Whenever an application is created, it needs an “About Section” for people to know about who built the app. But a lot of about sections forget to give credit to the open-source libraries they use among other things. This blog post will describe how to create a good about section for an open-source android app, by making an example of the about section made in Badge Magic Android.
The about section is composed of multiple card views, each card view representing one section. The first card view contains the app icon along with some basic details of what the app does. Mention is made of the developers of the app by providing a link to the contributor’s page of the application. This is a really important part in order to give credit to the contributors of the app who helped build it.
The proceeding section is another card view that gives additional information about the app. Here a link is provided to the GitHub repo of the app in order to help new contributors join and also help users report any issues they face with the app. Here, links to social media pages of the application such as Twitter, Facebook, etc can also be provided.
Then comes the last section, the one which generally gets missed out. Being an Open source application, the license of the application and the open-source libraries used should also be given credit. In this section, this is what is done. The license has been provided, which in this case is the Apache License 2.0. Then come the open-source dependencies. Since a lot of these are used in most open source apps, all cannot be mentioned in the card view itself. Here we use a special type of dialog, LisenceDialog to show all the dependencies the licenses used by these dependencies. To make use of the licenseDialog, just add the following line to the gradle of the app:
Once this is done, dependencies can be added to the dialog in the form of notices. Each notice contains the name of the dependency, the link to where it is hosted and the license it uses. There is already a collection of all licenses provided included in the licencesDialog dependency and it just has to be called. For example, if the moshi dependency has to be shown in the dialog, it’s notice is added as follows:
|val notices = Notice()
Here are a couple of screenshots of how the About Section of Bade Magic looks like:
Licenses Dialog: https://github.com/PSDev/LicensesDialog
Card view based layout: https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/ui/layout/cardview
Link to the pr in badge magic which added this feature: https://github.com/fossasia/badge-magic-android/pull/265
Android, kotlin, badge magic, about, documentation, best practices, card view, license, open-source libraries, internship