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Mastering the Art of Avoiding ANRs in Android Applications

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Author: Muhammad Raza Saeed,

Android applications have revolutionized the way we interact with mobile devices. However, a common problem faced by Android developers is the dreaded Application Not Responding (ANR) error, which can lead to a frustrating user experience and potentially negative reviews. ANRs occur when the main thread of an application is blocked for too long, resulting in unresponsiveness. In this article, we will explore effective strategies, examples, and best practices to avoid ANRs and ensure smooth and uninterrupted user experiences in Android applications.

Understand the Android Application Lifecycle: To avoid ANRs, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the Android application lifecycle. Familiarize yourself with key components such as activities, services, and broadcast receivers. Ensure that time-consuming tasks are offloaded from the main thread to background threads or services, leaving the main thread available to handle user interactions promptly.

Best Practice:

Use Intent Service for long-running operations that don’t require user interaction, such as uploading files to a server. Intent Service automatically handles worker threads and stops itself when the work is complete.

Example:

Optimize UI Rendering:

UI rendering plays a vital role in maintaining a responsive application. Here are some optimization techniques to consider:

Best Practices:

a. Use the Layout Inspector and Hierarchy Viewer tools provided by Android Studio to identify any rendering bottlenecks or excessive view hierarchies that might hinder performance.

b. Employ lightweight UI components and avoid nested layouts whenever possible.

c. Optimize resource usage, such as using appropriate image sizes, minimizing overdraw, and reducing the complexity of vector graphics.

d. Implement view recycling and lazy loading techniques for lists and grids to avoid rendering excessive UI elements at once.

Example:

Asynchronous Task Execution:

To prevent long-running operations from blocking the main thread, use asynchronous task execution mechanisms such as:

Best Practices:

a. AsyncTask: Deprecated as of Android 11 but can still be used for earlier versions of Android.

b. Handlers and Looper: Employ Handler and Looper classes to execute tasks on dedicated worker threads.

c. Executors: Utilize thread pools with Executors to manage background tasks effectively.

d. Kotlin Coroutines and RxJava: Leverage these libraries to simplify asynchronous programming and handle background operations efficiently.

Example:

Proper Network and Database Operations:

Network and database operations are often time-consuming and can lead to ANRs if not handled correctly. Follow these best practices:

Best Practices:

a. Perform network operations on a separate thread using libraries like Volley, OkHttp, or Retrofit.

b. Utilize Content Providers or Room Persistence Library for database operations, as they handle threading and asynchronous tasks efficiently.

c. Implement proper caching mechanisms to minimize unnecessary network or database queries.

d. Use background services for long-running tasks such as file downloads, uploads

How to build a new ReactJS app and Why ReactJS is a popular choice for web development?

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Author: M. Ahmed Fraz,

ReactJS is a JavaScript library that is used to build user interfaces. ReactJS is well-known for its speed, scalability, and simplicity, making it an excellent and ideal choice for developing large-scale web applications. It is one of the most popular front-end frameworks

Why Use ReactJS?

ReactJS has several benefits that make it a popular choice for web development nowadays. Following are a few of the key advantages and features of using ReactJS:

Reusable Components:

Reusable components are an important element of ReactJS. ReactJS components are generally small, self-contained pieces of code that can be used anywhere across the entire application, making it faster and more efficient in development. ReactJS allows developers to create reusable components that can be used across applications.

This means that each component should focus on a specific aspect of the UI and should be responsible for its own rendering and managing its state separately.

Developers can utilize ReactJS to develop reusable and scalable components that can be reused across numerous pages or applications. This reusable approach can save time and cuts down on the number of lines of code that needs to be written. Reusable components are a fundamental concept in ReactJS, and they are essential for building scalable, maintainable, and efficient applications

Virtual DOM:

ReactJS allows developers to make use of a virtual DOM, which is a lightweight representation of the actual DOM. This process speeds up the functionalities to update the user interface because just the elements of the DOM that have changed need to be updated. The Virtual DOM provides advantages such as faster rendering times, enhanced efficiency, and a better user experience.

The Virtual DOM reduces the amount of work that the browser has to do by minimizing the number of updates to the real DOM, which can improve the application’s overall speed and responsiveness. Besides that, the Virtual DOM can help prevent the occurrence of common issues such as layout thrashing, in which multiple changes to the real DOM cause unnecessary reflows and repaints.

One-way Data Binding:

ReactJS uses a one-way data binding approach, which is easier and more effective to manage the application state. One-way data binding means that data flows in a unidirectional modal, which is either from top to bottom or from the parent component to its child components and so on, and changes in a child component’s state are communicated to the parent component via callbacks.

Declarative Programming:

ReactJS utilizes declarative programming, which means that the developers simply need to declare what they want the application to do, and ReactJS will handle the details. This approach to writing code makes writing clean, maintainable, and reusable code. ReactJS allows developers to describe how the user interface of the application should look based on the current application state.

Declarative Programming is more accessible and user-friendly than the typical imperative approach, which requires developers to declare how the front end should update based on changes in the application state.

Large Community:

ReactJS has a strong and active developer community that contributes to the framework and helps other developers. The ReactJS developer community is a large group of programmers who are passionate about producing applications with the ReactJS library. Facebook and a community of individual developers and corporations cooperate to maintain ReactJS, an open-source JavaScript library for designing user interfaces.

