate Markdown bundle. Here's how:

1) Click the + sign on the bottom left and click New Command.
2) Paste this into the editbox and make sure you name your command "Strikethrough".

For the input field, select WORD in the drop down.
For the output field, select "insert as snippet".
As for the keybind, you can totally map it to whatever you're comfortable with but I chose Command-D as it is the same thing in Microsoft Word.

Cheers,
Jaime

World of Warcraft Ninjalist addon: version 0.1 coming along quite nicely

After toying around with more GUI related issues in World of Warcraft's API, I've decided to take a totally different direction. Originally when I architected this addon, I knew in my mind it would be a super simple Console application that a user could easily paste in a name and add it to the database; however, why stop there?

After discovering AceGUI, I can easily start developing UI components in no time! As of right now, I've got it saving data in between game sessions--the interesting part will come when I'll have to develop the web service that will parse the SavedVariable.lua, eliminate duplicate entries, as well as, do a huge merge between their copy and whats on the server's (per realm basis of course).

Here's a screen shot of the responses when adding new Ninjas to your list:
When a user clicks add after entering a name in the textbox, it'll go ahead and add that person to the ninjalist tagging the user's realm and current date/time. Someday, I…

Using Git Hooks: Prepare Commit Message to automatically prepend branch names on commit messages

When you're practicing branch by feature with distributed version control, typically you'll get assigned a ticket or issue and that ends up being your feature branch. Instead of always typing in the branch name in every commit, you can edit your Git hooks (specifically prepare-commit-msg).

Assuming that this is a brand new git repository:

mv .git/hooks/prepare-commit-msg.sample .git/hooks/prepare-commit-msg
vi .git/hooks/prepare-commit-msg

Edit the file by commenting out what was originally in the file and then add this:



Now, whenever you make a commit, it should show up like this in the log:



Since GitHub and Bitbucket both support Emojis inside commit messages, you can do something cute like this



Want more emojis? check out the Emoji Mardown Cheatsheet!