Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Missing Manual - Android Drawables from XML

I have been fairly frustrated with a gap in the Android documentation recently - the file formats for creating Drawables from XML. Drawables XML has been pretty useful to me in the past in creating gradients; I'd rather use it than create 9-patches all the time. However, the Android documentation is strangely silent about the format; they provide a few samples, but as far as I know there's nothing beyond that.

I've taken it upon myself to study the source code and create a missing manual for all the possibilities for Drawable XMLs. The data was gathered from the Android source code, from the android.graphics.drawables package. I was surprised to find a lot of really useful code I wish I'd known about a long time ago; regardless, I was able to figure out all of how Drawables XML works.

Without further ado, here it is: the missing manual on Android Drawables via XML. I hope this lessens the pain someone else has slightly.

2 comments:

  1. Epic, I have been looking for something like this for months now. I was already about to take apart the source code myself while researching this for a book I am writing, but looks like you saved me from an evening of frustration. Consider yourself included in the awesome-people-we-like-to-thank-list of one of the better forthcoming Android books :-)

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  2. Maybe useful but without example and no explanation ...

    What are Android drawables from XMl and why are they better than 9Patch ?

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