Because ReactJS has a large and active developer community, there are numerous resources available for learning and debugging. There are also numerous third-party libraries and tools that integrate with ReactJS, such as Redux for state management and Next. js is used for server-side rendering.

Getting Started with ReactJS:

To get started with ReactJS, all you need to have a very basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. If you are new and not an expert in this field, It is okay. You don’t need to be an expert in that field to get started. Once you have a basic understanding of the above mentioned skills, you can follow these steps to get started with ReactJS and build your own website in no time:

Set Up Your Development Environment:

To develop ReactJS applications, Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager) must be installed on your computer in order to develop ReactJS applications which are mandatory for the environment. Node.js can be downloaded and installed by using the official website (https://nodejs.org/en/), and you don’t need to install npm separately, it will be installed automatically along with the installation of Node.js.

Create a New ReactJS Project:

Once Node.js and npm are installed on your system, you are good to go, you can use the create-react-app command to start a new ReactJS project, which is the most popular and easiest way to create a new react project. This will automatically create a folder of a new project with all of the required files and their dependencies.

Create a Component:

The next step is to create a component file for the interface and functionalities. For the instance, A component is a piece of reusable code that can be used on various sites or anywhere in the applications. To create a component, open a new JavaScript file and define the component. As simple as that.

Render the Component:

You can render the component in the browser after you have created it by adding and importing it into the main App.js file.

Add Interactivity:

State and props can be used to add interactivity to your ReactJS application. The state is used to manage data within a component or in any other component across the application, whereas props are used to pass data from one component to another component.

Conclusion:

ReactJS is a powerful and popular front-end framework that makes it easy to build large-scale web applications. Its speed, scalability, and ease of use make it an ideal choice for developers. Getting started with ReactJS is easy, and with a little practice, you can start building your own applications in no time. If you’re new to ReactJS, start with the basics and gradually work your way up to more advanced topics like routing, hooks, and performance optimization.

Overall, ReactJS is a robust and effective library for creating user interfaces, with numerous advantages for both developers and end users. This is why it is more popular nowadays.

Information Technology Commerce Network – Asia Event 2023

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Author: Wishaal Shahid,

Background:

ITCN Asia serves as a platform for next-generation technology and national digital transformation in the consumer technology, digital marketing, and enterprise hardware and software markets. The 21st ITCN Asia exhibition featured high-level conferences on the 3rd Digital Pakistan Summit, Information Security, Cloud Computing, Gaming & the Current State of the Industry in Pakistan, EdTech, and the Huawei Pakistan Cloud E-commerce Summit, attended by 50-plus ICT experts and futurists, including Secretaries and representatives from government departments, IT Minister, Senior Executives, and CIOs from leading firms. The conferences provided new research, networking, and solutions for the key verticals of Healthcare, Education, Finance, Agriculture, Governance, Cloud, Information Security & Fraud Prevention, and so on.

About ITCN-Asia:

The 22nd ITCN Asia – Information Technology & Telecom Show was held at the Pak China Friendship Centre in Islamabad from the 23rd to the 25th of February 2023. The event gathered Pakistan’s entire tech ecosystem, as well as IT professionals from both the public and private sectors, under one roof to witness the country’s largest tech festival.

ITCN-Asia was based on three days of activities, providing a comprehensive platform to showcase solutions for all major economic verticals, including but not limited to Government, Cloud, Data Centers, Cybersecurity, Education, Banking & Finance, Health & Pharma, Ecommerce, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics, with a focus on networking, knowledge sharing, and lead generation, and a series of conferences to create a learning environment for like-minded people to share knowledge. The energy was perceptible as thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors gathered to see the most recent technological advancements. The three-day event was jam-packed with events such as keynote addresses, seminars, and panel discussions, among others.
Exhibiting at ITCN Asia provides a valuable opportunity for any team to network with new clients, demonstrate their skills, and pick the brains of other business professionals. Here is a closer look at what it was like to exhibit at this event for the DevGate team.

Devgate Experience at ITCN-Asia:

Making a strong; impression is crucial at such events. Since there were so many booths from competing businesses, we needed to stand out in the exhibition hall. It had to be done by designing an inventive booth, holding engaging demos, or using persuasive marketing materials. So before the event, the DevGate team organized everything to ensure that we made the most of our time at ITCN Asia. It included designing and building an eye-catching booth that showcased our products and services, preparing marketing materials like brochures and booklets, and training staff members to engage with attendees and answer questions.

There were seminars, workshops, and other learning opportunities that covered a wide range of IT topics alongside exhibitors. These sessions were a valuable source of information for us, helping us stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies.

Highlights of The Event:

One of the major highlights of the event was meeting other industry professionals. We got along with other IT teams from different cities to exchange ideas and practical knowledge. We were able to know what other businesses are working in the market. We also identified gaps that we can work on later on. We also had the opportunity to view their portfolios, asked for demos of their products, and learned about the most recent trends and advancements in the IT sector.

There were seminars, workshops, and other learning opportunities that covered a wide range of IT topics alongside exhibitors. These sessions were a valuable source of information for us, helping us stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies.

Conclusion:

Despite the long hours, and hard work, our team left ITCN Asia feeling energized and inspired. We made connections with future clients, learned insightful things, and got the chance to present our ideas to a large audience. It was a wonderful experience for us to exhibit at ITCN Asia, and we look forward to participating in more such events in the future.