andre's blog

Google's Inbox

Earlier I wrote about issues with the new offer from Google - the "Inbox" mail service. Recently Google released updates for its Inbox web and Android clients. As a result, it works almost perfectly. In particular:

Scala "const" values

val values in Scala are, by specification, const, or final in Javaspeak. That means once assigned, they cannot be re-assigned. This doesn't mean that the assignment has to be something dull or simple. In fact, you can have a large piece of code doing all sorts of calculations with the result assigned to your value. Do it like this:

SBT and IntelliJ Idea

Recent versions of Idea (14 at the time of writing) play along quite nicely with SBT (Simple Build Tool - not so simple in fact). It can load project definitions, even when multiple subprojects are defined, and work with them. Unfortunately, it does the reading only once, when you import the project into the IDE. If you update your definitions afterwards, for example, when you add a new dependency, Idea might not be aware of the change. How to fix that?

Muting conversation threads in Google's new Inbox

I wrote earlier regarding the new product from Google - the Google Inbox. GI is still work in progress, so some features present in the familiar GMail are absent or broken. I counted the "mute" functionality among them, because there was no obvious menu for it. Mute allows you to ignore conversations, which you don't particularly care about. This can be very useful when you are subscribed to various mailing lists.

Praise to Idea (and to hell with Eclipse)

I gave Eclipse its fair chance. To be honest, I gave it more than one chance over the years. Each and every time it was a disappointment. It is actually amazing how broken the beast is. I tried various version and every time I tried to do anything that was even slightly out of simple Java editing using Eclipse' own project format, the thing failed in the most miserable way. For example, I tried repeatedly to install Android plugin so that I could write code for the platform.

More on multi-platform mobile development

All software engineers hate to write the same thing twice. However, at the moment it seems unavoidable when one wants to support both iOS and Android. Some strategies exist to avoid them, however none is perfect. For example, Phonegapp allows to develop your application in HTML/JavaScript, but the look and feel is not as native as one could wish, performance is bad for anything complex and your code is at the mercy of hackers. There are some commercial platforms which allow you to write in C# and then deploy on both iOS and Android.