defaults_provider_generator 1.1.2
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Generates business class Defaults Providers, that provide default values for non-nullable PODO properties

The purpose of this package is to generate defaults providers. A defaults provider is a class that provides the defaults values for properties of another class to be instantiated when there is a possibility that there are not values for all of the non-nullable properties.

One of the use-cases of a defaults provider is to use it as a way to create soft migrations for NoSQL databases. Nothing better than a concrete example to explain the concept. Let's assume we have the following class:

  class Recipe
    final String title;

      required this.title,

Now, let's assume we serialized an instance of that class into JSON and stored that JSON in a document database. The JSON would look like the following:

  'title': 'Scrambled eggs'

To read from the database, all we need to do is parse the JSON and feed each of the properties in each of the named parameters in the constructor. The problem is when we try to evolve the class. Let's say, for instance, that we add a new property, author:

  class Recipe
    final String title;
    final String author;

      required this.title,

New objects will not be a problem. The problem is what do we do with the existing documents in the database, that still don't have an author property.

One way of getting around this problem is database migrations. Whenever we add a new non-nullable property to an object that is meant to be stored in a database, we go over all the documents in the collection that represents that class of objects and update the stored JSON objects with a new value defined by the developer.

An alternative way is to use a softer approach. We can leave all documents in the database as they are, but only worry about the missing JSON properties when reading from the database. It is in that moment that we will then use a defaults provider to actually instantiate the object, filling in properties with defaults values whenever there is no corresponding value in the JSON document.

pubspec.yaml #

The first step is to add package defaults_provider_annotations to the dependencies section.

Next, the defaults_provider_generator and build_runner packages are also to be added to the dev_dependencies section.

Getting started #

The best way to get started is by looking at the example project at

Annotations #

Decorate each class for which mapping code is to be generated with a @defaultsProvider annotation and add a part statement, if not already present:

part 'recipe.g.dart';

class Recipe { ... }

This will create a new class with the same name as the class to which is applied, suffixed with DefaultsProvider. In the example above, the new class will be named RecipeDefaultsProvider. The defaults provider class has a property with a getter for each of the Recipe's properties that are not nullable, containing a default value for that property.

The automatic defaults are:

class annotated with @defaultsProvidercall to createWithDefaults of that provider
class without @defaultsProvider annotationthrow UnimplementedError()
any other typethrow UnimplementedError()

Every defaults provider class has a createWithDefaults method that will create an instance of the class to which the annotation is applied, using all of the default values.

running the generators #

In order to generate the mapping code, at the root of the project, run:

dart run build_runner build

customizing code generation #

The annotation has an option, createDefaultsProviderBaseClass, that when set to true, will generate a defaults class with the same content, but with an extra suffix, Base added to its name.

For instance:

part 'recipe.g.dart';

@DefaultsProvider(createDefaultsProviderBaseClass: true)
class Recipe { ... }

Will generate:

class RecipeDefaultsProviderBase { ... }

This allows you to create a subclass with your own overrides. As an example, the following code could be manually typed:

class RecipeDefaults extends RecipeDefaultsProviderBase
  Category get category => Category(title: 'my category');

Context #

This package is part of a set of losely integrated packages that constitute the SquareAlfa Dart Framework.

pub points


Generates business class Defaults Providers, that provide default values for non-nullable PODO properties

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API reference




analyzer, build, decimal, defaults_provider_annotations, source_gen, squarealfa_generators_common


Packages that depend on defaults_provider_generator