3 Useful Mobile Apps for Programmers

A powerful desktop or laptop can either be used as a programmer’s workshop. However, as the world enters the world of smartgadgets, everything’s going to be handy-dandy portable. That being said, programmers need to accustom themselves to the future partners of programming tools, which are apps that are specifically made for coding.

The adage, “there’s an app for everything” isn’t really an exaggeration. There are apps for games, programming tools, and even for people who want to search for a music title just by singing out the melody to their smartphones. Data site Statista wrote that the global mobile app revenues amounted to $26.68 million in 2013, and are expected to grow to $45.37 million by 2015. The latter data on mobile app revenues is quite accurate, given that Entertainment hub Spin Genie’s operating arm Gaming Realms revealed that the online gaming market is expected to be worth around $40 billion by next year. By 2017, the world can expect mobile app revenues to almost double at $76.52 million. If these sales figures don’t say that the future of computing is with portable gadgets, I don’t know what else will.

Here are three, powerful apps for the programmers out there.

Programmer Keyboard

If you have experience programming on android devices, you’re going to love the Programmer Keyboard. It’s a free app that brings to programmers a full keyboard that is equipped with code completion. The app is very stable, and even includes ctrl, alt, and arrow keys that programmers direly need when writing codes.

Developer’s Tool Kit

The Developer’s Tool Kit is a great app for either when you’re writing a code for a program or a website. Its built-in calculator allows developers to see if their code works, or if it’s missing a line. The app also provides programmers the UTF-8 character code or Unicode for any symbol they want.

Pocket Cloud
Pocket Cloud is handy app that lets programmers run programs remotely from their Windows or Mac computers. The app’s paid version supports VMWare, advanced RDP features, and connections to several computers at once. Pocket Cloud works amazing even on data Internet connection.

Do you have a favorite programming app on your smartgadget? Share it with us so other readers would know!

Guest post by Byron Myers

Using Multiple Cloudfront Domains with Paperclip

In order to speed up asset loading using a CDN is generally regarded as a good idea. It is also recommended to split up requests among separate hostnames to allow the browser to parallelize loading.

Enabling this in Rails with Paperclip is pretty easy, though the documentation isn’t extremely rich.

You’ll want to set the s3_host_alias option to a proc which determines the correct domain alias based on the id of the object the attachment is for.

  has_attached_file :image, S3_OPTS.merge(
    :s3_host_alias => Proc.new {|attachment| "images#{attachment.instance.id % 4}.pixieengine.com" }, 
    :styles => {
      ...
    }
  )

This sends requests to the following hostnames:

images0.pixieengine.com
images1.pixieengine.com
images2.pixieengine.com
images3.pixieengine.com

The best part is that the same image will always have the same hostname. I’ve seen some people suggest randomly choosing a domain, but that reduces caching potential as the same item could be requested from multiple different domains over time.

The Advantage of Code Based Game Development Environments

Game development environments that leverage graphical interfaces and parameterized editors are interesting. They have the ability to lower the bar required to get a game up and running without making serious mistakes or getting lost in dead ends. Therefore they are a valuable tool in broadening the population of game developers.

However, there always remains the need for the capability to drop into the source code and edit the algorithms directly. Data structures and algorithms are what software is made of, and if our only interface into game creation is a parameterized editor where we can only configure values, then it will prevent breakthroughs just as much as it prevents failures and dead ends. This is why that no matter how many wizards, GUI tools, application builders, etc. that we have, we must always be able to go to the source and edit.

True progress is born from changing the paradigm, not changing the parameters.

Start Writing Your Blog

Do you have a website? Do you have a blog? I’d totally love to read it.

The thing is though, that it takes a while for it to get good. I started with STRd6 almost two years ago, and it’s still not good. On the plus side though it adds incentive to keep cranking out the content. Each new article adds a new layer of better content to cover up the old.

So what are you waiting for? If you want a really high class blog then you’ll definitely need to start today. I bet you even have some ideas for blog posts saved up. You could easily write four in the first month.

So go ahead and do it already. You don’t need to worry about being better than the blogs that are already out there, just as good as they were when they started. I’m not even going to link back to my early posts… too embarrassing. And only 20 posts in 2008? You can totally beat that.

Add your new blog in the comments. I’ll check it out in a few years when it’s good.