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Wrapping my Head Around Flutter

_denb profile image Daniele Bertella Updated on ・2 min read

Disclaimer: I'm a frontend (web) developer, with no experience in native mobile applications and I'm using mainly React from the last 5 years at least. I have a little experience with React Native but that was a long time ago and I have mixed feelings about it.

Also this is my first real experience outside the JavaScript world apart from a little excursus on Rust1 and a very, very little one in C# and Unity.

Writing React all day has been a breeze for me. Although, it made me lazy and I wasn't so keen to change my usual developer experience.

That was up to two days ago when I started writing this simple application.
Hector the little dinosaur (the website is built in Gatsby btw) a book written and illustrated by Aurelie Mercier.

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So what I want to build is basically a slideshow of the illustrations of the book with the text on top of them (I wanted to put it at the bottom but unfortunately the drawings don't always play well with that layout).

Then came the idea: why not recording my 4yo "reading" the book? I could turn the app into an audiobook with a cute, little kid's voice reading the story for you. Awesome, I'm totally sold. Let's start!

Candidates Flutter vs React Native.

As I mentioned before React Native would have probably been in my comfort zone but, hey, I tried it and I didn't fall in love with it that time.

Flutter, yeah, let's try something new! There was a lot of hype around it coming from real mobile devs, so why not? Let's do it properly!

I decided not to take any tutorials, I just ran through the installation process, and started my first project. It felt a bit frustrating at first, I needed to install Xcode and a lot of other stuff (and I didn't even set up android yet!) but I was up and running in a couple of hours, maybe even less.

I opened the project and... I didn't like what I was looking at!
Classes, classes everywhere 🙀! The parentheses, commas and semicolons didn't help either!

I'm so used to React and its nice hooks-API that I forgot what's a class is actually useful for.
I honestly turn it off straight away.

Until next day and the next post!

If you are curious about what will happen next here is what I want to write about:

  • Comparison between React/Ts and Flutter/Dart
  • Pain points on this ongoing development
  • Publishing the app (I hope I will get there at some point)

If you are curious to follow the ongoing process have a look at the repository github.com/dbertella/hector-app and feel free to drop a comment if you notice something wrong 😘


  1. A huge thanks to my friend Peter for trying to teach me this fabulous language. And thanks for correcting my english too!  

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