This morning’s post about the current issues surrounding integration of Android apps via Intents got a few more responses than I had expected. The good news is that Google is aware of the issue.

The bad news is that that doesn’t help right away, of course. But there are some things we can do in the community.

In the meantime, I contacted Dr. Friedger Mueffke from OpenIntents.org. He’d like to promote the Intent registry already there to create something of a place to create, discuss and discover standards for Intents1. To achieve that, the registry will likely be extended:

  1. Entries in the registry will receive a status, e.g. “draft” or “standard”. The idea is to give the community an opportunity to influence the design before elevating anything to the height of a standard.
  2. You will be able to comment on entries in the registry as a way to guide discussions about the design.

The bigger question, though, at which point a draft has been sufficiently reviewed and tweaked to be called a standard remains to be clarified; if there are any suggestions, I’d welcome them. Some kind of voting system, perhaps? We’ll need a standardizing process, but as far as I am concerned it can be as lightweight as a vote.

The whole idea of a centralized Intent registry won’t really work unless developers support it. It would be very useful if developers publicly announced their support of these standards. If there’s a graphics artist out there willing to whip up a badge we can plaster all over the web, that’d be great.

Ideas? Suggestions?

Edit: I just closed comments on this blog post. Suggestions should ideally be submitted in the newly formed Android Standards discussion group.

Edit #2: It didn’t take long until someone pointed me to the OpenIntents group. That is of course the already established place for such discussions, so “Android Standards” is closed as of now.

  1. This isn’t really limited to Intents; OI also collects information about URI schemes and Extras, both of which have similar importance. []
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