Corona SDK: Birthing Modern App Development

In light of Corona SDK’s recent birthday, I thought I’d take a moment to appreciate one of the most important things that Ansca’s amazing product helped give birth to within the mobile software industry, something that I’ve unofficially dubbed modern app development.


Let’s break that term apart a little. You already know what app development is, so why exactly has Corona contributed to the modern aspect of it?

The non-Corona way of developing an iOS app would be to use a language called Objective-C, which is what most people had to use, pre-Corona. It’s worth mentioning that Corona also does cross-platform Android development as well, but I’ll just focus on iOS for now. Before I explain any more though, I’ll show you two code examples that’ll illustrate 90% of what I’m trying to say.

The first example is an app, using Objective-C, that simply displays the words “Hello World” on the iPhone screen. Unsurprisingly, the code is too much to paste into this blog post. Take a look at it here:

And here’s how to do that same thing using Corona:

local textObject = display.newText( "Hello World", 50, 50, nil, 24 )
textObject:setTextColor( 255, 255, 255, 255 )

And that’s it!

And it’s not only about reducing lines of code, which is a drastic improvement from the Objective-C example, but you’ll also notice that Corona’s code is much, much more user-friendly.

Not only do you really have to know what you’re doing to figure out what’s going on in the Objective-C app, but that’s a boatload of stuff you gotta remember just to place two simple words on the screen!

I’ll go as far as to say that you probably don’t even have to be a programmer to figure out what the Corona code example is supposed to do.

Modern app development is all about leaving all the technical details for your software development kit to deal with, so you have the mental focus, energy, and motivation to figure out the logic and make it happen.

Old vs. New

Originally, way before my time, you’d have to feed the computer a series of 0’s and 1’s (rather than the code in the examples above).

Then, to make things easier, there were programming languages that came along such as Assembly, which gave the computer a little bigger slice of the work for the sake of human readability. At that point, programmers could focus just a little more on the logic because now they had letters to work with, instead of just two numbers (0, 1).

As time progressed, programming languages such as C and C++ and several others came about which were even more readable and easy to work with. With these languages, the computer took a bigger slice of the overall workload (converting the human-code to “computer code”), which freed up more time and energy for humans to focus on what’s really important: the end-user experience.

Now, thanks to Corona SDK, we can give the computer an even bigger slice… and do so without having to sacrifice performance. Enabling developers to create top-notch apps at unheard of development times, using code that is human readable and most of all, practical, is Corona’s forté.

Corona SDK is the modern app developer’s toolkit of choice, and it’s only getting better.

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