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A robust opinionated framework for building state based applications in a modular, testable, and composable style.

flutter_forge #

Flutter Forge is a library designed to facilitate building state based Flutter widgets in a modular and composable way so that they can easily be tested, extracted, replaced, or reconfigured. This also makes it possible to build state based Flutter components in complete isolation as well as being able to easily use them in Storybooks. This is normally only possible for dumb widgets.

In doing so it also provides a structured consistent manner of managing state mutation within a widget, based on uni-directional data flow and Redux. You can think of it like every component effectively has its own scoped Redux flow. This aids in making it much harder for developers to make some of the classic state management errors, e.g. triggering multiple state mutations in a single action, etc.

Overall the core concepts are largely based on concepts introduced in Swift Composable Architecture. However, it has been implemented specifically with Flutter in mind and various differences in composition strategies.

Simple Counter Component Walkthrough #

When we define components they are defined in terms of a formal & complete interface. This is what makes them modular so that they can easily be tested, extracted, replaced, or reused. In Flutter Forge the Store concept is used to define this formal interface as each Flutter Forge component takes in a specific concrete type of Store. The Store type is a generic type that needs to be concretized by providing concrete types for each of its generic type parameters, State, Environment, and Action. Let's define these concrete types below.

State #

The following is the CounterState class. It is going to be our concrete implementation for the generic concept of State for our component. It is equivalent conceptually to the concept of State in Redux. Concrete State types must be @immutable and extend Equatable so that the Store can correctly detect state changes by value. In our example below our State type simply consists of a single integer value named count.

@immutable
class CounterState extends Equatable {
  const CounterState({required this.count});

  final int count;

  @override
  List<Object> get props => [count];
}

Environment #

Because our interface needs to be complete for it to be modular. We have to facilitate a mechanism of injecting dependencies into our component. This is where the Environment concept comes into play. It is simply a class that provides any functions or data that we would want to dependency inject into the component. In our current example we don't need to dependency inject anything. So it is an empty class named CounterEnvironment.

class CounterEnvironment {}

Actions #

Just as in Redux we have the concept of Action which is simply a message that you send from our Widget to the store to trigger state change. To get better type enforcement within our components we first create an abstract class named CounterAction that we will use as the base class for our other actions, e.g. IncrementButtonTapped.

abstract class CounterAction implements ReducerAction {}
class IncrementButtonTapped implements CounterAction {}

Reducer #

Given that Flutter Forge components require a Store instance be passed to them as the formal interface and Store requires it be constructed with a Reducer we need to create a reducer for this component. A reducer is responsible for interpreting State and Action and computing and returning a new State as well as optionally Effects.

final counterReducer = Reducer<CounterState, CounterEnvironment, CounterAction>((state, action) {
  if (action is IncrementButtonTapped) {
    return ReducerTuple(CounterState(count: state.count + 1), []);
  } else {
    return ReducerTuple(state, []);
  }
});

In the above counterReducer we are matching against the IncrementButtonTapped action and producing a new CounterState instance with the count property incremented by one. Note: We are passing [] to the ReducerTuple as we don't want to trigger any Effects.

Widget #

Now that we have our formal interface defined by our State, Environment, Action, and Reducer we can use them in our ComponentWidget.

class CounterComponent extends ComponentWidget<CounterState, CounterEnvironment, CounterAction> {
  const CounterComponent({super.key, required super.store});

  @override
  Widget build(context, viewStore) {
    return Column(children: [
      Rebuilder(
          store: store,
          builder: (context, state, child) {
            return Text(
              '${state.count}',
              style: Theme.of(context).textTheme.headline4,
            );
          }),
      OutlinedButton(
          onPressed: () => viewStore.send(IncrementButtonTapped()),
          child: const Text("increment"))
    ]);
  }
}

In the above you can see the use of a Rebuilder widget. This is provided by Flutter Forge to facilitate rebuilding a portion of the components subtree based on the state changing. In the example above we simply wrap the Text widget that is showing the state.count property with Rebuilder as that is the only piece of the widget subtree that needs to be rebuilt when state changes.

Usage #

Now that we have a complete CounterComponent what does actual usage of this component look like? We simply construct the component and pass it a store that conforms to CounterState, CounterEnvironment, and CounterAction which we can produce as follows.

CounterComponent(
	store: Store(
		CounterState(count: 0),
		counterReducer,
		CounterEnvironment()
	)
)

Development #

For more details in terms of development and the codebase check out the DEVELOPMENT.md.

License #

flutter_forge is Copyright © 2022 UpTech Works, LLC. It is free software, and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the LICENSE file.

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Publisher

verified publisherupte.ch

A robust opinionated framework for building state based applications in a modular, testable, and composable style.

Repository (GitHub)
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Documentation

API reference

License

MIT (LICENSE)

Dependencies

equatable, flutter

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