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Discussion on: What developer products/tools should exist, but don't?

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Abhinav Kulshreshtha

A simpler way to native android development which is independent of editor used. With every release, it seems that android tools are more deeply integrated to android ide, which makes developing on my 2014 laptop much harder. Since last two release, I haven't been able to configure android studio to use native gradle and native kotlin compiler. Switching to native gradle instead of inbuild one used to give an amazing performance boost. Hell back in 2014, I was able to use sublime text and shell scripts to work on android app.

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James Thomson

Hands down the worst DX is when you have an older Android project and have to make any updates to the app. Just launching Android Studio sends you into a spiral of various plugin updates and obscure error messages. TBF though, it's not much better in XCode.

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Abhinav Kulshreshtha • Edited on

Yes, This was exactly the point when I began to realize the lock-in. I was hired to update a really old project to more recent version of java, along with performing some cleanup. Opening that project in jetbrains android studio was nearly impossible because of all the popups, So I figured I could perform bit of code refactoring in vs-code, upgrade build runtime from java6 to java8, and then open it in android studio. It was nightmare.

I am learning flutter from an older youtube series where the person had configured vs-code, and it seems this is true for flutter too. Yes, command line tools are still available, but IDE-Independent workflow is reduced.

On the point of bundled tooling, In older version of android studio, when you configure it to use system's gradle and system's compiler instead of what is bundled with IDE, the performance was atleast 5x. It also meant that I could share ansible scripts with other team members to ensure uniform developer environment. There were times when I could just run gradle tests directly from terminal for a quicker feedback. But since last two release of android studio, even though I have configured it to use gradle from system, the build button executes the bundled gradle, running gradle from terminal will modify the project forcing you to rebuild it with IDE. Which means everytime I click the build command, I will spend close to 2 minutes waiting for it to complete on my old laptop.