In today’s “Featured Developer” post we’ll be talking with Jason Kneen, a long-time developer who has recently seen some great success with the latest app Adrian James Bootcamp.
As an active Titan, Jason is also a valued member of the Titanium community. Rather than stealing his thunder, I figured I’d let Jason introduce himself.
In His Own Words
I’ve been developing since the early 80s when I wrote my code on a VIC-20. From there I went through several Commodore machines (plus an Atari ST along the way) and settled on the Amiga before my move to PCs in the 90s.
It’s funny how we take for granted the ability to create a button or text field but back then I had to write my own controls – literally building the entire interface from scratch from the borders of buttons to rendering a cursor and controlling how it moved. Dropdown menus with multi-levels were fun and I even wrote iOS style tumbler selectors in Amiga Basic.
In the 90s I moved to PCs and also started developing for Psion organizers which is where my mobile development began. I wrote apps for the Psion Series 3s, 5s, and Windows Mobile devices. In the early 2000s, I was developing web sites and also playing with WAP developing tools to allow editors to post and update web content from their phones.
(If anyone is old enough to remember, the apps were Backlite+ and Extra bars. I believe people still use them today and someone even ported Extra bars to color for the Series 7!)
In recent years I’ve been playing with Objective C and Xcode but got into full-blown mobile development when I discovered Titanium Developer a few years ago. Since then I’ve been working more in mobile developing cross-platform apps for myself and my clients. I’ve also been working on some CommonJS modules to help with Titanium development, available in my GitHub account.
Right now I’m freelancing working for clients developing apps in Titanium with a little web on the side.
Interview with Jason Kneen
First off, congratulations on the quick success of Adrian James Bootcamp. Tell us a little bit about it.
No.1 in Health & Fitness and No. 6 in the whole AppStore!
Bootcamp is a total fitness routine in an app. In just 5 minutes and without any equipment you can have a full-body workout, anywhere. Since it’s release in December 2012 it’s already gone to No.1 in Health & Fitness and has reached No. 6 in the whole AppStore! Bootcamp is part of a suite of apps focusing on different aspects of the body OR goals of the user and we’re releasing more over the next few months.
Why did you pick Titanium for your app development?
I came into the team after Titanium was already selected – I believe it was chosen for the flexibility and speed at which apps could be developed and made to work on multiple platforms.
What were some of the highlights of Titanium development for you?
Speed. For the first time, I can take a thought, idea or requirement for an application and in a fraction of the time, it would take in Xcode and Objective C, write an application. That plus the fact it’s using a well-known, established language means you have easily accessible resources online.
Which online resources did you use to learn and develop with Titanium?
The Appcelerator web site and community forums mainly, then there’s GitHub and resources like CodeCanyon.
Was your app built with the Community edition of Titanium?
Do you have plans for updates to Adrian James Bootcamp or future Titanium apps? Care to share some details?
We’ve just released the Android version which required minimal changes and tweaks and now sits within the same codebase as iOS. I’ve just published the German version and working on Lite versions at the moment. We have new apps coming in the New Year so there’s plenty to do! In the backend, I’m working on implementing i18n multi-language features and converting a lot of the back-end code to CommonJS format to improve reusability and performance.
Any additional thoughts or notes on Titanium development?
My big wish at the moment is to have multiple build configurations per project and I’ve had a ticket raised for that. Basically, it would allow you to have a single project and then build multiple outputs that have different TiApp.xml and info.plist files, use/not use specific asset folders, etc. The idea being that you’d be able to create white label apps more easily, maintain separately language versions or lite/full versions of apps.
A big thanks to Jason for taking the time to give us some insight into his experience and success with Titanium app development. We know the rest of the community, as well as the Appcelerator team ourselves, get excited when we see beyond what is possible with Titanium to what is now a reality.