Friday, April 13, 2012

Eclipse Android Development Toolkit (ADT)

So I'm grading like 30 android phone and tablet projects for my mobile programming class, and there are things I keep encountering through the Eclipse Android Development Toolkit (ADT). Some good, some bad.

In particular there's this issue of the various android emulators and devices getting detached from the ADT, which means you can't deploy.  You then have to do this convoluted thing of going to the DDMS perspective in Eclipse, and clicking on the extra commands arrow in the device window, and then selecting "reset adb" and then gettting this confusing error message "Adb failed to restart! Make sure the plugin in properly configured", which you can't copy and paste and you have to ignore and then your devices/emulators connect back up.

This happens pretty regularly for me on OSX, and has been happening since at least Android 1.5 I think.  There are a few google hits on this, but not much, and this is likely in part that the error message can't be copied and pasted, and most experienced coders simply click "OK" and move on, but it's very confusing for newbies.

You'd have thought that a big company like Google could get this fixed up.  Maybe no one cares enough - maybe it's only happening for a few of us.  Maybe I'd have to bring it up at Google I/O or something to get it fixed.

In general though any other kind of error that can be copied and pasted is usually easily solved via StackOverflow, e.g.  when the ADT tells me that I can't install an app due to an existing one with the same signature and I have to type "adb uninstall whatever" in a shell and then I get this from the shell:

unknownc8bcc8da38b2:platform-tools samueljoseph$ ./adb uninstall edu.hpu.csci4702
- waiting for device -
error: more than one device and emulator

So I google the error message in quotes and I go to the stackoverflow hit since that's usually the best way to make progress:

and I see how to uninstall from a particular device.  So that all kinds of work, but I wonder why these IDEs couldn't be a little more user-friendly - I have similar issues with XCode.  With both XCode and Eclipse ADT I feel like a lot of disparate tools have been bundled together and are not quite working properly.  Maybe that's just the nature of things ...

1 comment:

Sam Joseph said...

I should note, kudos to Eclipse Package Explorer now that I have finally worked out to use "Working Sets" - took me several years to find this uber-handy way of organizing my multiple projects into groups in the Package Explorer window. Turns out that the extra command triangle in the Package Explorer gives you a "Top level elements" option, which if you set to "working sets" and label all your projects with working sets, then you get something akin to a folder organization - phew!