Lessons Learned


I sure can’t complain of being bored. A tad frustrated, maybe, but hardly bored.

Lessons learned this week, in no particular order:

Do not use ADT or any variant of Eclipse for Android development.

It will crush your soul. Literally. The thing takes forever to start up, can’t find files it created by itself, crashes if you look cross-eyed at it, and is generally useless in terms of productivity unless you consider refactoring code as “productive”, since it takes effing seconds to display tooltips.

What am I doing for Android? Well, that’s besides the point, really. But it was needlessly complicated to do it in Eclipse vs just using android, ant and vim, which is what I ended up doing instead.

I’ve been here before, and now that I’m embracing the JVM as my main runtime (thanks to Clojure), I realize that a lot of what I hated in Java wasn’t so much about the language as the utterly crappy IDEs1.

Yes, I know the cool kids are all using Android Studio instead of ADT, and I suspect I’ll be spending some time inside IntelliJ, but I have this thing against “early access previews” and being someone else’s guinea pig when I’m pressed for time.

Android WebViews are fun.

Seriously, hilariously fun, in the sense that you can now do amazing stuff inside them if you can take the flak that comes with the insanely fragmented WebKit engine space. But even without WebGL support, having blazing fast SVG rendering, sane webfont support and CSS transforms makes it possible to do awesome visuals.

If only I could get the video tag to work consistently, I’d be perfectly happy. Alas, ‘tis not to be.

Microsoft is going to win.

Seriously. Office for the iPad is mind-blowingly amazing, and the only reason I haven’t signed up for Office 365 yet is that a) I don’t need it (yet) and b) the Personal plan only allows for a pair of devices, which is ridiculous – almost on the verge of pettiness.

But I can see it making complete sense by the time the kids grow up (yeah, Office file formats will likely still matter) and since I’m in the process of moving away from Dropbox (slow, pointless when I have blazing fast MEOCloud) and Evernote (slow, bloated clients that I can almost replace with OneNote), it’s mostly a matter of offsetting the expense.

Curated computing and cloud services are here to stay, and as long as there’s an easy way to move my data about, I’m all for them.

Aurora is great.

I’ve been using Firefox Aurora for a couple of weeks now, and it’s a great browser. I’ve always kept Firefox around since it can do NTLM authentication (as far as I know, it’s still the only Mac browser able to do so), but the new developer tools and snappy response have recently won me over.

It’s nice to have choices.


  1. As far as Java IDEs are concerned, I’d much rather use NetBeans. ↩︎


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