Monday, January 21, 2013

Android Ivy

So I am creating my own Ivy Repo and wanted to jot down some things. Core benefits to creating your own Ivy Repo for android application development:

Control, as you will find that some bonehead in some project(yeah you Guice and the guice_no_aop) changes a module release to no longer be its own single module and thus you will have to re-enable such a thing for android application development, well at least in your ivy repo.

Organization, as you can organize parent modules in such a way that the normal workflows you have in using/re-using certain components becomes a module and thus you only need to add one line in the project ivy file for the module inclusion instead of a massively large project ivy file.

Ease of build script writing, as Ivy has ant tasks and types that allow you as the build script writer to grab the configuration container objects and items and thus you no longer have to do those large path container objects. Also, most IDEs have an ivy plugin to allow you to grab the same container objects to put in the project's classpath.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Do You Want to Go For Coffee?

Every startup it seems needs an engineer or wants one during their fund seeking process. But the limp Do You Want To Go for Coffee is not the game changer that will get your engineering target to grant that request.

Why? Because its your idea, remember we have no knowledge of you or your ideas or startup or business. If you want meeting with your targeted software engineer you will have to to do it on their terms, not yours.

It is not that we do not care about your idea, its that you and your idea our strangers. Think of this way startups succeed by having two ingredients the engineer and the salesperson.  If the sale of attempting to get an engineer to talk  to is so limp and uninteresting that this how the sale presentation before other strangers will be, in other words a complete failure. In other words you are transmitting a sense of failure before you even get started.

For developers the bonding substance usually is a meal. This goes back to the early 1950s and 1960s when computers were slower and thus the talks were self organized around meals while the engineers waited for compiler or console time. Now due to the new build servers and other automates software engineering processes we congregate around a meal while those systems are processing projects.

And you know your startup is in trouble if a software engineer is preaching to you about your lack of social skills. Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People is a good starting place for those who might be new to this.

Strangest Startup Developer Request

What is the strangest Startup Request? Rather than rank them I will just list them:

Can you reverse engineer our competitors stuff?

Yeah, like I really want the legal implications of such an adventure.

Can you modify or reverse engineer a contractors stuff?

Yeah..I really like modifying someone's work after you have breached your agreement with them.

Would you consider being CTO?(from an obvious CEO moron with 500 downloads per month  in Google Play market and posting fake app reviews)

They are kind of noticeable as I usually get the standard we did not read your resume but can you apply anyway requests.

Friday, January 18, 2013

How To Get An Android Developer

Every startup has this question to ask of someone. But, its not the answer to this question they are interested in, its a different question.

The question they want an answer to is,  how to pick an android developer that will produce an android application that has high downloads? And it snot an independent question as it relies upon the startup understanding that they will have to allow the android developer to modify product features and functions to get to the point of having an application that is desirable.

Have you tried looking at their social quotient score? what the heck is that?  Look at the views of their Youtube channel< mine is at close to 29,000, or their blog views, this one started late in 2012 so its still in bare thousands, or their stakcoverflow points score, mine is about 1500 not high but still in the top ten. The reason you are checking these sites is to see how they get an audience.

Why an audience? Mobile applications for the most part unless you are doing enterprise applications are impulse buys. That means you have to be skilled in getting an audience as if you can get an audience of thousands of members than you will get thousands of downloads.

A developer who is attuned to getting an audience will structure the design, look and feel, etc of a mobile application with specific audience in mind and they will even go to some lengths to analyze an audience to see what their desires, likes, and dislikes are. Just implementing a startup idea as a mobile application only will get you about 500 downloads a month, not any where close to a number that a potential seed capital Angel VC will fund.

Hold on, there is one more aspect of mobile applications. The way the ad model works on mobile applications is that if you implement a mobile application centered on a set of activities and allow the ad system to self select for that set of activities than those ads have high click through conversion rates as the mobile user views them as an extension of the application.

