Latest 0.1.7
Homepage https://github.com/patricklynch/BackingStore
License MIT
Platforms ios 8.0
Authors

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BackingStore is a framework that automatically handles perfect batch updates in table views and collection views. This is accomplished by providing a method of storing a section-based data model that represents visible items to be displayed in a UICollectionView or UITableView. When that data model is updated through BackingStore‘s interface, it automatically calculates a diff between the old and new versions in the form of inserted sections, inserted index paths, deleted sections, deleted indexpaths and moved index paths. It then automatically uses this diff to to perform a smooth, performant batch update in a UITableView or UICollectionView instance. What this means is that you never have to call reloadData() ever again, and every change you make to the contents of a table or collection view will be perfectly animated.

Pretty cool, ain’t it?

Example

To run the example project, clone the repo, and run pod install from the Example directory first. The example project demonstrates how to build a basic table view using a BackingStore instance and its associated components. It loads data asynchronously from JSONPlaceholder—a fake online REST API for testing and prototyping. It then provides some actions that you can take to change the contents of the table view. These changes then trigger to appropriate batch updates and the contents of the able view changes with nice animation. The code snippets used throughout this README.md come from the sample project.

Installation

To install using CocoaPods, add the following to your project Podfile:

pod 'BackingStore'

To install using Carthage, add the following to your project Cartfile:

github "patricklynch/BackingStore"

Benefits

Using BackingStore provides a huge boost for performance, the user experience and the developer experience, too. Scrolling and rendering performance is improved since table view and collection view contents are not being needlessly reloaded by otherwise unregulated calls to redloadData(). The user experience is improved because the batch update animations employed by BackingStore allow users to understand their own interaction with the data being displayed. This is great for apps that require transitions between states such as those involved in loading, pagination and showing errors. And ithout BackingStore or something like it, developers who wish for table view or collection view updates to be animated and performant would be required to manually calculate and queue batch updates. When doing so, it’s imperative (and difficult) to ensure that batch updates do not overlap each other. Not only is this code hard to write and maintain, it’s often the cause of pesky crashes that are hard to debug. Perhaps you’ave had to deal with this error before:

Invalid update: invalid number of items in section 0. The number of items contained in an existing section after the update (1) must be equal to the number of items contained in that section before the update (1), plus or minus the number of items inserted or deleted from that section (1 inserted, 0 deleted) and plus or minus the number of items moved into or out of that section (0 moved in, 0 moved out).

When BackingStore is used properly, this error is impossible. If you do still see it, it usually means that some data type you are storing in a BackingStore instance does not conform to Hashable or that its Hashable conformance provides a hashValue that is not unique enough. More on that later.

Typical Setup Steps

Create a Data Source

Just like usual, this will provide the implementation of UICollectionViewDataSource or UITableViewDataSource. In this example, we’re going to display todos in a table view that are loaded from this url:https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/todos.

class TodoDataSource: NSObject, UITableViewDataSource {

    // MARK: - UITableViewDataSource

    func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, numberOfRowsInSection section: Int) -> Int {
        return 0
    }

    func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, cellForRowAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> UITableViewCell {
        fatalError("Nothing to do just yet.")
    }
}

Create a SectionType

BackingStore is a generic class that uses a type SectionType to uniquely identify each section to be displayed in a table or collection view. You must therefore define a type for this purpose which must conform to Hashable and Comparable in order to satisfy the contraints on the generic SectionType. In this example, we’ll have two sections for our toods that are separated by completed and not completed.

enum SectionType: Int {
    case notCompleted, completed

    static func < (lhs: SectionType, rhs: SectionType) -> Bool {
        return lhs.rawValue < rhs.rawValue
    }
}

If the number of sections is dynamic—i.e. not fixed at compile time—use an enum with an associated value to provide the conformance to Comparable. This allows many sections identified by the case group plus the index associated value. For example, if there are many of some kind of "group" what you wish to display, you could create a section type like so:

enum MySectionType: Int {
    case group(index: Int)

    static func < (lhs: SectionType2, rhs: SectionType2) -> Bool {
        switch (lhs, rhs) {
        case (.group(let lhsIndex), .group(let rhsIndex)):
            return lhsIndex < rhsIndex
        }
    }
}

However, if you will only be displaying one single section, it is not even required to create a type to be used as BackingStores generic SectionType. There exists a type which already serves this purpose called SingleSectionType. BackingStore comes with an extended API that simplifies many of its primary functions for implementations that use SingleSectionType in order to be more convenient. Use of a multi-section SectionType as well as SingleSectionType are demonstrated below.

Create a BackingStore instance

Now that you have a SectionType created (or if you’ll be using SingleSectionType), we can create a BackingStore instance as a stored property. You can put this on your view controller, your data source, or whever you like. As we’ll see shortly, the only important thing is that each component has the right references to other components. Otherwise, you may customize the sturcture to the needs of your application.

