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29 November 2007

A Maze of Twisty Little Passages

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The end of last week was Thanksgiving in the US, the tradition is to be with family, eat too much food and watch football (not necessarily in that order).

Apparently some folks took the chance to work on Android projects too. We are highlighting a few of the projects that caught our eye.

One of the coming of age rituals of any new platform is the porting of the Z-machine – the interpreter used in the Zork series of games from Infocom. Now Android has the Z-machine thanks to sussman and mariusm. The project, called Twisty, is available on Google code hosting. Thanks for the lost productivity you guys.

Testing is also a hot topic on our Google groups. While JUnit is bundled with the Android SDK to make it possible to do unit testing, there are many other kinds of testing, like automated acceptance testing. Positron builds on the Android instrumentation features from the SDK to make automated acceptance testing of Android applications possible. The author, phil.h.smith, has a pretty good introduction on how to use Positron as well.

Plugins for other IDEs are another favorite on the Android Google groups. While there are only rumblings about a NetBeans plugin at present, the idea-android project already has an early release for IntelliJ IDEA thanks to and intelliyole.

Dion Almaer also picked up on a crossover GWT/Android project which looks pretty amazing too. Chronoscope is an open source charting and visualization library written in GWT. The team were able to take the library, and with 8 hours of playing with Android, had a port to the Android platform.

Of course, there are many more Android projects springing up all the time, as a search of the android label on Google code hosting will demonstrate. It's great to see all this activity just a couple of weeks after the SDK was released.