Latest 0.2.1
License MIT
Platforms ios 7.0
Dependencies ComponentKit
Frameworks UIKit

Pod Status
Pod License
Pod Platform


A set of helpers and features for working with Facebook ComponentKit. This library, when installed via CocoaPods, is modular. It currently has the following modules:

  1. CKTableViewTransactionalDataSource
  2. CKCollectionViewDataSourceChangesetBuilder
  3. CKTransactionalComponentDataSourceRemoveAll

1. CKTableViewTransactionalDataSource

ComponentKit provides CKCollectionViewTransactionalDataSource as a CKTransactionalComponentDataSource interface for UICollectionView. CKTableViewTransactionalDataSource provides the same, but for UITableView, albeit with a few necessary and useful differences and additions.

But I Thought UICollectionView > UITableView?

Yes, and no. UICollectionView provides a great deal of flexibility, but a lot less out-of-the-box. UITableView‘s strength is its familiar and user friendly native features, such as:

  • Editing mode, including swipe-to-delete/edit, and reordering. Also, custom editing actions for iOS 8.0+
  • Simple "floating" section header/footer titles, or views
  • Native accesories, and accessory view support
  • Item separators, and styles
  • Whole table header and footer views
  • Section title index scroll bar

All these are possible with UICollectionView, but the implementations are up to you.

The basic implementation of CKTableViewTransactionalDataSource is quite trivial, however additional API is necessary in order to expose the full power of UITableView.


UICollectionView delegates quite a lot of its power to its layout object. This is useful for ComponentKit, since we can do most customisation relating to animations, etc., through an entirely separate main thread object that needn’t be touched by CK. Not so for UITableView, though. For example, native animations must be specified when the rows and sections are added/removed/updated/deleted inside the -beginUpdates, -endUpdates transaction. In order to expose these features, CKToolbox provides CKTableViewTransactionalDataSourceCellConfiguration, a simple value object that can configure:

  • Cell animations for various operations
  • Styles – selection, and focus
  • Options, such as indentation, editing and reordering
  • Layout
  • Accessories
  • Full animation kill switch


A default configuration can be passed to the initializer, and override configurations provided in the userInfo dictionary argument with the CKTableViewTransactionalDataSourceCellConfigurationKey or one of the cellConfiguration argument methods can be used.

The expected usage pattern is:

  • Pass the default cell configuration when instantiating the data source.
  • Take a copy of the default configuration (-[CKTableViewTransactionalDataSource cellConfiguration], which always returns a copy), mutate any properties that you wish to override for an update operation. Pass this object in the data source update. It will override the default configuration for that operation only.
  • There is no way to change the default configuration after instantiation. This is by design, assuming there are no reasonable cases when this might be wanted.

A good example of this pattern is used in the provided demo app: since the data source uses a -beginUpdates/-endUpdates transaction to enqueue all changes, there will be animations when the initial content is inserted. Perhaps we don’t want that, would like to see the initial content appear immediately, but would like animations in all later updates. In that case:

  • The default configuration specifies the animations we would like later.
  • When enqueing the initial content, we take a copy of the configuration, disable all animations with the -animationsDisabled property and use this configuration to override the default for this operation only.
  • Content appears immediately with the overridden config, but all later updates will use the default configuration.


Both UICollectionView and UITableView share very similar APIs. As such,
CKTableViewTransactionalDataSource actually implements CKTransactionalDataSourceInterface, which abstracts the most essential parts of CKCollectionViewTransactionalDataSource‘s interface. Therefore, should you wish to implement some architecture that is agnostic of the eventual output view of a component-based collection, you could provide an interface of type id <CKTransactionalDataSourceInterface>. This way, other than instantiation, all collection operations are essentially the same.

Demo App

A demo app is provided, a simple reference app with a list of endangered animals from the WWF Species Directory. Swipe the cells to reveal additional features.

