Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mobile app coding resources

Since many of you seem inspired and ready now to venture into the coding part of creating mobile stories, here are some links to get you started:

To begin with, programming for Android and Apple devices (as well as RIM or Microsoft or whatever) requires the knowledge of a specific programming language. While you probably are familiar with markup languages, such as HTML and XML, programming languages are different in the general sense that they create the usage environment -- including logic statements, functions and the like -- while markup languages interact with that environment.

Android devices, for example, run on a programming language calledJava, not to be confused with JavaScript. But those of you who are familiar with JavaScript or PHP should be able to read the developers kits for Android or Apple and make a fairly easy transition into the basic coding schemes of Java, or Apple's programming language, Objective-C, for iPhones, iPads, etc.

If you are interested in taking the next step, I suggest a few resources.

No. 1 -- Download the developers kit within which you want to work.



And read, read, read and read some more ...

These kits contain many helpful tools, including emulators and sample code. The code samples let you tweak standard functions of an app and make it do whatever you envision (after lots and lots of trial and error, of course).

You also will need an IDE, or integrated development environment, within which to tweak and write code.

For Android, I suggest Eclipse, an open source IDE that works well.

Apple has its own IDE, called Xcode, now up to Xcode 3.

All of these sites have extensive tutorials, which I recommend.

But another primary recommendation I have for you in terms of learning this sort of coding is to get involved with local people working on similar projects, particularly the fine folks at Mobile Portland. They have monthly meetings, an active user group and many helpful people involved.

I hope this post will give those ready to take the next step a start.

Please post here any other resources you would like to share with classmates.

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