Jetpack Compose Is 1.0 And Ready For Use
Written by Mike James   
Friday, 30 July 2021

Jetpack Compose is now fully launched and is the preferred way to create an Android UI. Greeted as a glorious day by some, for me it is simply proof that the inmates have taken over the asylum.

I have to admit that I have no idea what is going on with Android development. Well I can see what is happening, but I have no clear idea why. Is it just the the new kids want to reject everything that existed and start over with "their way". What I do know is that this is a huge waste of time and effort - even if you think it is better..

"We designed Compose to make it faster and easier to build native Android apps. With a fully declarative approach, you just describe your UI, and Compose takes care of the rest. As app state changes, your UI automatically updates, making it a lot simpler to build UI quickly."

Now I don't want to spoil the fun but --- Android already had a declarative approach to UI in the form of XML. Never easy to use because it was so detailed but with the help of the designer you could generate the XML you needed and then hand modify it if necessary. I also don't see the point in building an interactive layout editor and then causing turmoil by upgrading it to use a state-of-the-art constraint layout manager only to throw the lot away on a new declarative language that doesn't have an easy way to prototype and which will eventually grow to be unusable like most declarative approaches to UI. How long before it gets a drag-and-drop designer I wonder.

I have to admit that I do like the way Compose makes use of Kotlin and they do work well together but this doesn't mean I like the deprecating of everything UI to-date.

I was recently reading an argument that Google had a problem because programmers didn't trust it to keep any new feature alive long enough to merit the investment of time and effort in creating something based on it. This is very true and when ever I see something new by Google I do a quick calculation on how much I need it, how much investment it would take and what I would do when they pull it. The strange thing was that in the argument Android was quoted as a shining example of how to do things properly and proof that Google can inspire trust of not love from independent developers. All I can say is that either they know little about Android dev or Google is doing an excellent PR job - possibly both.

Creating a UI declaratively is like painting a picture by describing where every bit of color should go.


More Information

Jetpack Compose is now 1.0: announcing Android’s modern toolkit for building native UI

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Last Updated ( Friday, 30 July 2021 )