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Showing posts from October, 2017

Insider's Guide To Udacity Android Developer Nanodegree Part 5 - Make Your App Material

Having embarked on this account of the Android Developer Nanodegree, designed by Google and delivered through Udacity's platform, in March, we've already covered a lot of skills. This part  tackles mission impossible, turning a Coder into a Designer.

I always aim for functionality first and design second, something clearly evident in my Nanodegree projects submitted thus far which satisfied just the UI essentials but also in my other unrelated-to Android-work, such as Ultimate Extract and Recover, a Win32 application and Smart Device Seeker, a Website about smart devices. So "design second" doesn't pertain just to Android applications but crosses boundaries and I guess that's something prevalent to most backend-oriented developers out there.

This has to change since design plays a big role in what breaks or makes success and, with so much competition in the Android store, producing just a functional application is not enough. This makes sense…

Google's Teachable Machine - What it really signifies

The Teachable Machine is an effort by Google to make Machine Learning and AI accessible to the wider public, without requiring any specialized training, knowledge in Computer Science or coding.

The site https://teachablemachine.withgoogle.com/ is a move that reflects the current trend of the personalization of AI in shifting the algorithms from the Cloud to the user's space, be it their desktop, their phone or other smart device.
That's not the biggest problem though; the real issue is that the models used for training the algorithms under the common supervised learning model, require massive datasets and excessive amounts of CPU power.
So as the situation currently stands, the bulk processing is done on the Cloud by Platform as a Services which offer Machine Learning as plug and play API's which encapsulate the necessary pre-trained  algorithms, with offerings including tone analysis, visual recognition or conversation analysis. Prevalent examples of such Pa…

How Much Gameplay Can You Pack In Just 13K?

Given our expectations of Xbox games, you might consider writing a game within a 13K limit, which is the challenge for the annual js13K competition far too restrictive. Its results are now out and prove that it is possible to produce a game that is fun to play. 

Back in the tape loading days and on platforms the likes of Commodore64 games came in sizes of 4K or less. As proof of concept, here's a list of a few such 4K titles, copied over from Lemon64 's archive:
Alien SidestepBug CrusherDot GobblerClose EncountersDot Gobbler v2GridrunnerLaser CyclesMarios BrewerySpace ActionSpace RicoshayTank WarsHesmon64Retro Ball  Fast forward to now, at a time when Javascript's eating the world by making all sorts of applications or  games available to everyone through the medium of the browser, rendering the need of dedicated platforms and Operating systems obsolete, 13K is sufficient enough to pack both gameplay AND cool graphics due to the advanced browser engines and HTML5.

INSIDER'S GUIDE TO UDACITY ANDROID DEVELOPER NANODEGREE PART 4 - BUILD IT BIGGER

Steadily advancing through the Android Developer Nanodegree, I've now reached Level 3 on the curriculum, "Gradle for Android and Java" in which students learn how to use Gradle to "turn a pile of source code and resources into a shipped,tested and functioning app". Tools which automate a project's build process have become an essential part of any developer's toolchain, considering that nowadays the making of an application is not just constrained to writing code.There's also other accompanying tasks that should be run in parallel.Some of those are identifying and bundling dependencies, copying resources such as images and strings, running unit tests, diversifying through product flavors, minifying or obfuscating the source, handling signing keys, packing a jar or apk and deploying the finished product to a repository or even publishing it to Google Playstore. Trying to follow a sequence and manual tracking of all those tasks as well as repeating t…