A Line in the Sand: Part 2 – Weapons of Choice

Now I’ve drawn the line, it’s time to clearly define what tools I’m going to use to accomplish the task.

First up, I should point out that there are some key goals for this project:

  • It needs to be achievable – there’s no point going in all gung-ho and biting off more than I can chew so I’ll be sticking to languages I know already, but will use new frameworks and API’s to get the job done.
  • I’d like it to be a mobile app first – I may move on to creating a desktop version later.
  • Given that I don’t know enough Objective-C or Java to create native iOS or Android apps, I’ll be sticking to web based tech….for now.

Having thought about it for a couple of days and done a little research into each of the potential technologies I could use, this is how I think it will pan out:

Primary Framework: Angular.js

There’s interest in using this framework in my day job and it’s something I’ve had my eye on for a while. It’s also JS based which means I don’t have to learn a new language from scratch.

Secondary Framework: Ionic

In wanting to keep this mobile for now, I was looking for a framework that was specifically built with mobile in mind. Ionic seems to fir the bill perfectly and it’s optimised for Angular.js

Primary API: ebay

Clearly if I want to create a client that lists your ebay watch list, I have no choice here 😀

With this high level stuff in place, next time we will look at drawing up some basic wireframes.


Calling ExtJS Controller Methods From Outside the ExtJS Namespace

Last time we looked at how we can use ExtJS 4.x’s MVC architecture to gain all the benefits of clean and well organises code base without having to use a full “single page app” viewport style methodology.

As you may remember, this can come in handy in your web application if you’re not using the ExtJS framework exclusively or if you’re just opting for a more traditional build with ExtJS providing supporting components to enhance your HTML.

This time we’re going to take a very quick look at one of the problems you may encounter when you have a set up like this; how to call an ExtJS controller method from not only another controller but even from outside the ExtJS namespace entirely.

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Google Replaces Dalvik with ART

The Dalvik Runtime in Android will shortly be no more. Commits to the master branch in the last 24 hours show that Dalvik runtime has been disabled and ART runtime instated as the default Android runtime.

No idea what I’m talking about? Under the hood, Android use a runtime library to launch apps (amongst other things). Up to now, Dalvik runtime was used and it’s main party trick was the ability to compile required files on launching an app. This reduced app install time. While this was a very clever solution in the early Android days when devices were slow and had minimal storage, things have moved on. ART runtime does it’s compiling up front on install so everything is ready to go the instant the user launches an app. As there’s less work being done at launch time, ART runtime also has benefits for reducing power consumption which leads to longer battery life. You’ve been able to enable ART runtime for a while provided you could accept that some apps wouldn’t be compatible with it in it’s beta but now it seems like it will shortly be the default.

Link : Android Authority


Android Theme Chooser – Gem Flat CM11 Theme

I’ve found what I think is one of the nicest Android custom themes available. I’ve been using Flat Gem CM11 for about a week now and I find it very difficult to fault. It’s quite an understated, flat theme that goes deep into the OS and tweaks the look of pretty much everything you would normally associate with Android itself.


Gem Flat CM11 Volume
Gem Flat CM11 Volume
Gem Flat CM11 Quick Settings
Gem Flat CM11 Quick Settings
Gem Flat CM11 Notifications
Gem Flat CM11 Notifications
Gem Flat CM11 Settings
Gem Flat CM11 Settings
Gem Flat CM11 Phone
Gem Flat CM11 Phone
Gem Flat CM11 Clock
Gem Flat CM11 Clock

Wayfinder | Using Sketch like a boss

I could hardly call myself a Photoshop expert but that’s one of the reasons I love Sketch so much. Having said that, I see a continual stream of fabulous illustrators and designers moving to Sketch too so there’s clearly some depth there.

This rather nice little site has a great article on how to get more from this great app.

Using Sketch Like a Boss

And you can get the app itself here.

Clever tips for your favourite design app

Need some extra tips on improving your workflow with Sketch 3? Try this handy list.