For multiple sections:

let backingStore = BackingStore<MySectionType>()

For single sections sections:

let backingStore = BackingStore<SingleSectionType>()

Create a BackingStoreDecorator

BackingStoreDecorator is a protocol that defines an objet which decorates the cells in a table view or collection view. It’s part of a key design of this framework which is the idea is the decoupling between dequeuing and decorating. In a traditional implementaiton fo UITableViewDataSource, these two tasks are done at the same time in the tableView(_:cellForForAt:) function.

func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, cellForRowAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> UITableViewCell {
    // Dequeue
    let cell = tableView.dequeueReusableCell(withIdentifier: "MyCell", for: indexPath) as! MyCell

    // Decorate
    let myData = myDataArray[indexPath.row]
    cell.title = myData.localizedTitle
    cell.backgroundColor = .white
    cell.addDropShadow()

    return cell
}

func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, numberOfRowsInSection section: Int) -> Int {
    return myDataArray.count
}

Compare that with the implenention below when the data source also conforms to BackingStoreDataSource, which requires an implementation for the decorate(cell:at:) function:

class MyDataSource: NSObject, UITableViewDataSource, BackingStoreDecorator {

    // MARK: - UITableViewDataSource

    func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, cellForRowAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> UITableViewCell {
        // Dequeue
        if backingStore.item(at: indexPath) is DescriptionData {
            cell = tableView.dequeueReusableCell(withIdentifier: "MyCell", for: indexPath)

        } else if backingStore.item(at: indexPath) is Action {
            cell = tableView.dequeueReusableCell(withIdentifier: "ActionCell", for: indexPath)
        } else {
            fatalError("Unsupported data type")
        }

        // Ask decorate to decorate newly-dequeued cell
        decorate(cell: cell, at: indexPath)
        return cell
    }

    func numberOfSections(in tableView: UITableView) -> Int {
        return backingStore.sectionCount
    }

    func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, numberOfRowsInSection section: Int) -> Int {
        return backingStore.section(at: section)?.itemCount ?? 0
    }

    // MARK: - BackingStoreDecorator

    func decorate(cell: UIView, at indexPath: IndexPath, animated: Bool) {
        if let cell = cell as? DescriptionCell,
            let data = backingStore.item(at: indexPath) as? DescriptionData {

            // Decorate
            cell.title = data.localizedText
            cell.backgroundColor = .white
            cell.addDropShadow()

        } else if let cell = cell as? ActionCell,
            let action = backingStore.item(at: indexPath) as? Action {

            // Decorate
            cell.title = action.localizedText
            cell.isEnabled = action.isEnabled
        }
    }
}

In this example, the dequeing still happens in tableView:cellForRow:atIndexPath: where the code only decides what kind of cell to create and then passes it to the decorator. The actual decorating happens in the decoator’s implementation of decorate(cell:at:) in which of each cell are set according to the data that the cell will represent. Separating these two phases is important so that they can be done independently. The benefit of this is that cells can be re-decorated while they are visible and not be dequeued again as when reloaded with reloadData().

Set References Between Components

In usual uses of UICollectionView and UITableView the dataSource property must be set with the intended UITableViewDataSource or UICollectionViewDataSource objects. When using BackingStore there are two connections that have to be made: (1) Set your data source as the dataSource of the table view, and (2) set the table view as the backingStoreView of your data source.

backingStore.view = tableView
backingStore.decorator = dataSource
tableView.dataSource = dataSource

BackingStoreView exists only so that UICollectionView and UITableView can be extended with methods that can queue batch updates. The structure of these updates and the input to the API of BackingStoreView matches the output of BackingStore. In our setup, the BackingStoreDataSource that we’ve created contains a BackingStoreView instance as well as a BackingStore instance and will oversee the connetion between these subcomponents.

Update the Visible Items

BackingStore will not queue any batch updates until it is updated with the data that should be displayed. This is done through an "update" funciton where you can provide all at once everything that should be displayed:

class MyDataSource: NSObject, UITableViewDataSource, BackingStoreDataSource {

    let dataService = MyDataService()

    func loadData() {
        dataService.loadData() { [weak self] result in
            guard let result = result else { return }

            self?.backingStore.update(
                itemsForSections: [
                    .description: [result.description],
                    .actions: result.actions
                ],
                dataSource: self
            )
        }
    }
}

Author

Patrick Lynch: [email protected]

License

BackingStore is available under the MIT license. See the LICENSE file for more info.

Latest podspec

{
    "name": "BackingStore",
    "version": "0.1.7",
    "summary": "A framework that automatically handles perfect batch updates in table views and collection views.",
    "description": "A set of components that model some data which is to be displayed in a `UICollectionView` or `UITableView`.  When that data changes, these components automatically calculate the changes necessary to perform a smooth, performant batch update.  This includes inserted sections, inserted index paths, deleted sections, deleted indexpaths and moved indx paths.  What this means is that you never have to call reloadData() ever again, and every change you make to the contents of a table or collection view will be perfectly animated. Pretty cool, ain't it?",
    "homepage": "https://github.com/patricklynch/BackingStore",
    "license": {
        "type": "MIT",
        "file": "LICENSE"
    },
    "authors": {
        "patricklynch": "[email protected]"
    },
    "source": {
        "git": "https://github.com/patricklynch/BackingStore.git",
        "tag": "0.1.7"
    },
    "platforms": {
        "ios": "8.0"
    },
    "source_files": "BackingStore/Classes/**/*",
    "swift_version": "4.2"
}

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