Confusion Hits Again

Do you live in a digital garden? By that I mean Google, Apple, Microsoft. Do you use one in particular or some of each?

For whatever reason, I need to use one set of tools and not use the others. For example, I use Microsoft Office, Mail, Edge, and Visual Studio. I used to use Gmail, Docs, and Android Studio/Eclipse/Netbeans (I’ve tried them all).

Sometime last week I decided I needed to switch to the Google stack because somehow my brain decided I should stick to programming only for Andoid and therefore everything else needed to be Google as well. Email, documents, photos, everything switched over. I decided I needed to rewrite my garden database entry program in Java so I downloaded Eclipse to make a servlet to run in Tomcat.

I then realized (remembered really) how rediculously difficult Eclipse is and things just didn’t work as simply as I thought they would. I had already written my garden database data entry program in ASP (core MVC). What on earth am I doing?

I switched everything back to MS. I wasted a good couple days from this self-inflicted confusion. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this kind of thing. I tell my wife they’re like confusion “attacks” and they’re exhausting (as she shakes her head in wonder).

The last “attack” was when I was stuck on super digital privacy. I decided to stay away from Linux this time (I did that before). I thought, let’s all get iPhones and Macs instead of android phones and PCs. Fortunately the price tag of such an endeavor straightened me out.

Do you ever do silly things like this? Do you suffer from self-inflicted confusion?


I’m trying to decide on using Xamarin or Android Studio. I’ve written quite a bit of Java and used Android Studio before but I work with Visual Studio and the Microsoft stack during my day job so I could go either way. I plan to deploy to Android but I like the idea of being able to deploy to iOS if I ever wanted to without too much extra effort. I suppose I could put it on the Windows store too. So, I think I’ll try writing this in Xamarin especially now that it’s free and integrated with VS now. I have this sneaky suspicion I’m going to run into all sorts of silly issues during the Xamarin translation from forms to Android SDK. I’ll give it a try and if Xamarin gets in the way then I’ll dump it.

I’m also a little worried about the lack of documentation. I already ran into an issue with Navigation.PushAsync not being supported on Android and that was right out of the Microsoft tutorial. The suggestions I found on Stack Overflow said to use what I believe was a non-cross-platform solution. Thankfully someone suggested Navigation.PushModalAsync and that worked.

So, here’s my initial screen written in Xamarin on the Android emulator.

Notice how simple it is? Yes, part of that is I don’t know what I’m doing yet but also I’ve found some other garden apps sort of hit you at once with all the stuff you can do. When I plan a real life garden, I start with step 1 which is to plan what I want to grow. I don’t want a bunch of stuff on my screen. I’m one of those people who prefer Samsung’s “easy mode”.

The first button takes you to this screen.

I’m not sure I like it yet but I’ll go with it for now. The other option where you already have a garden doesn’t mean you’ve already created a garden in the app. It means you have a garden outdoors and you’re starting the app “mid-season”. I don’t know what I want that to look like yet but the idea is the user isn’t going to want to enter a bunch of plants and details when they’re already in the ground. Maybe that will be some quick entry for what you’ve already planted. If, in the end, it doesn’t save much time, then I’ll drop it.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton


I finally started working on my first app. It’s time and so far I’m having fun. I’ve actually been working on it in my head for several years now and writing down notes all over the place. About a year ago I wrote up functional and technical specs and all along talking with my wife about it. Then last night I started drawing screens. Well, I drew one screen. That took about an hour because I found it prompted so much conversations with my wife and we both enjoyed the creative process. We talked about the theme, buttons, colors, speed, business, and the workflow. It was great to do something creative!

You can probably guess from the blog title that this will be a gardening app. I’ll fill you in on what sets it apart from other apps and I’m sure and you’ll find out more about me in the process.