Sounds somewhat obvious and simple does it not?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Enterprise for Android

It used to be that if you wanted to deploy mobile devices for an enterprise with their own apps internal to the company and tracking of access to those applications and users of the devices you might choose a closed source solution with heavy amounts of service fee contracts and several customization contracts.  Than there was always the aspect that the customization is not easy and was limited by the sandbox closed source puts you into accepting.

Now, yes we cannot fully realize an easy way to set up an appstore for internal company apps, lock down iphones, and really create a company set of iphone iOS devices with customization. We can get close in that we can get a C++ version of OSGi running on iphone and even iOS apps with OSGi embedded. But that as fa as we can go, not true with android.

Thus, what would the development processes and workflow look like to develop an android OSGi enabled app store for a company and the accessories such as the CompanyHomeScreen app and CompanyAppStore app? How could you handle  device/user access to limited apps in the CompanyAppStore and track how the devices are used and miss-used using the CompanyAppStore installed on the device?

These and many more are all android deployed to enterprise questions that have interesting answers but also empowering answers of getting and receiving more power to empower employees and empower a company deploying to just android rather than deploy two or more mobile platforms. Is it a book our courseware yet?

At this point its neither a book or courseware. But, I think that starting an EnterpriseHomeScreen app and doing some articles and slides on new processes, techniques can help me figure out how to get to the book and courseware stage. Using OSGi and several other enterprise things just opens up so many possibilities beyond just the flimsy limited iJetty web apps yo could do on Android as far as what is possible in the enterprise environment.

So now you know the other set of reason for my recent side project activity of a LandSlideTheme project, and ivy repo, etc as its organizing and planning for a new direction and push.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Goodbye to the Next Mark Z

Its with sad news that we are presented this  morning with news of Aaron Swartz's untimely passing. While many will speculate, lest end the sepcualtion.

Aaron Swartz was the closest to the next Mark Z as far as not in monetary terms but in innovations in INTERNET FREEDOM. He demanded the over-turning of the status quo while at the same time giving back that new additional awarded internet freedom back to its internet users.

Young people of the mobile internet generation, its Aaron Swartz that you should emulate both in passion and giving control of freedom to its greatest benefactors, everyone.  We will miss you Aaron.

When pubic journal articles produced with tax payer money was not free to access via the internet he took it upon himself to right that wrong. Internet freedom and freedom to access public money produced articles should never be a felony under any acceptable set of ideas not matter where the money for those political ideas comes from.

Its now more important than ever as we reach a situation whereas a large portion of the internet audience views information via a mobile application rather true unrestricted internet web access. Will the young generations to come have the courage to avoid the startup riches and instead to strike out towards new adventures in reviving internet access and internet freedoms?

I hope we are certainly not doomed, it would be a nice tribute to Aaron if we see more revival of internet access and internet freedoms.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Some tools/projects being pushed out. I have collected some opensource fonts into one project, called FontThis. The specimen pages will be completed later. A HTML5Slides theme project using Landslide, called LandSlideThemes that I will finish on the weekend.

Why not S6? Gerald Bauer, S6 project author, is a former javaLobby user like me back in the glory days of javaLobby we spared along with several Sun employees over ways to open source java. Actually at times I do use both LandSlide and S6 so at some point I will be completing some new S6 themes as a side project.

Than its finish the GWSIvyRepo on the weekend and few other goodies. The idea is to get these tools done and usable form so that I can push out some other things.

What other things? I have been looking at how I want to teach android application development. Part of me wants to do it in the Kathy Sierra style of using all the new education and training theories.  Also part of me wants to explore the aspect of teaching android application development via the command line.

Via the command line, are you nuts? All my learning of different things math, computer science, etc was completed without the modern tools. When training is begun or started with those modern tools it interferes with the establishment of foundation skills. Many of you still do not have adequate debug skills due to using modern tools early in the training process rather than be forced to develop certain foundation skills.

Zed Shaw has a nice gitorious code repo of his templates he used to Do IT The Hard way programming series that he is famous for and so it would be easy to modify those templates to begin something like this.

Along the way there will of course be some free goodies, hence the sidebars with slide widgets, etc.