Today is my second day at my attempt to conquer the master world of postgraduate. I have to say, it’s not an easy task. Who got three quizzes in just two days of their college beginning day? But oh well, everything must going on. It’s not that I have a really hard time doing the quizzes right now. It’s the future that I’m worried about. Will I get my master degree in satisfactionary way, even flawless, or will I fail? I don’t know what the future’s hold. But I know whatever happened, my God will always stay with me.
Update: I’ve just realized that Android already have Android Development Tools (ADT) bundled with Eclipse download package. With this, you and I don’t really have to worry anymore, as everything is already included, like the case I have when I was trying to install the same thing for BlackBerry development. But that also means you have to download the whole 450 MB instead of just 45 MB because you have to download the Eclipse too.
With a little help:
Okay, I admitted it. My interest can be swayed easily. It’s not long after I try to learn to coding in iOS, that I’m still far from capability to do that. Not to mention that I’m still don’t own any Mac yet to be able to learn comprehensively. But yesterday I bought a low cost Android phone that looks good, and then realized that there are tons of great apps on the store. Then I immediately began think to learn developing on Android platform. And here I was just starting to learn in depth about Visual Studio! Which one should I pick.. Hmmm… But anyway, I guess developing on Android platform would be easier for me than the walled garden environment of iOS. I think this is a starting point before I took off to the larger scope. So, wish me luck. 🙂
In a glimpse, here is what you should need before you even get started to developing Android apps in Windows. I’ve copied this article from the techradar.com article above, and edit it into my kind of format.
1. You have to install Java Development Kit (JDK) for Windows.
2. You have to install Eclipse IDE for Java Developer.
Android programming language is based on Java. That’s why all of the ruckuss of JDK and Eclipse. But actually, you’re able to compile and run your application without the need of Eclipse IDE, as the developer.android.com points out. If you follow the tutorial at developer.android.com, you’ll be presented with almost-pure-coding XML programming sensation anyway. So, using Eclipse is only an icing on a cake.
3. With Eclipse IDE up and running, download Android SDK. Note where you put it.
4. You need to add the Android Development Tools into Eclipse.
Android Development Tools is a whole different package from Android SDK. This package is to help Eclipse understand how to work with Android SDK.
To do this, choose ‘Help > Install new software’. Next to ‘Work with’, enter https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/eclipse and click ‘Add’. In the pane below this, check ‘Development tools’ and click ‘Next’. Select ‘Android DDMS’ and ‘Android Development Tools’. Click ‘Next’, accept the terms and restart.
You need to point the ADT plugin to where you extracted the Android SDK. In Eclipse choose ‘Window > Preferences > Android’. Next to ‘SDK location’ click ‘Browse’ and locate the folder with the SDK. Click ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’. If you got no error, then you have point to the correct location.
5. Get at least one Android platform.
You can do this in the Android SDK and AVD Manager, which you can launch in Eclipse if you’ve set your system up correctly.
Choose ‘Window > Android SDK and AVD Manager’ to open it, then select ‘Available packages’ and tick the box next to ‘https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/repository/repository.xml’.
After a brief scan of the repository, you’ll see the available components. Tick those that you want to install and clear the rest. The most important package to install is the latest version of the Android platform. You’ll only need older ones if you plan to release your app and need to test it in a range of different versions. At this stage you can also clear the samples, Google APIs and USB driver. If you need any of these later, you can always go back and install them.
Click ‘Install selected’ and wait for the components to download. Verify and accept the new components if prompted and they will be added to your existing Android SDK folders.
6. Set up Android Virtual Device
Having downloaded a version of Android, you need to set up an Android Virtual Device (AVD) to run the computer. You can do this in the Android SDK and AVD Manager. Choose ‘Window > Android SDK and AVD manager’ and select ‘Virtual devices’. Click ‘New’ and provide a name for your new device. Select the Android platform that you want to use as the target. Click ‘Create AVD’.
If you want to test your application under different versions of Android, you’ll need to create a new virtual device for each version of the platform. You can also specify other parameters here, including the presence and size of an SD card. It’s also possible to select a file to use as a virtual SD card.
You can opt to use the built-in skin (recommended) or specify the resolution that you want to use. Under ‘Hardware’, click ‘New’ and select a device if you want to add more virtual hardware.
For a simple AVD, you’ll generally be fine sticking with the default options. You can now close the Android SDK and AVD Manager.
7. You’re ready to create and emulate your Android App!
For a tutorial on how to create your first simple projects, please refer to techradar.com.
For further tutorial to create increasingly advancing projects, please refer to developer.android.com.
As you may know, I was researching of what is the best free library to teach game programming to high school student. And I suddenly stumbled upon this post, which the last comment gave a very good overview about the major libraries and which one to choose. I will quote it here, just in case the site will be down sometime in the future.
- SFML — the baby in the group, but potentially easiest to use from what I’ve read.
- SDL — the middle road. Very mature library, sensible, generally concise if a little arcane from time to time, and a very common choice. Setting up display formats can be a bit of a bastard, I’ve used lazyfoo’s tutorials to help on that front.
- Allegro — Geriatric, it’s been around since Atari ST days. For that reason, a lot of the 2D rendering code (which I think is only in Allegro 4) is pretty darn quick since the logic was built for much lower spec systems. I personally don’t find it very intuitive, even considering the documentation.
Considering OpenGL accelerates the 2D side of things these days, it’s not that important to have access to the fast software renderers that Allegro and SDL have (or had in earlier versions). However when I pick a library I focus on project maturity, user base and docs more than speed (so long as speed is reasonable), and I would say SDL and Allegro win on those fronts. SDL has also been to release triple AAA titles like Civ: Call to Power.
For you who wants some direct links, here are the direct links to each of the library’s overview:
Okay, now I almost got into the class where I (finally) teach programming for the student. I will teach C++ for the high school students. This is where it getting interesting, as I has been dying to wait for this chance to happen. But, of course, I won’t be able to teach them game programming just yet. They will really need the basics. I don’t really know when the time comes, whether I will be able to teach them game programming, or I will switch to database programming instead. After all, I designed this as a preparation to enter Informatics major too. But I will bookmarks them here, just in case. For my future reference.