Archive for the 'Technology' Category

BilbaoBus Summer Edition

Over the last few months I’ve been sleeping quite less than recommended, and this is the reason…


We’ve revamped most of the app to make it cuter, neater and more usable. So, next time you need to catch a bus in Bilbao, don’t hesitate and download BilbaoBus.

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The Clean Coder

The Clean Coder

By Robert C. Martin

 

The Clean Coder is a kind of sequel to the famous Clean Code published in 2008. This sequel is a 200-pages-self-help book for programmers that’s sprinkled with biographical material. By and large, the mantra is: read this book and you’ll learn how to be a true professional programmer. To achieve that goal, the author shows a kind of ethic code for “true” developers in a world of sloppy programmers. The most remarkable aspect of the book is that is rather focused on psychology than in practical or technical stuff. Therefore, there are whole chapters dedicated to topics such as: when/how to say No to pushy managers, coding mental-state, etc.

I do support the idea of acting always as a professional no matter if you’re an entrepeneur, an employee working for a large company or a freelancer. One should have always in mind that every mistake we make has consequences and there’s no free lunch. However, I find the approach of this book is a little unreal, the programmer is presented as a kind of medieval knight or so.

To sum up, there are highs and lows in this book. While I enjoyed some chapters like “how to say no” or “how to estimate”, others are pretty much useless, like “Coding”, “Mentoring, Apprenticeship, and Craftsmanship” or the one about teams and projects which, to my surprise, is 4 pages long (!?). The reading is agile and even enjoyable but don’t expect to much and it won’t disappoint you. Usually I’m not very keen on this sort of books, but every now and then, I read one because we all have something to learn or get better at.

This is recent interview with Robert C. Martin:

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Riptide GP: An Android Game Postmortem

The website Gamasutra frequently publishes articles where game creators talk about the development process of a game. These papers are called Postmortem because they are written once the game’s been finished/released and that’s precisely what it makes them so so valuable. They are no just about “how brilliant we are”, on the contrary, Postmortems usually focus on mistakes and lessons learned.

Although most of them may be considered a must-read, I’ve found particularly interesting the one about Riptide GP where the guys of Vector Unit describe the process of porting a 360 xBox game (Hydro Thunder Hurricane) to the Tegra 2 platform. Hot topics such as funding, monetization and piracy are also addressed in the write-up . Definitely a good read!

Postmortem: Vector Unit’s Riptide GP

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Android: Finding Memory Leaks

Recently while I was working on the next version of Archer Master, I’ve had to roll up my sleeves and find a memory leak. By and large, a memory leak in one’s application is frequently a synonym for having painful time, no matter which language you’re coding in. I have experience in finding leaks in the non-managed languages such as C/C++ but this was my very first time with a managed language (Java). In my case, the leak was caused by a lost strong-reference to a LinearLayout used to hold advertising, so each time a level was played, the entire activity remained in memory and wasn’t collected. As a result, after playing several levels (the number depended upon the particular device), a OOM exception raised and the game crashed.

It’d have been virtually impossible to find the leak without a tool like MAT. Moreover, a good understanding of the different types of references (strong, weak, soft…) and the concept of Dominator Tree  also help.

When I’ve got a little more time I’ll write about the whole process I went thru (if anyone is really interested please let me know)… but meanwhile, this is an invaluable resource if you find yourself in a similar situation and don’t know how to start:

Good luck with your leaks! 😉

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Archer Master weekly report – Week #2

I’ve published  the weekly Archer Master report on Quoders website. The following chart shows downloads per day:

More?  Here.

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Quoders and Archer Master

It’s been a long time since my last post and this time there’s a good reason for it 😉 I’ve been working hard to release the first version of Archer Master, an archery game for Android. Archer Master is free, so give it a try!

Moreover, I’ve co-founded a new development studio named Quoders.

Hopefully, this is the beginning of something great…

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How to market your (mobile) app

Due to the fact that I’m currently engadged in an Android project, seemed to me worthwhile to take a look at how other people are making money out there. I’ve found quite useful this presentation that shows a real business case of a mobile application for IPhone.  So, no matter what your target market is, there’s always a lesson to learn when it comes to mobile app business.

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