Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04 64 bit, Eclipse 3.4, Subclipse 1.4.7 and Subversion 1.5

How to get these working together ?
Firstly, it's incredible that such a simple thing requires such a big amount of research, trial and error and frustration when should work out-of-the-box.
I'm writing this post hoping to save somebody else precious development time.

Subclipse 1.4.7 requires Subversion 1.5 which is not available in normal Ubuntu repositories.
Eclipse just crashes using other combinations, in this environment.

Subversion 1.5
Install subversion 1.5 from Ubuntu backports. Just download the required packages and install them, there's no need to enable backports repository just for this.
Download the following packages:
  • subversion (> 1.5)
  • libsvn1 (>1.5)
  • libsvn-java (>1.5)
and install them using dpkg, for example in 64 bit

$ sudo dpkg --install libsvn-java_1.5.1dfsg1-1ubuntu2_amd64.deb \
libsvn1_1.5.1dfsg1-1ubuntu2_amd64.deb \

Subclipse 1.4.7
Add site to Eclipse and install Subclipse 1.4.7, Subversion Client Adapter 1.5.2 and Subversion Native Client Library Adapter (JavaHL) 1.5.5

Configuring Eclipse 3.4
If you try to use Subversion in Eclipse you will receive and error, because the Subversion JNI libraries are not detected.
To achieve thisd you have to edit eclipse.ini (the path depends on where you've decided to install it, as it's not installed from deb packages)
Add these two lines (this is the little magic)


and, after restarting Eclipse, you will be able to use Subversion.
Verify that under SVN Interface the correct JavaHL version is detected in Window -> Preferences -> Team -> SVN.

Android Intent Playground 2.0

Android Intent Playground 2.0 was released.

Check the previous post too: Diego Torres Milano's blog: Android: Playing with Intents which refers to a previous version.

This new version includes some extra features to help you understand and test Android intents.

Use the method described in Diego Torres Milano's blog: Android Intent Playground 2.0 installation or download AndroidIntentPlayground.apk and install it on the emulator using

adb install AndroidIntentPlayground.apk

After successful installation the launcher icon appear on the main screen

Launch Intent Playground and the main screen appears

we can tailor an Intent, filling some of its attributes, and then do something with it for example starting the corresponding application.
Among these Intent attributes we can set

actionthe general action of the Intent, such as ACTION_VIEW, ACTION_EDIT, ACTION_MAIN, etc.
attributethe data to operate on, specified as an (attribute, value) pair.
Can be a

  • data uri
  • category
  • mime type

valuethe actual value to complete the (attribute, value) pair as specified in attribute
intentspecifies what to do with the intent

  • start an activity
  • broadcast the intent
  • start a service
  • resolve the activity

activitythe resolved activity

Random intents
There's a menu option to fill in random values, from a pre built list, of intent attributes

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

ge2adt new release

In this previous post, we reviewed Google Earth to Android ADT  (ge2adt) a simple application to convert Google Earth's KML routes to a format suitable to be loaded into Android ADT Emulator Control.
ge2adt has been updated to allow the conversion directly from Google Earth's KMZ routes, avoiding the unzipping step.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Android, Google Earth and KML routes

Whilst testing location based applications, the need to simulate routes is likely to appear.
This article shows you how to obtain KML routes using Google Earth, convert it to a suitable format to be loaded into Eclipse ADT plugin Emulator Control and be able to test location based applications.

Create the route
Using Google Earth, create the route using Directions.

Then right click on Route, at the end of the list of directions, and save it. Let's say, we save it as myroute.kmz.

Convert the route
To be used with the current version of Android ADT plugin (0.8.0) a slightly different format is needed as is not supported.
We have to convert the route to use multiple s.

The change is really simple and we could do it manually, but fortunately there's an application to automate this task.
ge2adt is hosted on Google Appengine and can be reached at
Use your Google identifier to access it (i.e.: you gmail account).

Unzip kmz, extract doc.kml, rename it, upload myroute.kml, convert it, and save the result as myroute-adt.kml.

Test my location
Using Eclipse Android DDMS perspective, under Emulator Control, load the converted KML file myroute-adt.kml.

Once the route is loaded, use you location based application or launch Maps, select My Location on the menu, press the play button on Emulator Control and you will be able to appreciate the map moving along the route.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Android Development Workshop slides

I was a great opportunity to present this at Mobile Dev Camp, if you couldn't attend, 
presentation slides are available at