deprecating Display#getOrientation() not such a good idea

Showing 1-2 of 2 messages
deprecating Display#getOrientation() not such a good idea tenacious 10/31/10 10:44 AM
I'm not sure what the motivation was to deprecate
Display#getOrientation() in SDK 8 is, since I haven't had a chance to
read the changeset description.  The decision made the API a little
less humanistic.  I propose it be brought back in SDK 9 for these
1) The community has two+ years of discovery and documentation around
2) There's no clear reason why applications which don't distinguish
between a 90/270 degree rotation should have to implement extra work
for forwards/backwards compatibility.
3) The system already decides which side is "top" whether the rotation
is 90 or 270 degrees.
4) android.view.Surface has no setRotation(...) method, it uses
setOrientation(...).  Thus, if Display#getOrientation() was to be
deprecated, the same should have happened to Surface#getOrientation
for architectural symmetry.
5) Using Display#getOrientation() will always be desired by some
applications, whereas Display#getRotation() will always be desired by

The frustrating factor here is that on top of the confusion caused by
the SDK having different classes/methods to get runtime orientation
versus configured orientation, this deprecation is poorly motivated.

Yours Truly,
Re: [android-developers] deprecating Display#getOrientation() not such a good idea Dianne Hackborn 10/31/10 11:14 AM
getOrientation() has never returned orientation, it returns rotation.  So it is being renamed to getRotation().  This is *much* less confusing.  In fact you were confused -- you thought it returned orientation, when it does not.

If you want the current orientation, Resources.getConfiguration().orientation has that.

Surface.setOrientation() is actually not available to applications (it is an accident it is in the SDK, but apps don't have permission to use it, so there is nothing they can actually do with it), so not really relevant here.  The solution for that one is probably just to remove it from the SDK since apps can't use it anyway.

This was done to better clarify the differences between orientations and screen rotations, which a lot of people have been confused about, and has resulted in a lot of incorrect use of sensors and such.

It's worth noting that both Display.getOrientation() and Surface.setOrientation() work with the constants Surface.ROTATION_0, Surface.ROTATION_90, Surface.ROTATION_180, etc.  Those APIs intrinsically have a naming conflict.

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups "Android Developers" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at

Dianne Hackborn
Android framework engineer

Note: please don't send private questions to me, as I don't have time to provide private support, and so won't reply to such e-mails.  All such questions should be posted on public forums, where I and others can see and answer them.