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Getting from Good to Great

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Getting from Good to Great

Getting from Good to Great

Thanks for all the great feedback on my last post, I got some wonderful app suggestions from some of you and some interesting questions. Overall, there were more than 100 comments and emails so I apologize if I took too long to answer some of you. I already mentioned the focus of these coming courses is to let you create apps in a more practical form: "cook book" style.
But while I talked a bit about the narrative and the course I didn’t explain exactly how or why this will work effectively.

One of the core capabilities of Codename One is control over every pixel in the screen. It’s a huge benefit and also a double edged sword…​

When wielded properly you can leverage this ability to create custom, fluid UI’s that seamlessly match the native OS style and form. But with great power comes great responsibility and we can end up with apps that…​ I’m sure you can complete that sentence…​ We’ve all seen those apps and I don’t want you to be there.

Recently I explained how we can create a gorgeous side menu design with very few steps. That’s one of the things I picked up from the bootcamp. Everyone had issues with something that should be as simple as a side menu. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when you are building a full fledged app. That’s exactly what I aim to fix with this new material.


After my last post I received a lot of questions & suggestions that I’d like to address:

Do I need to Know Anything?

You need to know Java to a reasonable degree. You don’t need prior knowledge in Codename One though. I’d love to add an "introduction to Java" course to the mix but that might be stepping outside of my personal comfort zone.

Will you use Youtube?

One of the questions focused on youtube mostly because of their excellent subtitle support which makes the videos more accessible to foreign language speakers and the hearing impaired.

I’ll use the teachable platform which allows me to structure course material and provide solutions, presentations etc. as part of the course. In some of the presentations I also include a transcript of the video with the slides, this should help fill in the gaps. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to walk the way back and do that for the older videos but since it’s already done for a lot of the videos it shouldn’t be a problem.

What sort of material will be covered?

We will launch with the restaurant and the "app builder" as part of the initial launch material. This is some of the material I developed for the bootcamp "remastered" to a more refined flow.

A major focus of the material is refining the look of the application, working with themes and design. But this is just a tip of the iceberg as the material covers everything that you need to bring an app to production. From security, to application architecture, native interfaces, sql, ORM, backend VPS setup and everything in between.

Notice I’ve made a specific distinction for "launch material", for the next two years at least we will add a new module every month. Guaranteed!

Shouldn’t Codename One be Good Looking by Default?

This isn’t exactly a question that was asked but it was an underlying current.

The answer is yes. We are are working on improving the default look for applications so if you create a hello world and start adding components without knowing much you should get something that looks decent.

This material would still be valuable even as we improve the basic look, everything that I teach would be just as applicable in the future as it is now. I’ll also update materials with newer details as features and enhancements make their way out.

Real Apps

I’ve mentioned the importance of "real world" apps in my last post and asked for some feedback to get a sense of what sort of apps you are building. You really came through with a lot of great suggestions!

I worked on them a bit to unify some of the ideas that are similar and came up with a set of initial suggestions:

  • Taxi hailing app (Uber clone)

  • Instant messaging app (whatsapp clone)

  • Social media app (instagram/facebook style)

  • Side scrolling game (mario style)

  • Point of sale app (charging and invoicing)

  • Image editor app (finger paint style app)

  • Kids puzzle game

  • Client Server business management app with database synchronization

  • Client Server business management app with Parse backend

  • Music player app

  • Video player app

  • Camera app - photos with overlay images on top

If you can think of other ideas for such apps that you would like to see please use the comments section below for ideas.

I’ve narrowed this list down to the top 4 most requested apps and I’ve made a voting form you can use to select the apps that you think I should add first to the course click here to select the app.

Before I sign Off

Today we entered the code freeze and released a release candidate of Codename One 3.7 plugins. That means you should be able to update the plugins for all major IDE’s and get the latest version of Codename One. Please bang on it a bit and let us know if there are major regressions.

So What’s Next?

In the next piece I’ll explain the details of how the whole thing will work and why I chose to go with exactly 3 courses…​

As always I really appreciate the comments and feedback, if you have thoughts or questions please let me know. And please don’t forget to vote!

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Posted by Shai Almog

Shai is the co-founder of Codename One. He's been a professional programmer for over 25 years. During that time he has worked with dozens of companies including Sun Microsystems.
For more follow Shai on Twitter & github.