Popular Movies Stage One Planning Part 1

Popular Movies is the first project in Udacity Android Nanodegree course. Popular Movies app will show a grid of popular movies fetched from Movie DB API. These titles can then be sorted by votes. The app will also show detailed information about each title.

Popular Movies is a very good beginner’s project. It uses most of the basic components of Android UI toolkit like Activity, Fragments, Menu, RecyclerView, JSON, HTTPClient, AsyncTask, persistence, various layouts, etc.

For me one of the biggest problems have been how to approach a problem. When I see an Android app I can recognize individual components but making them all work in sync is a difficult task. Udacity solves that problem for me. There are no hidden caveats in Popular movies, there are a lot of resources provided by Udacity, and I can always talk to other students if I am stuck.

When I started thinking about Popular Movies app my first thought was the UI of the app. The main or titles fragment is pretty obvious – it contains a grid of titles. On clicking titles I am taken to the details page. That’s where it gets tricky.

I have two different layouts that I may work on. One is a single page that shows all the info and separate page for trailers. Second is using ViewPager to group various info in multiple tabs. I don’t think there’s a lot of info to group and show in multiple tabs. As a result I have decided to go along with the first approach.

Project One

Last week was full of going place and goofing around. That’s over and it’s time to get back to work.

I have started working on the first project of Udacity Android Nanodegree. The Stage one of the first project is to create a movie app. This app will show a grid of movie posters and clicking on movie posters will show details about the movie.

Seems to be a fairly simple project which will involve RecyclerView with GridLayoutManager for showing movie thumbnails, Picasso for image processing, AsyncTask and HTTPClient for asynchronous data download, MovieDB API, etc.. I might end up using only one library or I might use Retrofit for API calls. I am not sure yet.

I am using a new theme called Blogline. My favorite theme is Twenty Thirteen but that’s not a suitable theme for a to be programming blog. Although I want to keep using this sharing my personal views. I like how Twenty Thirteen has all these post types which are color coded. I want a theme that has a top bar. I am fine with it being sticky but would be nice if it collapsed on scrolling and reading. I want a single pane layout. I like how Ghost has text in big font in center and a hidden menu on right corner. I might also only use horizontal ads so it doesn’t mess with the single pane layout. I will let all the navigation happen through top panel and pages. This new theme lets me achieve most of it. There also Zerif Lite which I am not sure how to convert in a blog. Codilight is perfect but comes with a deserving price tag.

It took me a long time to get rid of feeling to need to follow several tech news websites. I am stuck in same situation again. Udacity community is a little bit spread around. There’s official discussion forums and G+ community. There are two Slacks androidnanodegree and udaciouspeople. I already follow reddit.com/r/androiddev and Indian hacker’s Slack. I want to follow StackOverflow. Besides that there’s email and clash of clan. That’s too many things and too little time. I might start focusing more on official channels like discussion forum and G+ community.