Hi, there, it’s been a very long time since the last post… I promise to write something else more often and keep this good ol’ blog updated more frequently…
Today I’m glad to announce that I’ve just published my first Android app: Stack Browser!
What stackoverflow is
Stack Browser is intended for software engineers that regularly use stackoverflow. For you to know, this website is probably the most well-known Q&A website regarding computing. It was created several years ago by Joel Spolsky (FogBugZ, among others) and Jeff Attwood (Coding Horror). Since it was started back in 2008, stackoverflow has become the most popular Q&A website and almost anything you google related to programming you probably will be targeted to this site. Due to its success, lots of sibling websites have appeared since then, all related to the idea of someone asks something and the community answer, and both questions and answers are promoted by users, so users get high rankings and their geek-ego becomes increased (I’m just kidding). Nowadays, all those sites are grouped by the StackExchange concept (yeah, let’s say conecpt or idea).
What Stack Browser is
So, this non-official app lets users browse (actually, browse) stackoverflow questions and answers. This is my first release of my first app, so the set of features is rather small yet:
- Browse different categories of latest questions: active, most viewed / answered, featured, new, unanswered, most popular in the week / month…
- Filter by some term the results listed.
- Search on the website by title, tags and answers.
- Read the detail of the questions and answers.
- Bookmark your favourite questions to read them later.
My first aim in this release was to make easy for users browsing questions related to some specific term or issue, read answers and keep them in a handy place to seek them later. I’m not that interested currently in: show who wrote what, posting or voting. I was interested in the contents, going to the point.
There are other apps in Google Play available, most of them are not very useful or are just web browser embeeded in Android applications; a couple of them are very nice but they don’t make the searching or reading a topic as easy as I’d like to see in a stackoverflow app.
My concern was to provide an app that makes reading a topic easy in a reduced-size screen.
Tablets are one of my future targets, but first things first, I wanted an app in my smartphone to read stackoverflow questions in an easy way.
During the development of this app, I had to figure some possible solutions out to provide an acceptable way of reading questions and answers: one of those features was to let users expand the question to use all the available space, to show an answer in a different activity when it’s touched and to provide different layouts for portrait and landscape orientations.
That said, I’d like to develop more features that I have planned for the future, if users rate this app and like it. In the meantime I’ll be developing new Android applications, but if I get some acceptance by the community, these are the features I’d like to develop in the near future:
- Tablet specific layouts to fully use all the space available.
- Translate the app into spanish, german…
- Log in and voting features (cool!)
- List users and their profiles.
- List tags and information about them.
- Support for other Stack Exchange sites (cool!)