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Hackathon: Getting started with Appcelerator Titanium

With the Mobile DotNetNuke Hackathon coming up in St. Louis next week Joe Brinkman and I are going to be blogging about how you can get started with doing some mobile development with DotNetNuke, that way you are prepared to enter the contest. If you win the contest you stand a chance at winning some cool prizes, so you better dust off your development chops and get started!

My first post is going to cover how to easily get started with Appcelerator’s Titanium, a tool from an open source company located not too far from DotNetNuke Corp’s headquarters here in the Bay Area in California. The Titanium project is a tool for packaging and deploying (and testing) mobile applications,  meaning you can develop an application that will work on IPhone or Android, and in future releases will include Blackberry. Besides mobile you can also develop desktop applications, but we’re going to stick with the mobile side of things for now.

In order to setup Titanium you are going to need to perform a number of steps, I’ve struggled with a few of these, so hopefully my struggles can be used to your advantage. Appcelerator has also recently released a new getting started guide, something that wasn’t available just a week or two ago when I started down this path! Check that guide, here’s the Windows Version.

You won’t be able to use Titanium on Windows to develop for an IPhone, so if you want to go that route you’re going to need a Mac. Here are the steps to get things running for Android development on a PC (for more detailed steps check out the getting started guide).

  1. The first thing for Android is you’re going to need to get the Java SDK installed go to this page to download.
    1. Follow the steps in the getting started guide for exactly where to install Java
    2. Configure a couple of variables to make things work correctly (exact steps shown in the guide).
  2. Next we’re going to need to install the Android SDK, you’ll download it from here, a word of warning, while the download for the SDK will be small, it will download additional files during install and can take up to 1gb+ of space.
    1. Once you’ve downloaded the SDK extract the ZIP file
    2. Execute Setup.exe
    3. On the MISC settings section of the installer you likely will have to choose FORCE HTTP, as the HTTPS downloads never appeared to work for me.
    4. When installing the SDKs you get to choose which platform version for Android you would like to target, I ended up downloading all the APIs, which took a bit to download and used up quite a bit of space. Titanium suggests that you download the 1.6 SDK and Google APIs for API 4 rev2.
    5. Setup path variables
  3. Install Titanium developer from the download page
    1. The installation is pretty straightforward.
    2. After installation you will be prompted to create an account with Appcelerator through the application.
    3. Configure Titanium for Android by pointing to your Android SDK install

One thing to keep in mind is that Titanium is not an IDE like Visual Studio, it is a tool to help you package and test applications on various platforms, with that in mind, you’ll want to come up with some IDE for doing your development. Joe and I both have had good luck using Eclipse, the open source IDE for doing Java development. I’m not going to get into the details on Eclipse in this blog post as in another post I will be discussing Eclipse and another set of tools called Motodev Studio for doing Android development.

Now that you have Titanium installed you can go through the process of creating yourself a project, I won’t try to cover all the steps for this as the Getting Started guide covers it in far greater detail than I have time! So be sure to check it out

Stay tuned as Joe and I put together additional blog posts over the next week as we get ready for the Hackathon on August 18th in St. Louis. We’ll be putting a list of ideas together on various projects you might try to create in the mobile space around DotNetNuke, you definitely won’t be limited to those projects, but hopefully they will be useful to get you rolling on ideas for projects.

If you are near St. Louis next week be sure to come to the Hackathon being held at Steady Rain (or watch it online), and also stay in town for the St. Louis Day of .NET on Friday/Saturday (I still have some discounts available)!


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