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Composed is a protocol oriented framework for composing data from various sources in our app. It provides various concrete implementations for common use cases.

If you prefer to look at code, there's a demo project here: ComposedDemo

The library bases everything on just 2 primitives, Section and SectionProvider.

The primary benefits of using Composed include:

  • The library makes heavy use of protocol-oriented design allowing your types to opt-in to behaviour rather than inherit it by default.
  • From an API perspective you generally only care about a single section at a time, and so it's irrelevant to you how it's being composed.
  1. Getting Started
  2. Behind the Scenes
  3. User Interfaces

Getting Started

Composed includes 3 pre-defined sections as well as 2 providers that should satisfy a large majority of applications.

Sections

ArraySection Represents a section that manages its elements via an Array. This type of section is useful for representing in-memory data.

ManagedSection Represents a section that provides its elements via an NSFetchedResultsController. This section is useful for representing data managed by CoreData.

SingleElementSection Represents a section that manages a single element. This section is useful when only have a single element to manage. Hint: Use Optional<T> to represent an element that may or may not exist.

Providers

ComposedSectionProvider Represents an collection of Section's and SectionProvider's. The provider supports infinite nesting, including other ComposedSectionProvider's. All children will be active at all times, so numberOfSections and numberOfElements(in:) will return values representative of all children.

SegmentedSectionProvider Represents an collection of Section's and SectionProvider's. The provider supports infinite nesting, including other SegmentedSectionProvider's. One or zero children may be active at any time, so numberOfSections and numberOfElements(in:) will return values representative of the currenly active child only.

Example

Lets say we wanted to represent a users contacts library. Our contacts will have 2 groups, family and friends. Using Composed, we can easily model that as such:

let family = ArraySection<Person>()
family.append(Person(name: "Dad"))
family.append(Person(name: "Mum"))

let friends = ArraySection<Person>()
friends.append(Person(name: "Best mate"))

At this point we have 2 separate sections for representing our 2 groups of contacts. Now we can use a provider to compose these 2 together:

let contacts = ComposedSectionProvider()
contacts.append(family)
contacts.append(friends)

That's it! Now we can query our data using the provider without either of the individual sections even being aware that they're now contained in a larger structure:

contacts.numberOfSections        // 2
contacts.numberOfElements(in: 1) // 1

If we want to query individual data in a section (assuming we don't already have a reference to it):

let people = contacts.sections[0] as? ArraySection<Person>
people.element(at: 1)            // Mum

Note: we have to cast the section to a known type because SectionProvider's can contain any type of section as well as other nested providers.

Opt-In Behaviours

If we now subclass ArraySection, we can extend our section through protocol conformance to do something more interesting:

final class People: ArraySection<Person> { ... }

protocol SelectionHandling: Section { 
    func didSelect(at index: Int)
}

extension People: SelectionHandling {
	func didSelect(at index: Int) {
		let person = element(at: index)
		print(person.name)
	}
}

In order to make this work, something needs to call didSelect, so for the purposes of this example we'll leave out some details but to give you a preview for how you can build something like this yourself:

// Assume we want to select the 2nd element in the 1st section
let section = provider.sections[0] as? SelectionHandling
section?.didSelect(at: 1)        // Mum

Composed is handling all of the mapping and structure, allowing us to focus entirely on behavious and extension.

Behind the Scenes

Section

A section represents exactly what it says, a single section. The best thing about that is that we have no need for IndexPath's within a section. Just indexes!

SectionProvider

A section provider is a container type that contains either sections or other providers. Allowing infinite nesting and therefore infinite possibilities.

Mappings

Mappings provide the glue between your 'tree' structure and the resulting flattened structure. Lets take a look at an example.


// we can define our structure as such:
- Provider
    - Section 1
    - Provider
        - Section 2
        - Section 3
    - Section 4

// mappings will then convert this to:
- Section 1
- Section 2
- Section 3
- Section 4

Furthermore, mappings take care of the conversion from local to global indexes and more importantly IndexPath's which allows for even more interesting use cases.

To find out more, checkout ComposedUI which provides user interface implementations that work with UICollectionView and UITableView, allowing you to power an entire screen from simple reusable Sections.

Github

link
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Releases

1.1.1 - 2020-12-16T13:50:46

  • Improve performance of large ComposedSectionProviders

1.1.0 - 2020-11-17T15:07:35

  • Add various convenience functions to ComposedSectionProvider - sectionOffset(for:) - firstIndex(of:) - contains(_:) - insert(_:after:) - insert(_:before:) - Fix delegate calls from ComposedSectionProvider sometimes providing the wrong index