getting started with flutter on macos mojave, part 2

It’s been a little while since getting all the Flutter bits installed, running, and working together. I finally found a few moments this Sunday morning to spin it up and go farther into the Flutter Getting Started demo on the Flutter website.

I’ve gotten into the habit of running ‘flutter doctor’ every time I open a shell because I’ve found that, for whatever reason, the Android SDK licensing check gives me an “Android license status unknown” for 26.0.2, even though I run tools/bin/sdkmanager from the shell. That seems to clear up any licensing issues, at least from the command line. Run ‘flutter doctor’ from within Visual Studio Code and it pops back up again.

Another problem is with libimobiledevice, a library that is a royal pain to get installed cleanly along with its dependencies. And you need that to talk to XCode and Apple mobile devices. The last time I had a problem with libimobiledevice I finally got it straightened out with ‘brew doctor’ and then installing libimobiledevice yet again. So far, right now (as you can see above), everything is OK.

My second set of initial impressions:

  • I got this up and running without writing a single line of code so far. The app running on the iPhone simulator is equivalent to your “Hello world” examples everywhere else.
  • It is interesting that I’m using Microsoft’s editor to debug an iOS application in an Apple simulator running on macOS. If I were really into cross-development I’d use the Android simulator as well, and I have no doubt it would work.
  • Hot reload works a treat. Starting the simulator takes more than a few seconds, but hot reload is very fast and does not require a simulator restart.

My overall impression is that it is very much still a work in progress. It feels fragile, especially when the Flutter doctor keeps reporting Android licensing and imobiledevice issues at odd times, either at the shell or within Visual Studio Code.

Having said that, it’s remarkable to see all this major systems lashed together into a decently working development environment. There is great potential in Flutter. If I can write better iOS applications within Flutter and do so with less frustration and at a faster pace, then I’m all for this and want to see it succeed. In the past, app development has (and still is) heavily siloed, where you get the development environment unique to each platform (XCode for iOS, Android Studio/IntelliJ for Android) and dealt with cross-platform development as best as possible. Now we’ve got the emergence of Flutter with its largely open source underpinnings. As long as Google keeps serious Flutter development going to at least a solid 1.0 release, then I think it will succeed.

And I personally want to see it succeed.

june is turning into a month of changes

Social platforms. What are they good for?

I’ve been chased out of Facebook twice over Facebook’s privacy flaps. I’ve left Twitter once, and then gone back. I’m about ready to leave again over advertising in my time stream. I tried Instragram, staying nearly a year, before deleting my account the end of May. Why? Changes in how the stream presents itself, ads, and the fact it’s just another property of Facebook. My Flickr account has gone dead because of the chaos at Yahoo, and how everything changed on Flickr as well. Even LinkedIn, the social network for finding work, has reached a point where I want to pull the plug on it, primarily over its sloppy security (see “How LinkedIn’s password sloppiness hurts us all“).

That leaves me with Smugmug, VSCO (barely), my WordPress blog, and my presence on Google+. I came so close, so many times, to just junking Google+. But it looks like, as a process of elimination, that I may just wind up on Plus because that’s about all that’s left, and it’s not like everything else I mentioned that I’ve dropped. Who would have thought I’d turn to Google+ in the end? Certainly not I. And there’ll be more to come…