Full Pass Builder Library

This library aims to do (almost) everything CustomMultiChildLayout does, but with fewer code.

If you are facing the following problems, this library might help you.

  • Need to do something based on the layout information of siblings node within a single frame.
  • Need custom layout algorithm without writing your own render object.
  • Need both the constraints and the sizes to decide what your final layout should look like.
  • Need more control over the constraints passed down to children nodes.

This library does not add anything new. It just exposes some phase of Flutter's layout algorithm through a couple of APIs. See the "Why I Made This" section for more details.

FullPassBuilder accepts a list of children and then exposes:

  1. (optional) The point before each child lay its own child/children out, you are given a list of children of the current RenderBox, along with the constraints passed from the parent, and you decide if each of the children should adhere to those constraints.
  2. The point after each child has already laid out its child/children with the optional constraints from point 1. At this point, we have access to the sizes of the children and we can control the exact position of each children and the final size of the container based on the reported sizes.
  3. And of course, the constraints from the parents.

Getting Started

Create a FullPassBuilder widget with a list of children and your custom algorithm.

Here's an example of a sticky footer layout.

Widget build(BuildContext context) {
  return Container(
      child: Column(
          children: [
            Text("Photo Gallery"),
            SizedBox(height: 8),
            // Sticky footer begins here.
                childrenBuilder: (context, constraints) =>
                  SizedBox(height: 8),
                  TextButton("I am the sticky button!", onPressed: () {}),
                // See? There is no need for a lot of code just for this.
                layouterVisitor: (context, layouter) {
                  double heightSoFar = 0;
                  layouter.forEachChild((constraints, size, offset, index) {
                    final mdof = MediaQuery.of(context);
                    // is last
                    if (layouter.childCount - 1 == index) {
                      final fixedBottom =
                          mdof.size.height - mdof.padding.top - size.height;
                      final contentBottom =
                          heightSoFar + mdof.padding.top - additonalBottomPadding;
                      offset.set = Offset(0, (max(fixedBottom, contentBottom)));
                    } else {
                      offset.set = Offset(0, heightSoFar);
                      heightSoFar += size.height;

                  return Size(
                          layouter.childrenParentData.last.offset.dy +

The builder accepts three parameters.

  1. childrenBuilder, just a normal multi widgets builder of this signature Widget Function(BuildContext, BoxConstraints).
  2. layouterVisitor, a callback that accepts a receives a Layouter object. A layouter is a helper class that contains some methods and properties to help you layout your children with less code. For example, maxRectangle and minRectangle describes both the min and the max sizes across both 2D axes of your children, and a forEachChild method to hlep iterate through the doubly linked list of children node. The callback should return the final size the builder decides to be.
  3. childrenConstrainer, a callback that receives a list of children, the original constraints, and returns a list of new constraints for each of the child.

View the full_pass_builder_examples.dart in the examples folder for more snippets.

Why I Made This

While all of above has always been possible, a combo of GlobalKey and addPostFrameCallback has always been the fastest, but of course, that speed comes with its own tradeoffs of render two frames to get what you want. It also litters your declarative widget code with unnecessary imperative layout logic.

The second option with CustomMultiChildLayout (or a bit more advanced, a custom RenderBox subclass), while much more flexible, requires a deeper understanding of Flutter's internals and feels very boilerplatey. With this lib, all important decision points are exposed to you and you just need only your math skills to solve your problem. The class operates at a lower level, so everything this lib can do, you can already do with CustomMultiChildLayout.

I believe all libraries can match the level of API ergonomics LayoutBuilder provides when trying to expose lower level Flutter APIs. The API provided by CustomMultiChildLayout is still requires too much boilerplate when I need to move fast. I want a simpler set of APIs that allow the same level of flexibility CustomMultiChildLayout provides.

If you are already comfortable with creating your own RenderBox and/or creating CustomMultiChildLayout, then this library is definitely not needed.

What Kind of Layouts Can I Create With This?

Any custom layout you can imagine...unless it's text related. In that case, you might want to consider CustomMultiChildLayout (a downside of the abstraction I have chosen, sadly).

Some stuff I tried

The code for the layout below can be found in the example folder

Masonry #1


Masonry #2


Using Siblings Information to Position the Widget