28 August 2017

In my post on Progressive Web Apps, I opened by saying that I had always wanted to get into Android development but hadn't "taken the time to learn Java and get to it". So, I decided enough is enough and I want to pursue my goals. I recently read through Donn Felker's 5-day newsletter on how to become a World-class developer, and one of the things he recommends is to write an app, even if it's already been done before, to practice and also to have something to put into your portfolio. (Side note: even if you don't want to be an Android dev or even a dev, I'm sure you can get something out of Donn Felker's blog and newsletter. You should definitely check him out). So, that's exactly what I did. Donn also recommends getting out into the community, whether that be through blogging, Meetups, conferences, whatever. It's not so easy for me to get to Meetups or conferences down here in Mexico, so that leaves me to blog for now.

As part of an initiative to get myself to blog more often, I decided to write a markdown app. The other markdown apps I tried seemed OK, but they all had a thing or two I just didn't like. Either crashing, having confusing or unappealing interfaces, lacking features, or even sending my personal data back home, I felt the need to come up with my own solution. It's currently in a beta state but I finally feel comfortable sharing it (after rewriting it about 4 times over). I still have plenty to learn and I'm sure there are places in the code that could be simplified or improved, so if you have any suggestions then please share!

So, Simple Markdown is an app that, simply put, allows you to write Markdown. There's no fluff, no extras, and I'm not collecting data on you - it's just markdown. For those times when you want the app to get out of your way and just let you do your thing, Simple Markdown is there for you. Personally, I prefer to write my blog posts in Markdown, as I find the rich text editor doesn't always work the way I want it to, especially when I'm dealing with code. Writing the raw HTML can be a little tedious too, particularly when I can't count on my editor to auto-close the tags (I know, I'm a lazy dev :P).

The app is open source, licensed under the Apache 2.0 license, so you can check out the code and contribute to it if you'd like! I'd also appreciate any feedback on how I can make it or the code better, so if you have any suggestions, feel free to open an issue or contact me directly! Below you can find a few screenshots of the app in action, and be sure to check it out on the Play Store!

In addition to getting myself to blog a bit more, I also wanted to get some hands-on time with a few popular libraries like RxJava and Dagger, to name a couple. I listen to the Fragmented podcast and recently signed up over at Caster.io so I'm always hearing about them but I hadn't yet given them a chance. Another thing I wanted to put into practice was the MVP architecture, since MVC wasn't doing it for me and I really want to work on testing.

Simple Markdown on the edit page with no content Opening the app for the first time takes you straight to editing - worry about the file name and where to save it later.

Simple Markdown on the edit page with some content Typing in Markdown doesn't do immediate previews (I find them really annoying)

Simple Markdown on the preview page Instead, you can just swipe over to the PREVIEW tab or tap on it to see what your Markdown will look like rendered in HTML

The Help documentation for Simple Markdown I've included a little help document for those who aren't familiar with Markdown as well (written in Markdown)

Saving a file in Simple Markdown Saving files is pretty straight-forward

Landscape view of Simple Markdown on a tablet In landscape mode, you get a live preview of what you're typing off to the side.

Sharing a file in Simple Markdown You can easily share the markdown to other apps as well

Anyways, please check out the app in the Play Store or the Galaxy Apps Store and give me some feedback :)

Available on Samsung Galaxy AppsGet it on Google Play

Legal notice because laws:

Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.