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[Interview] Exclusive interview with the head of dev for MIUI's built-in file Explorer!

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11:54, Nov-08-2013 | From PC
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Go to reply no.
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This week we're headed over to MIUI's dev team (on the other side of the floor) to interview Qi Dongjie, the lead developer for MIUI's built-in file Explorer. Dongjie wakes up busy, so I didn't have time to get to everyone's questions, but I did my best to get to most of them. Thank you again to those who submitted questions and if I didn't get to your question this week try again next week (I always try use questions from as many people as possible!).

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jack_white: Hi Dongjie! Thank you for taking the time to talk with me and answer some questions from our forum members.

Dongjie: No problem, let's get started.

jw: What do you do at Xiaomi?

dj: I handle development for the Clock app, the file Explorer app, and the Mail app.

jw: Can you talk a bit about how you came to Xiaomi, I heard you were the 36th employee here...

dj: In college, I was an intern at Microsoft's Asia Research Center. In the spring of 2010, I signed an offer with Tencent, so I went there to intern a couple of months before I graduated. I was getting ready to start my career at Tencent... I was pretty set on working there...

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jw: Then how did you wind up at Xiaomi?

dj: When I was back on campus picking up my diploma, one of my older classmates contacted me and told me that I should go take a look at this small startup called "Xiaomi". So I looked at Xiaomi's website: it didn't have any products then, just a simple description of the company and the office culture. It seemed like a pretty close group of people. There were so many startups in Beijing, Xiaomi didn't seem all that different. I wasn't really that interested, but my classmate told me that Xiaomi had a lot of partners with a lot of experience at some big companies who wanted to work together to make something awesome -- a smartphone. He encouraged me to send my resume over and the next morning they invited me to come interview.

jw: Do you remember who interviewed you?

dj: Yea, it was KK (Huang Jiangji) and Li Weixing  (both were formerly at Microsoft).

kk_xiaomi.jpg

jw: Wow.

dj: When I went over to visit the office, I was surprised how awesome the team was, everyone was really passionate. They would work deep into the night and the vibe in the office was intense. Fortunately they gave me an offer and I signed it before the ink was dry. The next day I went to my team leader at Tencent and told him I was going to work at Xiaomi.

jw: What was it like when you first started back in 2010?

dj: There was a lot of work and not a lot of people. The secretary would come around and take our orders at lunch and dinner so that we could eat every meal at our desks... It was boxlunch and boxdinner all the time. We chatted and reviewed code while we ate. Things are much happier now.  

boxlunch.jpg

jw: That's crazy...

jw: OK, let me ask you some questions from some of our forum members. Here's a popular one (@@@): Will MIUI's file Explorer ever be able to support a variety of online drives (i.e. not just Kuaipan)?

dj: There aren't any plans for that right now. Kuaipan is a cloud storage service developed by our partner-company Kingsoft. The cost of developing would be high, because we'd have to use the respective SDK to develop for each online drive that we wanted to add. Moreover, all of these online drives have come out with individual apps, if I made file Explorer compatible with all of them it would get pretty bloated for a system app.

kuaipan.jpg

jw: Here's some more questions about file Explorer's functionality: Are you planning to add zip/upzip features, a text editor, or a shortcut to get ROOT permission?

dj: I'll start from the top. First, file Explorer already has a zip/upzip feature. Second, we didn't really think that a text editor was needed here, that kind of functionality can be found in other apps like Kingsoft's WPS office, quickoffice, etc. But our thinking was along the same lines in that we wanted to make it so that you could touch any file in Explorer and MIUI would be able to find the appropriate app to handle it. Third, we thought that providing a ROOT permission function would be too much of a risk for new users. If they made some basic mistakes they could lose all of their data. More advanced users know that ROOTing a device isn't that hard and can use third-party software to do it.  

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jw: Last question about file Explorer: Would you integrate an FTP client since you already intergrated FTP server?

dj: That's a problem. Right now we're working on an SMB client. As for an FTP client, there's nothing in the works at the moment.

jw: Let's talk about the Mail a little bit. Are there any plans to add "a last updated" timestamp or integrate a swipe to delete gesture like we see in G-Mail?

dj: There are. We don't really change Mail all that much from the original Android version. So, Android 4.4's mail app has both of these functions, when the time comes, we'll bring them over to MIUI's built-in Mail app.

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jw: OK, thank you for taking the time do this!!

Revisit your favorite interviews here!!
Episode 1: Merideth Han (MIUI English forum)
Episode 2: Vasilije Vasiljević aka balcan.gsm (MIUI Mod Developer and Forum Admin)
Episode 3: Alex Xiao (MIUI Themes)

More interviews!
MIUI-UK founder of MIUIAndroid.com
Interview with Alex García Admin & Founder of MIUI.es

Don't forget to submit any questions you have for the head of MIUI beta testing!

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12:02, Nov-08-2013 | From PC
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Another great interview! Thank you!

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12:06, Nov-08-2013 | From PC
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Thanks. Infact try to keep it simple :)

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13:12, Nov-08-2013 | From PC
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what a delicious luncbox...ooopss, i mean what a great interview!
To know MI is to love MI (◡ ‿ ◡ ✿)

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14:34, Nov-08-2013 | From PC
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I really like this interviews, great interview :)
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15:21, Nov-08-2013 | From PC
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Thank you

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16:43, Nov-08-2013 | From PC
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Thank you. And good interview.

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17:00, Nov-08-2013 | From PC
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Who else you want us to interview? Leave us a comment

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nob1.ch3n how bout the higher ups??? hugo barra, lei jun and the other bossess......  18:01, Nov-09-2013

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18:07, Nov-08-2013 | From PC
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Thanks. Can you guys please interview the hardware designer next time?
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18:07, Nov-08-2013 | From PC
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Reply Nanana Add Thread

Interview Nanana Pls

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