December 31, 2010
December 30, 2010
All User Interface libraries, regardless of platform, require that the UI components start their updates from the ‘main’ thread. Sometimes this is referred to as the UI thread but it is actually the main thread of the application.
What most people that are creating mobile apps don’t realize is that if they are using the main thread to do significant computation such as remote server access, XML parsing, database access, number crunching, etc. is that this makes their User Interface slow and chunky. The ywill notice the unresponsiveness of their UI but will not know why it isn’t smooth. They generally tend to come to believe that the problem is that the processors are not fast enough to do what they want to do. This is generally not the case.
What they really need to do is move the computational portions of their apps into background (worker) threads and let the UI thread remain responsive to the user. This can be a challenge that they are unwilling to attempt due to the perceived difficulty of implementing threading.
Starting with QuickConnect 1.6.5 I have made the native iOS and Android application templates pre-threaded for both iOS and Android apps. This means that you, as a developer, no longer need to worry about creating the background threads and then executing UI updates on the main thread for your mobile apps.
When you use one of the mobile native templates in QC all of your validation and computation code is automatically executed on a background thread. When this portion of your application is complete and you make a UI update the framework automatically causes your update to use the main thread. You won’t even be aware of the change.
All of this is triggered every time you use the QC framework handleRequest method. This is in addition to linearizing your asynchronous HTTP remote access calls and an easy to use SQLite wrapper. With this kind of a head start it becomes much easier for you to create highly responsive, high quality apps in a much shorter time.
I will soon be making this multi-threading available to all of you using the hybrid iOS and Android templates as well. It should make a huge difference in your execution speeds.
December 23, 2010
I have just posted the 1.6.4 version of QC on SourceForge. It includes some defect fixes and some minor additions, and a few big changes. QC 1.6.4 requires the iOS 4.2 SDK.
The big changes are regarding the native application templates. You can now use the same design to create Objective-C iPhone, iPad, and Universal iPhone/iPad apps that you have been using to create your hybrid applications.
These native iOS apps come ‘pre-threaded’. Every time you call handleRequest your command stack is executed on a worker thread. Any of your ViewControlObjects that you create for your control Stack are executed in the main thread since it is the only one that is allowed to update the User Interface. All other behavior is done on a worker thread and you don’t have to worry about how to set it up, make it go, or make it stop.
Just as with the hybrid apps you’ve been creating with QC all of your async calls to HTTP servers, portals, etc. are linearized for you. You never need to write another callback function!
In addition to making your remote HTTP calls easier all of the templates for native QuickConnect applications also include support for both direct SQLite access and CoreData.
With a little time working in Interface Builder and putting together some CoreData objects your app is up and running.
Examples are already in the download for all of these native iOS templates. Check them out and see how easy native iOS apps can be.
The next release will have native multi-threaded Android applications as well.
One other change is that the PHP template has been updated. Take a look at the example in the download.