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Uros Mitic
Uros Mitic

Posted on • Updated on

Roku development, where to start?

When I started learning Roku development I had a luck of working with an awesome senior developer who already had a lot of experience with the BrightScript and SceneGraph.
Everything that I wanted to learn I could learn from him(and I still do).
Unfortunately a lot of developers don't have this opportunity so I wanted to share few links that could help them learn Roku Development.

For learning BrightScript start from and the Roku documentation.
Some information on the page is outdated so the good practice would be to compare it to the Roku documentation(You will also learn by doing this).
After you get some grasp of BrightScript head over to learnroku/crash-course, this is for now maybe the best source of learning regarding ROKU development for beginners.

SceneGraph, in short, is data structure that Roku uses to manage rendering of the application screens. After learning BrightScript this is where you should go next.

When you get familiar enough with BrightScript and SceneGraph, play a little with the Roku examples from here. You can also check my github for some ROKU examples.

ROKU has created a Youtube channel and a ROKU channel with tutorials on for the new ROKU developers. This is really good starting point:
ROKU Youtube Tutorial channel
ROKU Course

1.Roku Like A Hurricane - Short tips and tricks and nicely explained "how to" blog posts.

After you learned how to develop ROKU channels, You would need to learn how can you do unit testing on ROKU.
Thanks to George Cook and his great work on unit testing framework called rooibos that will be a lot easier then before.
You can check his unit testing framework, with great documentations and video tutorials here: rooibos.

1.BrightScript 2D API Emulator - The ROKU emulator for 2d games is still a "new born" and in Alpha stage but with the great potential thanks to the awesome work of Marcelo Lv Cabral . Side Note: It's only for 2D API so it can't be used as a regular emulator for all things ROKU.
2.Roku Atom and VSCode Linter developed by WillowTree Aps

You can always ask for help from stackoverflow community and of course from the Roku Dev Forum.

Notable developers from the StackOverflow Roku Developers Community:
1.Nas Banov
2.Eugene Smoliy

Hope I managed to help.
Have a great day.:-)

Top comments (8)

georgejecook profile image
George Cook

Hi, appreciate this.

Perhaps you would care to add the rooibos unit testing framework somewhere in here. It's a mocha inspired framework, with fully rich docs, and a couple of hours of video tutorials. I think most brightscript developers would really benefit from using it.

umitic profile image
Uros Mitic • Edited

Hi, I agree with You and thanks for reminding me of Your great work and this great project! I really appreciate your effort! Rooibos is added to the article. :-D

jcarlosr profile image
Juan Ramos

Hello. I see the codingalien site is not available anymore.
Do you think it is possible to run a single .brs file in the command line?
I mean, to learn more about the syntax.
Thanks for writing this article.

iqonicdesign098 profile image
Iqonic Design

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kda profile image
Avishka Kapuruge

I am new to Roku app development. I know nothing about the BrightScript language. I spent many days looking for BrightScript-related resources before I start development. So I couldn't find much. Apparently, BrightScript hasn't a rich community. Some articles that I found wrote 5-6 years ago. Some of the things are deprecated. I start to learn by looking at code samples but it soo cumbersome. By the way, thank you @uros for this post. it will help me lot.

offendingcommit profile image
Jonathan Irvin

I just started #roku development, pinning this for future reference.

renjithvr4 profile image
Renjith V R

Thank you @Uros. I'm the father of codingalien. But the domain expired. I created this blog 4 years ago. I have a plan to start again.

umitic profile image
Uros Mitic

@Renjith VR Thank You for the great work You have been doing on the blog! Glad to see it back online in the future! :-)