[swift-users] Build Android GUI apps with Swift 3.0 via a framework/library

Hooman Mehr hooman at mac.com
Thu Oct 13 19:20:52 CDT 2016

I think it is too soon to tackle this issue.

I think there is room for making adapters for a lightweight GUI toolkit for embedded applications. For example, a Swift adapter for EFL <https://www.enlightenment.org/about-efl> (of Enlightenment) or something like that. But when we talk about Android, we are usually talking about a real Android app that can be a good citizen in Google ecosystem. I don’t think this is feasible right now. 

Current Android GUI services is too intertwined with its proprietary runtime and VM and Google is continuing to tie them harder and harder to its Google services API. Unless Google starts treating non-Dalvik-based languages as first class citizens in Android development world, there is no point in trying to make Swift usable as a GUI development language for Android. It is not going to work.

Just my opinion.

> On Oct 13, 2016, at 2:56 PM, Tony Constantinides via swift-users <swift-users at swift.org> wrote:
> Ok,
> Can I take the fact that there no feedback yet on
> a) The community is not interested in writing Android apps in Swift
> or
> b) Wrong forum despite the fact the inventor the Swift programming language pointed me here,
> or
> c) This has been tried and failed before.
> I sincerely interested in the Swift community thoughts and ideas. I sincerely want to build this project based on the desires of the Swift developers community. Let me know what you think about the proposal and yes, I can present in much more detail.
> I took the idea from this page
> https://github.com/apple/swift/blob/master/docs/Android.md <https://github.com/apple/swift/blob/master/docs/Android.md>
> Thank you
> Sincerely yours,
> Tony Constantinides
> On Wed, Oct 12, 2016 at 5:12 PM, Tony Constantinides <constantinnovationsinc at gmail.com <mailto:constantinnovationsinc at gmail.com>> wrote:
> In Swift 3.0 you can build Android apps in Linux but only console apps as there is no framework to build GUI apps using JNI.
> What I propose is to build an initial limited framework coded in C that calls enough of the Java Android API via JNI to bootstrap the android app and to create widgets and layouts.A default Androidmanifest.xml file and some files needed to be generated to make a valid android app.
>   The Android API java surface is vast, so this framework needs to be build over many releases to be useful. Developing a graphical Android app requires interaction with "Activities" and the package manager and some widgets like Button and some layouts like "RelativeLayout" and "LinearLayout".
>  The result will be the ability to develop GUI Android apps on Linux using Swift 3.0
> Further support for additional APIs will be provided once the basics are solid..
> Who am I: Senior Android mobile developer with more than six years experience on Android.
> Am I able to build Swift 3.0 on Linux: Yes
> Any help, suggestions, or ideas are most welcome
> Warms regards,
> Tony Constantinides
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> swift-users at swift.org
> https://lists.swift.org/mailman/listinfo/swift-users

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