2016-05-03 All clear

Well, the title of this post does not mean (unfortunately) that I’ve overcome all my design/coding problems (not to mention my life problems…) – it’s just a lame pun relating to the “clear the screen” feature.

There are actually four “layers” of it. The first one is the implementation, which is (more or less) trivial. (Probably the only less trivial part was reusing the ArrayList of Paths using the .clear() method instead of recreating the whole object – not rocket science, but good to know that it’s there.)

The second one is the UI. Currently, Clear is an option in the menu, which is far from satisfactory – it should really be a button in the action bar. For now, however, it is in the menu, and it turned out that there is yet another Android quirk here: the menu has a transparent background by default, but if MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity instead of Activity, the menu looks good again. Wtf, Google? I have to admit that I had to revise my former opinion on well-designed-ness of Android – not that it’s bad, but there seems to be a lot of irritating details like that. Sure, I can live with that, but why do I have to?

Never mind that anyway – there are more important things than this. One of them is the exact behavior of the “clear-screen” menu item (or button). It should clear the screen, sure, but should it bring back the turtle to the center? The more I think about it, the more I guess the answer is no; instead, I’m going to make another button, called “home”, which will bring the creature back in case it gets lost;-).

But here’s the third one, also UI-connected: what should the icons for these buttons look like? The “home” one is pretty obvious, but the “clear screen” less so. I’m going now with the traditional “dog-eared empty piece of paper” with a sparkle of newness, but I’m open to better ideas.


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