Saturday, June 28, 2008

Shameless Self-Promotion

Just wanted to share a bit of really good news. Chris Haseman's new book, Android Essentials, recently went live!

I was flattered when Chris asked me to be his technical editor for this book. I've enjoyed tinkering with Android since it first came out, and had spent far too little time working with Chris lately, so it was a perfect opportunity to collaborate. The entire project felt like working at a startup: lots of experimentation, lots of passion, a great commitment to figuring it out and getting things done.

It's available as an eBook, with a dead-tree version also in the offing. I'm not sure when it starts shipping, but you can already download sample code from the book's web page. Great success!

As long as I'm in carnival barker mode: I don't think I ever mentioned here that I wrote a devX article on beginning Android development. I have Chris to thank for that opportunity as well. You know, I used to cringe whenever someone would say to me, "Wow, you majored in both English and Computer Science? Guess you want to be a technical writer, huh?" After the exposure I've had this year, though, I have to admit that I really do enjoy it. Not as much as writing software, but it may be the next best thing, and besides gaining the pleasure of helping people, I also learn more about the topic than I would otherwise.

Anyways! Right now I'm more or less twiddling my thumbs in M5-RC15 land, waiting for Google to share its top secret new SDK version with the rest of us. Last weekend I dusted off some old projects of mine (old Android projects? Are we allowed to have those yet?), and was struck by how... natural this all seems now. I remember when Android was first released, and it seemed like a foreign land. Intent receivers? Activities? onCreate, onFreeze, onPause? What was a Content Provider, and how exactly did I navigate from one of my screens to another? Now, it's all second nature, and best of all, I can grok why Google did it this way. If you're really interested in this technology, you should definitely check up on the Google I/O sessions on mobile Android. It's an exciting technology, and if the carriers play nicely, this may only be the beginning.

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