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Technology / Software / Hacks by Jason Mobarak

Android Build Tools SNAFU

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So, I started developing for the Android platform in earnest around April of 2013. I found that the Android project had release not just a mere plugin for Eclipse but a rebranded, pre-customized version of Eclipse called ADT or Android Development Toolkit.

This seemed pretty cool, I guess, though it seems better to just release a plugin so you can slice and dice your dev environment however you want.

Cool, but can it do Vim?

At least for the February release of ADT it did not work so well (the 20130219 version)– installing vrapper breaks all kinds of things:


Turned in to this:

Afterwards, all of my Android integration pre-packaged in ADT seemed to disappear. I had to manually re-install the Android integration that was previously there. Not sure why I did… maybe it was user error… but it was not a good user experience.

Alternate Reality: Android Studio

So far, my experience with trying the Android Studio preview has been great, but mostly because the of the dark UI, super easy vim installation that didn’t nuke any Android integration … and because it does stuff like this:

Finally, something that can at least make Java not look so stupid. To quote the Sarah Palin jibe, “it’s just lipstick on a pig”, but I’ll take it! Yes sir, uh-huh.

So… this brings me to new version of ADT (verstion 20130522) – I’m starting a new project I figured I’d try to upgrade to the May release of ADT. Lo and behold it doesn’t come pre-packaged with something called Android Build Tools and it has a really shitty way to install it, basically it pops up a nag box and says:

Hey, we couldn't take the time to implement auto download or to auto package
this new tool we're requiring, so go grab it yourself, good luck!

Yours truly,

This wasted a good hour as I groped around trying to figure out what was wrong. Finally the Internet saved me as I discovered that many other developers can’t read either:

The thing is, I did read the nag dialog, and I tried to download whatever it wanted, but for whatever reason (poor up bringing – loose morals – just plain dumb) I didn’t succeed. So, this proves at least one thing: Android developers can’t read. Or does it? Maybe it proves that Google wasted a lot of people’s time with this decision.