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Introducing Caffeine: an Open Source Library to Speed Up Android Development
Every software company relies heavily on open source software, and at Percolate, we try to give back to that community by sharing our own code with the world. This time last year we announced redset, a tool to distribute Redis work. Today, we’re proud to announce an Android utility library called “Caffeine” that helps speed up Android development.
At Percolate, we use the programming language Java to write our Android apps. We also love our coffee — going as far as to install our very own coffee bar inside the office. After developing a series of tools that have helped us ship our apps faster with less bugs, it made perfect sense to name the library “Caffeine”.
Shrink Your Codebase
Java can be a very verbose language — it sometimes requires lots of code to do simple things. Caffeine helps developers with this problem by providing a rich set of succinct code utilities that shorten the amount of code you have to write and maintain. Some tasks that would require multiple lines of code now only take one, or maybe two lines. At Percolate, using this library, we have not only shrunk our code base, but also eliminated fair amount of code duplication. This follows the DRY, (short for Don’t Repeat Yourself), software development principle, which is a very good thing to strive for.
Greater Protection Against Buggy Code
Caffeine also makes Android code safer. Good exception handling— where software detects when something goes wrong and deals with it safely instead of just crashing— is a tough thing to do well. In the case of Android applications, poor exception handling can lead to buggy apps that crash, which results in a poor experience for users. Caffeine helps solve this by providing very thorough, well reviewed, and heavily tested code that can be used in critical parts of your application, where exception handling may otherwise be forgotten. These utilities have been used in all five of our Android applications in production for a number of months.
Part of an Open-Source Whole Family
Percolate has always strived to produce high-quality, feature-rich software that is fun to use. Caffeine was built with those standards, as were our other open source tools: jennifer, jsonmatch, and redset. We hope the Android community can make good use of this library to help speed up their development, make their code more maintainable, and make their applications more reliable. Keep an eye out for future updates and new additions to Caffeine in the coming months.
If you’re an Android developer take a look at the documentation and the project page. If you’re a really good developer, you might want to take a look at our jobs page to find a place you might fit on our amazing team.