New Android SDK, Terracotta 3.2 and here I go to bootcamp again


This week, I signed up for the upcoming Big Nerd Ranch Android bootcamp near Atlanta. I attended the iPhone bootcamp last year and it was great. I’m expecting great things out of the class. It is taught by Mark Murphy, the founder of CommonsWare and the author of Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development. I’ve got a subscription to the Warescription so I’ve had access to Mark’s books for a few months. I really like his writing style. I just need more hours in the day to work through all the examples.

On the Android front, the Android 2.1 SDK dropped this week. At this point, the only device running 2.1 is the Nexus One. I imagine a number of other devices will be showing up with 2.1, but for now, there are still a lot of devices that are running sub-2.x SDKs. The Platform Versions page at the Android developers site gives you a ballpark of the number of devices running a specific version of the Android platform. Again, it’s a ballpark, but definitely let’s you know that over 70% of all devices accessing the Android Market are still running sub-2.x versions of the SDK.

What does that really mean? As a developer, I have to make a decision when writing applications on how many devices I really want to support. With iPhone, I recently dropped support for any devices that are not running at least 3.0. I think with as fast as the Android updates have been dropping, I may have to do the same with Android.

I think it will boil down to what devices are really using my applications. If 95% of my users are using devices supporting the 2.0.1 and higher platform, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll drop support for anyone that is running anything less than 2.0.1 as quickly as I can. Sure, that might upset some users, but the reality is it is not worth my time to support less than 5% of an installed user base.

Also this past week, Terracotta released version 3.2.0. As I have said in the past, I really like what Terracotta can do for developers. All of people that I follow on Twitter that also use Terracotta really like what they are seeing in 3.2.0. My initial impression is also very good. It was a drop in upgrade from 3.1.1. The changes they have made for locking are pretty amazing. I was working through an issue while taking thread dumps between 3.1.1 and 3.2.0, I saw some amazing differences in how things work.

If you are considering building a scalable website where you need web sessions and Ehcache clustered, it is an absolute no-brainer to use Terracotta. If you have any questions on how to do it, send me a message through the contact form and I’ll be glad to talk with you about how I have used Terracotta to do just that.

Finally, the Charlotte Startup Weekend is currently scheduled for May 14-16. I’m looking forward to attending. I’ve never attended a Startup Weekend before, but based on what I’ve heard from people that have and the videos on the site, it looks like a lot of fun and a place where I would be both deeply inside and outside my comfort zone.

As always, if you have any questions, please let me know by sending me a message in the contact form