Joe Hewitt Rephrases His Earlier Statement on Android



Who knew that when Joe Hewitt of Facebook made a comment to the extent that developing for Android is “horrendous” it would turn into one of the biggest debates in the Android blogosphere. Except he didn’t actually quite say that, or so he has gone on to explain in a recent tweet clearing up that he meant the tools for developing for Android (specifically Eclipse, a Java development environment not exclusive to Android) are horrendous and that the OS is merely visually displeasing to him. But don’t worry too much, as he goes on to state, “on technical merits Android is great.”

We’re sure the debate will rage on, but it’s only fair to give the man a chance to defend himself. Carry on.

[via Twitter, thanks to Myke for sending this in]

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. yeah and facebook is the most visually appealing website their is huh…

  2. Thank you kevin for posting this, thought he deserved that much.

  3. I didn’t mean to say that your corvette is a terrible car, just that it’s difficult/expensive to service and ugly. An intelligent person such as myself would never be caught dead in one, but on the performance side, it’s pretty fast…

    Does that about sum it up?

  4. lol… hmmm well, as i said, earlier. people got excited for nothing.. even though he did say programming was horrendous. I LOVE IT! XD

  5. @boburuncle – nail on the head man, nail on the head.

  6. Eclipse is awesome and the Android perspective is solid. I don’t understand people who cling to coding in text editors (I’m looking at you Ruby and Objective-C). The tools exist. Choosing not to use them doesn’t make you better than someone who does. It’s like saying Star Trek is better than Star Wars just because it’s got less action and more “character development” (what a joke).

  7. Looks like somebody got their developer card pulled and now wants to backtrack.

  8. +1 bradford I was just about to add that Eclipse is a great IDE. The only people I see complaining about it are Visual Studio folk that need a bunch of WYSIWIG crap.

  9. I think he was misquoted. It should say.

    “I didn’t say Android is horrendous, I said the (Facebook) app is, and the code is ugly (browser-calls). With competent programmers, Android is great. “

  10. well Joe, there’s always App Inventor

  11. I love that he thinks Xcode is better. I’ve used both Eclipse and Xcode enough to have my opionion which is that Eclipse has way more power then Xcode ever will. Of course if you are worried about your IDE’s eye candy then by all means stick with your Apple beveled edges and gloss. That will totally help you make better apps…

  12. I agree that eclipse sucks.. its clumsy and slow..

  13. I think he meant to say “Steve Jobs called me, and as a favor I told other people that only Apple tools are sweet, and only iOS looks pretty. I meant to say that my mom is ugly and my wee wee is horrendous.”

  14. @fred

    huaaahaaaaaahaaaaahaaaaaaaaaa.. i aggree with u.


  15. I dunno, I kinda agree with him. I’m obviously pro-Android or wouldn’t be here, and I’m a developer by trade, so I’m no novice to coding, but I just don’t like Eclipse. It has a significant learning curve and in many cases is unintuitive. Maybe my environment isn’t set up right or I don’t know enough about Eclipse (probably the case), but I shouldn’t have to fight with my IDE just to get a Hello World app running. I’ve done both the Visual Studio and generic text editor approach to programming, neither of which required me to spend a significant amount of time poking my way around the IDE first, and Eclipse is really a horrid abomination.

  16. assuming this isn’t damage control by him
    i would agree
    eclipse is a bloated pile of crap.
    Keep It Simple Stupid; Dr. Java and programmer’s notepad’s all i need

  17. Who is Joe Hewitt?

  18. @Phil I use Eclipse and Visual Studio both for different types of projects based on my clients.

    Not to mention I use FlexBuilder/Eclipse.

    Visual Studio is setup differently, but I’m not complaining about Eclipse. Use whatever IDE you want to reach the end result.

  19. I love how the Facebook guy uses Twitter to make public statements.

  20. Blaming the tools for difficulty in development only serves to show ones ignorance. While people can argue for eons about which environment is best for development, you find one that works for you. It’s Java, there are a ton of editors that can be configured to work with it. As was already mentioned App Inventor, and also Unity are some good alternatives at radically different ends of the spectrum.

    “Trying to work on this BMW motorcycle with these tools I bought out of the discount bin at Walmart is horrendous, clearly all BMW vehicles are crap because of this.”


  21. Personally I love Eclipse and think Xcode is horrendous. Everyone is entitled to their opinions… his are just wrong. ;)

  22. Eclipse is just beautiful. Google plug-in needs improvement.

    This joe guy needs to make another correction!

  23. Maybe he should be worry less about how the Android OS is ugly and more about how FUGLY the facebook android app is!!

  24. Eclipse is a dog in many ways but is also very capable. But it is a classic example of an app/development environment that has had so much piled on to it that it is slow, buggy, and not always very stable. XCode is awesome but has limited uses compared to Eclipse. I’ll bet money the people here dissing Xcode don’t know a damn thing about it and have never used it. BTW is it a requirement that 90% of Android users who comment on forums be ignorant particularly immature teenagers? Because thats what you see everywhere and they are obsessed with Apple. Get over it. Be happy with what you have.
    Oh and Android IS ugly. Lets be real. Google knows this which is why they are hiring usability experts.

