So March is officially prototyping month. It's been an early spring for us in Chicago, actually today's weather at 82 degrees qualifies it as an early summer. But there still aren't any leaves on the trees. As new life begins outside, new life is also beginning inside. I've been prototyping my user interface idea, and actually spent the last 2 weeks devouring some books on usability and user experience strategy that will go a long way to making me a better developer.
My next project is a web application which integrates with an Android application. The big why? Last Thursday a friend commented over dinner that there weren't many Android apps with African proverbs. If there were such an app my friend said, he'd be happy to use it. Now I know there's a disconnect between what people say they will do, and what they will actually do. But it gave me a quick idea to prototype a web app in the cloud with a companion Android app.
I'll be sure to come back and document this, but after getting the cloud based app working last week, I turned to the mobile platform this week. I digested the new Android design patterns which were just recently released, and then wrote up a short design document for my application. I then drew out each screen on paper and used Fireworks CS5.1 to mockup exactly how all the screens in the app will look. Today, I fired up Eclipse and started programming again.
Well I guess it's been over a year now since I've been doing Android development for fun. As I encountered an error telling me my Debug Certificate Expired. Okay, I admit it, I didn't even know I had a debug certificate. It seems that the ADT plugin in Eclipse used to (up until Google I/O 2011) would create a debug certificate in ~/.android/debug.keystore which was valid for 1 year. If you tried to deploy an app to your phone or the emulator after that, you'd get the bizarre error. Fortunately, the fix is as easy as the problem. Simply deleting that file will allow your updated plugin to create a new instance with a longer expiration date will allow you to continue doing Android development... until it expires again.
Anyway, I'm back on my Android horse, and should have this app ready in a few days. Yay!