because Hindley-Milner rocks
First of all, let me point out a website that was made aware to me on SO today: DroidDraw.
What a fantastic idea in many respects. You can flesh out the very beginnings of your UI quickly before needing to sit down and think hard about how to make it beautiful. Even just creating a few prototypes is faster than running through the emulator, which for me has been a real anchor. Yes, real designers use Photoshop or the like but I’m a developer. I like to have code produced on the fly.
I, for one, applaud the creativity and effort that went into such an endeavor (even as it conjures memories of the .NET click and paste UI’s which made their way over to my desk.) That said, I’m right at the UI discovery phase of Android development. It’s like learning a new language (library, really.) With all new tools and new tricks/traps/puzzles to solve. Quite enjoyable.
UI on the other hand is like some sort of Holy Grail. It is a broader skill I need to work on. Android may change later in the future, move to tablets, or even go away but UI skills are forever. Eventually we’ll move most of the UI to the web and have web interfaces, foregoing the need to create specialty tailored products just for Android, Blackberry or iPhone. What will be left are game applications, apps for sensitive information, and hardware focused apps (i.e. the camera.) When that happens the real differentiating factors will be service, user experience, and functionality — all things that are impacted by the UI. Hence my need to work on my UI skills.
Speaking of the camera, glad to see things like FaceTime on the iPhone. It’s only a matter of time till we have the reciprocal on Android. After face to face viewing is possible from any phone to any camera equipped computer chip it only becomes a matter of time before business models are built around it. Oh wait, they already have. Silly me, should have known that one from the start.
Anyways, I’m a long way from developing Scala apps on Android. Once I do, I can start making tutorials much in the same way they have tutorials for Java development.