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Thread: Google "App Inventor"; if you haven't tried it, you really ought to!

  1. #11
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    Re: Google "App Inventor"; if you haven't tried it, you really ought to!

    Well, there wouldn't be any cranky in here if the Original Poster didn't insist on the Total Awesomeness(tm) of this cool new tool he's discovered, and how this is such an improvement on all those old boring things serious coders do. Part of me wonders whether he is a troll, but his enthusiastic FOSS sig dispels that.

    Look glossywhite, what we have here is access to a handy closed-source, internet-access-only library that comes with an IDE. What this shows is that APIs and IDEs allow people to take solutions other people have made to high level tasks and adapt them to their own purposes easily. And that's a good thing.

    It also makes for a very fun, and hands-off introduction to programming. That's not bad; like many other "easy programming" tools, it will bring more people who might otherwise think of CS as a scary, spooky thing into the field. I remember my first programs involved just plucking around with a very limited understanding of perl for years until I actually got serious about learning more than how to print out text or make a bunch of color pixels dance on the screen.

    The point is, if this is a good way for you to have fun and make neat little apps for yourself, good on you. And if it, like thousands of tools before it have, helps spread an interest in people for understanding and developing for the tools they use, great. And if some of those apps prove to be very useful for thousands of users, well I don't think that would bother anyone here.

    But to be fair to the other people on this thread, let's not portray using a very closed-off proprietary IDE and library as a bridge in itself to serious learning about programming and how it works. It can be a first step, but that's all.

    To use a wall metaphor like you did. Lets say this tool only allows you to make brick walls and allows you to choose the height and width and color. But what if you're making a fence and brick isn't meeting that return on investment that steel would? Or what if you have a tiered foundation or the walls need to be earthquake-safe to a certain amount, or you want a certain brick-layering pattern, or for now you're more for doing interior work and really just looking to attach wooden paneling to the studs of the house.

    As Simeon said, this app is limited. Outside of CS, it is not often that one is taught to think of a tool that can do many things and appear many different ways as limited. But it really is. Think of it as the difference between 1. reading the same choose-your-own adventure book over and over and being able to pick different endings, and 2. sitting down with a word processor and writing any book you want.

  2. #12
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    Re: Google "App Inventor"; if you haven't tried it, you really ought to!

    Thank you for a well worded and intelligent reply . Yes, it is indeed limited, but I never thought it was an alternative to raw source code. I'm just excited that I'm now empowered, and enthused enough that I can transpose the patterns herein to "proper" code in Eclipse, once I'm proficient enough.

    One thing that is a bit daft is that you cannot access the source that this thing generates... why not?

    Also a bit strange is that you can't upload any App Inventor apps to the market

  3. #13
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    Re: Google "App Inventor"; if you haven't tried it, you really ought to!

    If you could upload the apps to the market I would imagine that it would quickly get flooded and the market could potentially contain more quantity than quality for Google's liking.

    Paul

  4. #14
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    Re: Google "App Inventor"; if you haven't tried it, you really ought to!

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulM1985 View Post
    If you could upload the apps to the market I would imagine that it would quickly get flooded and the market could potentially contain more quantity than quality for Google's liking.

    Paul
    Isn't it already flooded with crap? It was last time I looked. Besides, what is the point in App Inventor, if you can't make stuff to sell?

    I think Google are "working on the problem"

  5. #15
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    Re: Google "App Inventor"; if you haven't tried it, you really ought to!

    Quote Originally Posted by glossywhite View Post
    Isn't it already flooded with crap? It was last time I looked. Besides, what is the point in App Inventor, if you can't make stuff to sell?

    I think Google are "working on the problem"
    You do realize it's a toy, right? It is not designed to make viable, real world apps.
    This is a signature. It is original.

  6. #16
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    Re: Google "App Inventor"; if you haven't tried it, you really ought to!

    Quote Originally Posted by sydbat View Post
    You do realize it's a toy, right? It is not designed to make viable, real world apps.
    I'd argue it is a little more than a "toy"

  7. #17

    Re: Google "App Inventor"; if you haven't tried it, you really ought to!

    Thread closed, at request of original poster.
    Me on the web:

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