Titanium Tips

Titanium Studio - A Quick Preview

Titanium Studio Preview
Update 20 June 2011 - Titanium Studio has now been officially released. An updated version of this article is now available here. The original article below is just for historical reference. Some information may no longer be accurate.

Appcelerator has released the first public preview release of their latest initiative - Titanium Studio. Titanium Studio is a full-featured integrated development environment (IDE) for Titanium development (and a whole lot of other things too).

Get the official details and download a copy here.

A product of Appcelerator’s recent purchase of Aptana, Titanium Studio is only a preview release at the moment, so there are a few bugs around, but it is quite impressive nonetheless. If you like IDEs - then you should be happy now.

A good thing about Titanium Studio is that it is completely optional. Appcelerator has stated that you’ll still be able to use Titanium Developer to create apps for the foreseeable future. Pricing for the finished Titanium Studio is still unknown at the moment.

Personally, I quite like the way things are now. You create your code in a normal, plain text editor, then just flip back to Titanium Developer and launch the iPhone Simulator whenever you want to test your code. If you’re an Exposé-devotee like me and have a thorough knowledge of how to use ‘CMD + TAB’ to switch back and forth between applications, the traditional way to test apps is both quick and easy. So I’m happy that Titanium Developer will continue into the future.

However, I am a thorough believer in choice, so that’s why I think Titanium Studio is good news for a lot of people. Lots of developers like having everything in one place, so you can’t get lost and don’t have to go hunting for things elsewhere. Titanium Studio provides this.

Titanium Studio also provides some things that you just can’t do using Titanium Developer. Here are some highlights...

Code Completion

Code Completion in Titanium Studio

Start typing some Titanium code and you’ll soon see things popping up all over the place, giving you lists of all the different attributes available for use in the given situation. Select what you want from the list and press TAB, RETURN or double-click and the code will be automatically entered for you. This is a great time-saver (especially if you often misspell things). Also great is that some basic documentation is included in these popups, so you can actually learn about what the code does, as you use it.


Breakpoints window in debug mode

When something isn’t working right, it can sometimes be incredibly difficult to track it down and rectify it. Just one misplaced comma or semi-colon can stop things working, so it’s important to get all your code just right. Titanium Studio has a very powerful debugging feature that lets you set breakpoints so that you can find exactly what is happening and when. It should be a very useful feature. Appcelerator has created a very informative screencast that you can find here, which demonstrates debugging in action. Some of the debugging features are a bit esoteric, so this screencast is well worth a watch so that you have some idea what you’re doing.

Full featured text editor

Code Folding and Code Highlighting in action

If you haven’t used a good text editor before, then you’ve missed out on a lot. But you’ll be happy to know that Titanium Studio includes very thorough text editing capabilities. Code highlighting, code folding, bundles that provide special options for programming languages like Ruby and extensive find/change features mean that Titanium Studio is up in the league of BBEdit and TextMate - a really great league to be in.

Integrated project creation and testing

Integrated Testing on Simulator or Device

It’s all there in the one big window. Code on the right, file manager on the left, console at the bottom and in the top-left corner are controls to test your app on a simulator or device. Easy to find. Easy to use.

If you’re interested in Titanium Studio, get going and download it! You can find all the details at: http://developer.appcelerator.com/blog/2011/04/titanium-studio-1-0-preview-with-titanium-mobile-debugging.html.