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Showing posts from August, 2017

Why are some projects so expensive? Need they be?

This article is adapted from a response I gave to the Reddit post for the Medium article "How I replicated an $86 million project in 57 lines of code" in r/coding...

The original poster, /u/javinpaul has written an article demonstrating an ANPR app - that can read number plates and compare them against an internally held database. The app itself works with a video feed from the phone's camera to process a video stream in real time.

First off, despite comments about his ego and a little name-calling, it isn't arrogant to demonstrate a working ANPR app that can operate on a live video feed, and ask why a similar looking project should cost as much as $86 million.

It is fair to say that any working solution to a problem like this cannot be as simple as a mobile app that can do ANPR. From a developer perspective that seems to be the hard problem, and a developer's instincts will tell her that that ought to be the most expensive part. It's easy to overlook everythi…

What's the best way to handle the Android camera?

This article is adapted from a response I gave on Reddit to the question "What's the best way to handle the camera?" in r/androiddev...

The Camera and Camera2 APIs are far from painless to use. If you've ever written an app that uses the camera (embedded in an activity or not), you've almost certainly come up against orientation issues, stretched previews, or weird quirks that change from manufacturer to manufacturer...

There are three good libraries out there that can save you from many common pitfalls:
Google's (unofficial) CameraView library.Mark Murphy's CWAC-Cam2 library.Dylan McKintyre's CameraKit for Android library. Each has different strengths. If you don't have time to read this whole article, here's a quick rule of thumb:
If you want to capture photos in a full-screen preview, but you don't want to have to rely on the native camera app, then use CWAC-Cam2.If you want to embed a preview into your Activity, use CameraKit. It's f…