Sampler App

This directory contains a Flutter app meant to help Flutter framework developers (the developers that work on the framework itself) create sample applications for the API documentation for Flutter.

The easiest way to run the app, is to run the sampler script, which will run the app in release mode on your platform. The application only runs on Linux, macOS, and Windows (mobile OSs don't have access to the Flutter repo, and who would want to code there anyhow!).

This will run a Flutter app that will automatically load the list of files in the framework, and let you pick one.

If the the flutter command is on your PATH, the app should be able to find the repo automatically, but if not, or if you'd rather specify the location yourself, you can either set the FLUTTER_ROOT environment variable, or supply the --flutter-root argument to the executable with the absolute path to the flutter repo you wish to use.

Be sure you have your Flutter git repo in the correct branch/state for editing the files you want to edit.

Hint: Before you select a file in the app, if you want to change the template you
are inserting into, change it in the original dartdoc comments before you

When the app starts, type part of the name of the framework file in which the sample would like to edit resides, and it will autocomplete. Select the file, and it will show you a list of the available elements to edit the sample on, or to add a new sample to. The app monitors the filesystem, so if the selected framework file changes, it will re-parse the file.

You can filter which elements are shown by unchecking the type of elements you wish to filter out, and you can sort alphabetically, or by line number.

If you want to add a new sample, click the "ADD SAMPLE" button next to the element you want to add the sample to. The sample will be added at the end of the documentation comment, just before the "See also:" section, if any. The inserted sample will be immediately added to the actual framework file, and sampler will select the new sample for you to edit.

Once you add a new sample, or select a sample with the SELECT button, it will move to a sample detail page where you can extract that sample into a temporary project, and open the project in an IDE or editor.

Once on the sample page, you can extract the sample with the EXTRACT SAMPLE button. It will create a temporary project and prepare it for editing.

Once you have extracted the sample, you can copy the path to its main and open that in your editor, or use the OPEN IN VS CODE or OPEN IN INTELLIJ buttons to open then project in an IDE.

Now edit the selected sample. Be careful to only edit the sections inside the section markers: any editing occurring outside the section markers will be lost when the code is reinserted. If you mangle the section markers themselves, it probably will fail to re-insert. If you need to make a change to code that is not part of a section, you will have to edit the template, or create a new template instead.

Here's what the section markers look like:

//* ▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼ code ▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼ (do not modify or remove section marker)

//[ code goes here ...]

//* ▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲ code ▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲ (do not modify or remove section marker)

After you're done with your modifications to the sample, save the code to disk, and then go back to the sampler app. You can then click the REINSERT button to place edited sample back into the documentation comments in the original framework file. You can open that file from the sampler app with the appropriate buttons, or copy/paste the path into your editor.

Missing features

This is still a work in progress, so if you find something missing, either send me a PR, open an issue, or just message me.

Some features I'm planning to add:

  • Change the template that a sample is inserted into and re-export.
  • Persistent settings for:
    • The location for your editor/IDE
    • The location of the Flutter repo to use
    • The location for the temporary projects
  • Cleaning up the temporary projects after re-insertion.
  • More tests!