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Managing Concurrency in Mobile User Interfaces with Examples in Android

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Topics in Parallel and Distributed Computing

Abstract

In this chapter, we explore various parallel and distributed computing topics from a user-centric software engineering perspective. Specifically, in the context of mobile application development, we study the basic building blocks of interactive applications in the form of events, timers, and asynchronous activities, along with related software modeling, architecture, and design topics.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    This topic goes beyond the scope of this chapter but is included in the corresponding example [19].

  2. 2.

    When analyzing race conditions, we might be tempted to enumerate the different possible interleavings. While it seems reasonable for our example, this quickly becomes impractical because of the combinatorial explosion for larger number of threads with more steps.

  3. 3.

    In some frameworks, including Java AWT/Swing, the UI thread is known as event dispatch thread (EDT).

  4. 4.

    A full introduction to the Unified Modeling Language (UML) [29] would go far beyond the scope of this chapter. Therefore, we aim to introduce the key elements of UML needed here in an informal and pragmatic manner. Various UML resources, including the official specification, are available at http://www.uml.org/. Third-party tutorials are available online and in book form.

  5. 5.

    It is also possible—though less practical—to build an Android GUI programmatically.

  6. 6.

    Readers who have worked with GUI framework that supports multiple listeners, such as Swing, might initially find it restrictive of Android to allow only one. We’ll leave it as an exercise to figure out which well-known software design pattern can be used to work around this restriction.

  7. 7.

    More information on JaCoCo the JaCoCo Gradle plugin is available at http://www.eclemma.org/jacoco/ and https://github.com/arturdm/jacoco-android-gradle-plugin, respectively.

  8. 8.

    There are also various mocking frameworks, such as Mockito and JMockit, which can automatically generate mock objects that represent component dependencies from interfaces and provide APIs or domain-specific languages for specifying test expectations.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to our former graduate students Michael Dotson and Audrey Redovan for having contributed their countdown timer implementation, and to our colleague Dr. Robert Yacobellis for providing feedback on this chapter and trying these ideas in the classroom.

We are also grateful to the anonymous CDER reviewers for their helpful suggestions.

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Correspondence to Konstantin Läufer .

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Läufer, K., Thiruvathukal, G.K. (2018). Managing Concurrency in Mobile User Interfaces with Examples in Android. In: Prasad, S., Gupta, A., Rosenberg, A., Sussman, A., Weems, C. (eds) Topics in Parallel and Distributed Computing. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-93109-8_9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-93109-8_9

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