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My Google Glass Prescription Lenses And Frames Adventure

by Mike Levin SEO & Datamaster, 04/22/2014

Today I assemble my prescription Google Glass lens frames into one piece. I’ll have the big decision of whether to make them my normal daily glasses. Around the neighborhood I’ll have no problem, as I’m generally walking my 100-pound dog (a bouvier) or playing with my 3-year-old daughter—activities which make wearing Glass safe and justifiable, respectively. As a high-tech marketing firm, my workplace will be a similarly Glass-friendly. Admittedly, the subway is the weak link, and I’ll be relying on the New Yorker live and let live attitude—though I probably will carry some fallback glasses to avoid dangerous situations.

I simultaneously love and hate new platforms like Glass. On the one hand, it’s a wonderful new high tech toy, and I love my toys—though I can’t wait until the things are cost-reduced enough for my daughter Adiella to have her own pair to play with. She’s already asking. On the other hand, new platforms come saddled with a buy-in cost larger than money—forced ecosystem buy-in. It’s been this way with new platforms every since the App Store. Some of the new platform buy-in is unavoidable like learning new user interface conventions. But other things, like forced use of the Google App Engine feels just a little too heavy-handed for my liking. However, I am afraid that resistance is futile.

For similar idealistic reasons, I never developed apps for iPhone although I was there from the very beginning. I just didn’t want to have to learn Objective C, use XCode and be locked into the Apple ecosystem. In the ensuing years as I saw the Angry Bird and Instagram billion-dollar lottery, I think now in hindsight that I probably made a mistake. I could have been enjoying the better half of a decade with my own apps on my phone. Instead, I’m struggling with the same menial tasks as everyone else of getting my app-locked data between phones during upgrades. So long as you do a full phone backup and restore, you’re fine. But that’s praying at the altar of the ecosystem you’ve bought into, and I now finally resent it. I’m smarter than that. I’m going to try to do it right with Glass.

I’m the better half of a decade late with Apple development, it makes more sense to get in on the ground floor of a brand new, and potentially even more significant, platform. iPhone was amazing, but my phone before it was the unknown great Sony Ericsson P910 so I knew how awesome smartphones could be. Apple’s innovations were in the quality and design of a more-or-less existing form factor. Glass on the other hand is more different than anything that came before it—but can it be worth it?

The reward I think could be pretty vast, both in developing a successful app, but more-so in the benefit of using it. I’ll be writing for myself the thing I always wanted. However, I have to now learn yet another language. When the platform’s a web browser, you pretty much have to choose JavaScript. If your platform is iPhone, you must learn Objective C. And now with Glass, the language is Java. And mind you, Java is not JavaScript (which I already know). This JavaScript vs. Java difference becomes eminently clear as you write your first function having to type-class everything including the function itself with public static void. That’s how I feel having to take up Java: public static void.

And so my tech-philosophies evolve. At first, I felt a person should have one first and true “native” programming language much as you did English as a toddler. And I think that should be Python. With it, general programming comes spontaneously and natural—without hardly having to think. Now I still believe all that, PLUS having to be ready to take up almost any other platform/language combo when you want the benefits of that particular platform. Just embrace it and find the love.

And so I now unify my Google Glass parts, and hopefully march into the future with a nice self-referential process by which I can show you what taking up yet another platform is like, while at the same time maintaining my original mission of teaching how to program with an older, more timeless style of general programming through Levinux.