Although it is possible to programatically setup the Activity and its controls, it is best practice and much easier to just use XML. I suggest walking through the tutorials on the Android Developers page to get an idea of how Android apps work. It is a world of difference from Java apps.
My blog, Inverted Keystrokes
, is looking for aspiring developers (not necessarily with Android) to post articles. If you have any development experience and are interested in participating, please PM me. =)