Sunday, December 27, 2009

Checkers Tutor 1.02

In the 5 days since the publication of Checkers Tutor for Android, I fiddled around with it a bit. I added a feature to display all legal moves in the current position (it claims to be a tutor after all...), and I fixed some minor bugs: v1.02 now also displays properly in the landscape mode and the board numbers scale better (also on hi-res devices). Behind the scenes, I cleaned up the user interface code a bit to make it more readable, maintainable and less bug-prone. As usual with this cleaning business, it never actually ends. My board class has more than 700 lines of code, and after reading Robert C. Martin's nice book titled Clean Code, I must assume that that is too much, and besides I find a couple of the code smells he lists in my code...
These things aside, I'm afraid that my Checkers Tutor has missed the boat anyway - it got 228 downloads in its first 5 days, which means nearly none compared to Aart Bik's Checkers for Android, which apparently got over 250'000 downloads in one year (see Aart's blog for more information). This is the usual punishment for coming late to the party - I could have published Checkers Tutor in August, but somehow felt I should still add zillions of features to make it better than Aart's app - in the end I never added these features, and the early bird has caught the worm - the attention of the Android Market, where often-downloaded programs are more visible, and thus go in a positive feedback loop.

No comments: