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11 Dec 2008, 17:49
Ceres (1 post)

Just thought I’d voice my opinion on the problems I have been having with the book so far:

  • I don’t think you ever mention being able to auto-fill in the imports in Eclipse (cmd-shit-o on Mac) this saved me a bit of typing
  • On “Starting a new game” you start to just throw code at us without some detailed explanation as to why we are doing what we are doing. For example, the part about the “New Game” button and the AlertDialog.Builder object… this entire section code is never really explained.
  • Although I read almost everything up until “Starting a new game”, there is never really a break down of when to put things into particular directories. You just tell us to put them there. For example, what kind of values belong in /res/values? Why was colors.xml put there? Can I rename it to colours.xml and get the same result? What other kinds of resource directories can be put into that directory?
  • During the 2D graphics part, it goes a long time without allowing us to see the fruits of our labor in the context of the runnable game. Might be due to the way the book is sectioned, but I think it would help to be able to see what we are building as we are building it especially when we are talking about graphics.

That’s it for now, but I’ll be posting more feedback as I go through more of the book.

Thanks for the great resource.

15 Dec 2008, 17:47
Ed Burnette (1341 posts)
  1. A previous version of the book relied heavily on organize imports but I got several complaints about that because sometimes Eclipse didn’t find the right class. So in the end I just spelled them all out. By the way, you can find more info on Eclipse shortcuts at:

  1. Perhaps I could have been clearer in this instance but here’s what I’m trying to accomplish. Detailed documentation about all the classes and methods like AlertDialog.Builder() is available online so I didn’t want to rehash it in the book. What I’m trying to provide is a feel for how all this stuff fits together and what you might want to use it for. I try to give you the least amount of info you need to start, and then elaborate on it later if necessary.

For example this has an array defined in resources. When you get to chapter 7 you’ll see another array like that and I go into more depth about how Android uses the Adapter class to handle it. Then in chapter 9 you see a more complex Adapter example in the context of SQL cursors.

  1. There’s a nice long description at that has more than you probably wanted to know about resources. It says the files can be named anything (so colours.xml should work), however I recommend you stick with the conventions.

  2. I’m a big fan of seeing what you’re building too, which is why I have so many screenshots, especially in the two graphics chapters. Sometimes due to layout issues the pictures have to float a page or two later than I’d like to see them, but we try our best.

Thanks for your input, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the book. –Ed