Titanium Mobile Intro Series: Fastdev for Android

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Let’s face it: Turnaround time for Titanium development in Android can be very slow. There are many reasons why, including but not limited to:

  • Project staging, including Java code generation
  • Compiling, and Dexing the entire Titanium class library whenever a change is made
  • General Android emulator slowness

Because of these, and other reasons, prototyping and testing your JavaScript changes in Android can turn out to be astronomically painful. Beginning in Titanium Mobile 1.7.0, these pains will be a thing of the past due to a new feature I’m introducing today called “Fastdev”.

The idea behind Fastdev is simple: Instead of packaging, building, and deploying your app’s files every time you want to see a change, the application requests those files directly from a server running on your machine. This means that any changes that are made locally are instantly available to your application, and the need for a “stop the world” re-deploy is only necessary in very specific instances. On top of this, Fastdev is bi-directional — meaning you can control the app itself directly with the new titanium fastdev command. Right now, app control is limited to restarting and killing the app, but in the future this could be expanded to work in conjunction with our new debugger support to provide dynamic expression evaluation, and other awesome rapid development features.

And now what you’ve all been waiting for — a Fastdev demo

Currently Fastdev is only enabled for the emulator, but we do plan to enable it for device in an upcoming release. If you like living on the edge, Fastdev is available in the latest builds on our CI Builds page.

To get started, simply open a shell, go into your project’s directory, start the Fastdev server, and re-deploy your project.

In OSX / Linux

$ titanium fastdev start &

$ titanium run --platform=android

In Windows

C:UsersmarshallCodemyApp>start /B titanium fastdev start

C:UsersmarshallCodemyApp>titanium run --platform=android

Full documentation for Fastdev can be found here: Fastdev Reference for Android

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