Omnibus v0.3 Released

Version 0.3 of the omnibus edition of The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development, as re-envisioned as part of The Big Book Reboot, is available to most subscribers. Those who subscribed after 8am Eastern Time on March 31st will start getting the Omnibus next week.

This week, the Omnibus is still only available in EPUB and MOBI. However, the MOBI file is the new hybrid of the classic Mobipocket format and Amazon’s new KF8 format. The file size is a bit bigger, but it will give richer results on KF8-capable devices, such as the Kindle Fire (and, I think, other Android devices with the Kindle app). Notably, the KF8 format supports my changebars, which is very useful. If you encounter compatibility issues with the new MOBI file, though, please let me know.

From a content rendering standpoint, change bars have been extended to include bulleted lists. This time around, all bullets have change bars, but starting with Version 0.4, only the new/changed ones will be marked.

The highlights of this update include:

  • A revamped chapter on adapters and AdapterView, with a more concise description of how to create simple lists with custom row contents

  • A revamped chapter on JARs and Android library projects, including coverage of installing the Android Support package

  • A completely rewritten chapter on using the action bar, emphasizing the use of ActionBarSherlock for backwards compatibility

  • A brand new chapter on Android’s process model

The action bar coverage is the first example of where the rebooted book will depart from the original. The reboot will be centered on Android 2.x-4.x, adding support for future versions of Android as they arise. Coverage of 1.x will be limited, to both simplify the material and to focus on current recommended practices.

Version 0.4 should be released in 1-2 weeks, with a revamped chapter on introductory use of fragments, the ViewPager widget, and more. There is also a decent chance that PDF support will be available with the 0.4 release.

If you encounter problems with the Omnibus or have other Omnibus-related feedback, please contact me at omnibus /at\ commonsware.com.


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