  25. I don’t get why so many people claim the Android UI is ugly. Two of the things that make Android so great to me are the notification bar and the ability to create your own personal UI wit shortcuts, folders, widgets and home replacements. It always seemed as though the people that complain about Android’s UI cannot have spent any time personalizing their device. If you want little boxes to click across multiple screens, you can have that. If you want cards to scroll that is a bit more difficult, but anyone who puts in a couple hours to set up their phone should be able to create an attractive, ultra-functional, personalized phone. Don’t want to bother personalizing? Then don’t do it. You’ll still have an ultra-functional device with an easy to navigate notification system. If you don’t like it, you’ve no one to blame but yourself.

  26. This guy needs to just STFU and write code. Whining like a little baby isn’t going to solve the problem. “Whah, the icons don’t look all cute and bubbly like I’m used too, whah whah. I hate this, it’s toooo haaarrddd whaaaaaaaah!”

    “Somebody quick, stick that pacifier in his pie hole!”

  27. His first tweet was: “Android tools are horrendous, OS is hideous, but the absence of big brother telling me what to do gives it a slight edge.” Why all this trashtalking over a tweeted opinion? People need to RTFT instead of getting worked up over a journalist’s kneejerk reaction to it.

  28. Who? Really, who is he? I had to google him to know who this guy is and I still don’t know who he is. I visited his twitter and all I see is complaints.

  29. Seriously. Who the hell is he? So he coded facebook apps. Does that mean his opinion on anything matters at all? I bet if he had coded a flashlight app no one would give a damn but because he’s affiliated with facebook he’s somehow important.

    My ass.

  30. he can use other IDE’s too, for example Intellij IDEA 9.0 has a very good android plugin. But basically he can use any IDE that has ANT integration.

  31. The fact is that iOS applications look nicer, and have a lot more depth, on average.

    This is probably a result of many things, but I am always disappointed to see how the iphone crowd always seem to get the best apps first or exclusively.

    My guess is it’s the way Market is handled, and perhaps the development software is not great.

  32. Maybe Phandroid shouldn’t be leaping at 140 char twitter postings and extrapolating a whole load of meaning that isn’t there, and then making a massive post on hidden meanings that don’t exist.

  33. I have no idea about iPhone development and can’t comment on it. But this guy pretty much lost all credibility when he called Eclipse and Java horrendous. I have programmed in a number of languages and used a number of tools in the past 20 years and Eclipse and Java are quite simply awesome. If there are better tools in the market, I don’t know about them. But there is no way that Eclipse is in any way bad.

    I don’t know what machines people are using, but Eclipse is extremely fast and extremely stable. I’d like some specific examples of what makes it bad.

  34. Eclipse is not required, I don’t use it, just ant and vim for me!

  35. Yeah the UI is still a little ugly, but the OS is beautiful. One of the great things about Android is that you can replace the entire UI, ie Sense (I prefer vanilla personally). Android’s UI will get better, we need some fancy open source widget libraries.

  36. What about MonoDroid ( Develop Android apps with Visual Studio (and in the future MonoDevelop). I already love it, although it’s currently a preview version.

  37. Who cares what he thinks? The Facebook app on my Droid has WAY too many bugs, maybe he should be worrying about fixing those.

    Sometimes my news feed will bottom out with a post that mistakenly reads December 31st. Go fix that, nozzle…

  38. Actually I had never used Eclipse before I started programming for Android, and I like it so far. It does some things so much better than visual studio does in my opinion.


  39. Back pedal faster!! Oh Joe, too late. :)

  40. It’s funny to see that the traditional mac vs. PC war has turned into Android vs. iOS war. Same arguments litany over and over and over.

    In fact it’s not funny at all… all this time lost, and all these apps badly coded.

  41. all the talk about developing is way over my head so I can’t comment on any of that.

    But if this is the guy responsible for the android facebook app then he is a TOOL and that’s all one needs to know. Compared to so many other apps on android, the facebook app just plain sucks, has bugs, and worst of all is hardly every updated quickly (except when he includes messy bugs that kill everyone’s batteries.)

  42. I use Visual Studio daily at work and I find myself longing for a lot of the things in Eclipse every day and I only used it for one semester at uni.

  43. Joe, you don’t have to use Eclipse. This guy is clueless and is probably a graphic designer anyways.

  44. He’s calling Eclipse horrendous? What an idiot. Eclipse is one of the best IDEs out there. I was thrilled when I learned that Android uses Eclipse as its supported IDE.

  45. hi people recently i installed JDK,ANDROID SDK and monodroid visual studio plug-in for visual studio and wen i wrote hello world application try to run it in visual studio its showing as could not find “JAVA SDK” wat mite be the problem can anyone help me out plz i am in urgent plz say a solution for me…………

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