So, carrying on from the last article, how DO you achieve the designs programmatically? Provided of course you don’t know at present and have no access to a comparable example or person that worked on something similar. If that’s the case, you’re a-for-away. Merely adapt the example or plumb the brains of the hapless programmer!
Granted, this is a luxury most of us don’t have. What stands one to do then? Well, the most obvious answer is often the right one, so Google it! Simply entering “How do achieve X on Android” (where X is the feature you are looking at obviously) will return a whole host of returns (hopefully). Heck, for all you know one of the first results may very well be a link to a library that does exactly what you need and the search is over.
Barring the lucky find of a library or two, the next site that almost certainly will appear in the results is www.stackoverflow.com. This gem of a site enables programmers to ask questions of other programmers, and allows you to answer a question with your own solution to the problem. Chances are that if the design is in widespread use, it has been posted on Stack Overflow. If it hasn’t, you can post your own problem, although there are guidelines concerning the posting of questions. An attempt at a solution in the form of a code excerpt is welcomed, although this isn’t a hard and fast requirement.
If the solution has been documented on the Google, Apple or BlackBerry sites, they are next in line to be perused. These sites can be found at developer.android.com, developer.apple.com, and docs.blackberry.com for the three largest smartphone manufacturers. Usually, more formal design patterns (for instance the Action Bar on Android devices) are documented, but it can prove a valuable resource to expanding on these ideas.
Apart from the major sites, you may find some random blog or forum post that explains what you are trying to achieve. If nothing turns up, try modifying your search slightly. Google can be a fickle beast, so cast your net wide! Maybe what you’re trying to do has been achieved for a completely different design paradigm. And if, after trying all the above and coming up with nothing…well, time to roll up your sleeves and code from scratch! Good luck!
Johann Van Den Bergh