Friday, April 8, 2011

Hello Titanium (Appcelerator)

Here's my first Android application written using Appcelerator's Titanium. A newbie to Android itself, I was lured to Titanium because of its promise of the language (Javascript - which I thought will help speed up development) and also cross-compilation to native code for both Android and iOS.

Well, my experiences were not smooth. There's lot of promise, but it is still raw. Here are the pain points:
  • Very difficult to debug. All I had was debug prints and exception popups.
  • Still buggy. Many unexplainable behaviors.
  • Apart from simple features, most of the stuff is not really portable across platforms

Titanium today is however good for simple applications. Titanium applications come out to be much more responsive than those creating through other cross platform tools that typically use the webview (browser) for HTML based UI. The community is also very active on Titanium. They got some funding recently and are going to bring out an IDE that will ease development and debugging a bit (the beta is already out). Titanium is open source, but I don't think the IDE is. It feels so much like Flex development - being stuck to Adobe's tools was not very comforting.

Anyway, here's the code for my first app.

It is an Android app to maintain structured lists of things. It lets the user define and create a list and add/delete items to/from it. Laziness has prevented me from publishing the app to Android app-store. I'll do it one of these days.

The attached code is of the app.js file. To use it, you must create a project in Titanium first and then overwrite the generated app.js with the one attached here. And the resources (icons/images) are also not attached, please get your own to build app.

I'm gonna check out a few other similar platforms.

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