Klaas on TiDevDash

We ran across Klaas, the youngest Titanium developer around. He is also working on a open source framework called TiDevDash. Time for him to take the stage with regards to this subject.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Klaas Schoenmaker, I’m 16 years of age and I like developing apps with Titanium and programming as a whole. Two years ago I was named the “youngest Titanium developer” by Appcelerator () and just a few weeks ago I was given a WWDC15 Scholarship by Apple.
How did you get into Titanium development?
I have been experimenting with programming for about half a year when my father gave me a book called “Basiscursus apps ontwikkelen” (Dutch for “How to build apps for dummies”) which explained how to build cross-platform apps with Appcelerator Titanium. When I first looked at the book I didn’t understand a single thing about it and I quickly threw it in my closet where it was left to collect dust for some time. After a few months I tried to understand it again and it suddenly became much clearer to me. This was the moment I started developing apps with Titanium, and I never really stopped.
What are the apps you worked on an are the most proud of?
The apps I’m most proud of would probably be Draw my Life and TiDevDash (work in progress). Draw my Life is an app in which you can draw a few images and narrate over them, which ends up as a small video you can share with friends and family. The app uses only Titanium and the module ‘ti.paint’. TiDevDash (TiDD) is one of my latest and biggest projects so far. TiDD enables Titanium developers to write Titanium apps on their iPad with a fully fledged file system, app creation wizard and local app installer. The app uses some small tricks like making a web shortcut that redirects to a URL scheme that opens the app in TiDD to make it seem that the app is installed on the device while it’s just a shortcut. I’m currently not sure yet which direction to take with running the app; I could either let it run in a WebView with Titanium MobileWeb which doesn’t really give a native experience or letting it run with commands like eval, which is quite a bad practice and requires a lot more parsing work to let it run.
Why did you start TiDevDash?
I’m one of those people that can’t really afford a new MacBook Pro to do my coding stuff on the go, but could afford to get something like an iPad or iPad mini. Though Titanium is a very flexible platform, I noticed there wasn’t really a solution yet for writing and testing your apps on the device itself. Inspired by Titanium’s MobileWeb solution I started testing if it would be possible to run an app-in-an-app, and this turned out to be the case.
What are the next plans with TiDevDash?
First of all I’d like to finish the project and get a stable build out in the App Store, because I was very busy lately I wasn’t really able to work on it very often. When the app’s stable I will think about maybe open-sourcing it in one way or another. I don’t really have to make any profit of it, I just want to give something back to the awesome Titanium community and I think this may be a good thing to give back to them.
If you could change one thing about Titanium or the eco system what would it be?
It would probably be the Studio. Even though Appcelerator is improving it every day, Eclipse just doesn’t feel that smooth to me most of the time. It’d be great if Appcelerator would come with a smooth Xcode-like replacement for the current IDE.
How do you see the future of Appcelerator Titanium?
If you’d asked me this a few months ago my answer would probably be overwhelmingly positive but I’m just not sure if Appcelerator switching to a paid-only service will be the right choice after all. I’m afraid a lot of people won’t really want to get started with the platform if the first thing they see is a price tag, I think it’s a bit demotivating. I hope I’m wrong with this because I really love Appcelerator as a platform, and I hope a lot of people after me will get the opportunity to write their apps in it!
Let him know if you would like to contribute or what your thoughts are below in the comments.


  • Gus

    I completely agree and really confused about Appcelerator’s decision not to have a Free Plan for New Developers. I am on the Indie Plan, so I guess I was one of the lucky ones…..It is a shame that many new brains will not be joining the platform because of the price…

  • Wienke Giezeman Post author

    We will post a comment shortly on how the community feels about this.

  • Carlos H. Lustosa (@chmiiller)

    Yes, do this post about price. Totally agree with Klaas. BTW, congratulations Klaas…I see a great future for you =)

  • Gaz Baz

    Interested to see an article on the pricing too. If I’m perfectly honest I’m a bit wary of the future of Titanium now – or at the least of my place in it. All the focus is on price & cloud services. i got into a Titanium to build apps, not APIs. No one I have ever worked with would use a third party Parse-alike. Meantime there’s been very little movement on iOS8 or Android updates – or at least from what I can see. I don’t begrudge paying for a service but the pricing structure and the focus is really turning me away & with React Native on the scene I worry about how this will turn out.