Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reader Feedback: Manifest Permissions Editor

[UPDATE: 13 Feb, 2011: This problem now longer exists in ADT 9.0.0 (the version right after 0.9.9).]

The Android Manifest file editor within Eclipse provides a number of useful editing tabs to wrangle the complexities of this file. One such tab is the Permissions tab. Use the Permissions tab to manage the permissions that your application uses and grants to others.

If you've been working with Android for a while, then you may be familiar with the permissions listed in the drop-down when you register a new permission using the uses-permission tag. We refer to this feature in both our books; specifically in Sam's Teach Yourself Android Application Development in 24 Hours, Hour 5, "Configuring the Android Manifest File."

Unfortunately, a recent update to the Android Development Tools plugin removed this drop-down. We're not sure if it's a bug or not yet, but the drop-down disappeared in the software update between ADT 0.9.8 or ADT 0.9.9.

What used to look like:

Permissions tab from ADT 0.9.7 showing the drop-down list of values
Now looks like:
Permissions tab from ADT 0.9.9, with the corresponding Browse... dialog
When you press the Browse... button, the dialog comes up.

The field provided still works for typing in permissions values by hand, instead of selecting them from a list. The alternate method, editing the XML file directly from the last tab, hasn't changed at all.

So where is one to get these values to type in yourself? On page 90 and 91 of the SAMS book, we've listed a number of the most common permission values. However, the best place to get the appropriate values for your applications is from the Android SDK documentation. Permissions are defined in the documentation for the android.Manifest.permission class. Also conveniently listed with these values is a short description of what they enable the application to do. Before including a permission within your application, always check the documentation to determine if that is the most appropriate one to use.

1 comment:

kfa said...

Do you know if the arrows that changed the hierarchy on the Outline view in the layout editor being removed is a bug or a feature? I'm finding that I often can't change the hierarchy without going in the XML file.