Current Issues

  • Many of UITableView‘s non-primary features are only roughly supported in the initial version. There may be a lot missing
  • Resizing with the reorder control currently not working, or at least as far as it seems
  • Device rotation component resizing (via updateConfiguration:mode:...) seems a little unsatisfactory at the moment
  • Configuration of the underlying tableview cell is not directly supported right now. For example, you will probably want to adjust the cell’s background color to match your UI. This could be quite easily added to CKTableViewTransactionalDataSourceCellConfiguration, but for now can also be supported in UITableViewDelegate methods. For example, the demo app uses -tableView:willDisplayCell:forRowAtIndexPath:.

2. CKCollectionViewDataSourceChangesetBuilder

CKCollectionViewDataSourceChangesetBuilder is a DSL builder for ComponentKit‘s CKTransactionalComponentDataSourceChangeset. It is heavily inspired by Masonry, and should allow you to write very readable code for building your changesets.

How Do I Use It?

CKCollectionViewDataSourceChangesetBuilder uses verbs, nouns and prepositions in order to allow you to express your changeset builds in readable English, with just a few exceptions. A few examples will make this clearer:

    [CKCollectionViewDataSourceChangesetBuilder build:^(CKCollectionViewDataSourceChangesetBuilder *builder) {;
      builder.insert.item(@"Foo").at.indexPath([NSIndexPath indexPathForItem:1 inSection:4]);;;

Due to the limited number of keywords, the possible combinations should hopefully be fairly self-explanatory. The builder has been written to throw useful exceptions when the syntax is misused.

CKCollectionViewDataSourceChangesetBuilderTests provides examples of all of the syntax combinations, so please take a look there first.

Helper Macros

  • ck_indexPath(ITEM, SECTION) saves constant use of [NSIndexPath indexPathForItem:inSection:].

The following two macros aim to compensate for the lack of default arguments in Objective-C; when moving or removing items we need to reuse the verb item. However, since we have no object to insert the argument must be nil. This wouldn’t be nearly as readable. Instead you can use:

  • ck_removeItem instead of remove.item(nil).
  • ck_moveItem instead of move.item(nil).

Why No Swift?

ComponentKit is written primarily in Obj-C++, which means you will usually be using it from within Obj-C++ contexts. Whilst it’s possible you could create changesets from Swift contexts, I don’t believe this is enough to justify another implementation at this time. Of course, if someone would like to implement it then I’ll be happy to receive a PR!

3. CKTransactionalComponentDataSourceRemoveAll

ComponentKit directly supports inserting content, and explicitly deleting items and sections, but does not directly support easily wiping the data source’s complete content. The CKTransactionalComponentDataSourceRemoveAll provides the method - (CKTransactionalComponentDataSourceChangeset*)removeAllChangeset which returns a change set that can be used to remove all items and sections currently present in the data source. Implementations are provided for CKTransactionalComponentDataSourceState and CKCollectionViewTransactionalDataSource. Additionally, [CKTableViewTransactionalDataSource](##2. CKTableViewTransactionalDataSource) implements this protocol.





  • Initial release.

Have fun!

MIT Licensed >> [email protected]

Latest podspec

    "name": "CKToolbox",
    "version": "0.2.1",
    "dependencies": {
        "ComponentKit": [
            "~> 0.14"
    "summary": "A toolbox library for ComponentKit",
    "description": "A suite of helpers and features for working with Facebook ComponentKit",
    "homepage": "",
    "license": {
        "type": "MIT",
        "file": "LICENSE"
    "authors": {
        "Jonathan Crooke": "[email protected]"
    "source": {
        "git": "",
        "tag": "v0.2.1"
    "platforms": {
        "ios": "7.0"
    "frameworks": "UIKit",
    "libraries": "c++",
    "xcconfig": {
        "CLANG_CXX_LIBRARY": "libc++"
    "default_subspecs": [
    "subspecs": [
            "name": "Core",
            "source_files": "Modules/Core/*.{h,m,mm}"
            "name": "ChangesetBuilder",
            "source_files": "Modules/ChangesetBuilder/*.{h,m,mm}",
            "dependencies": {
                "CKToolbox/Core": []
            "name": "TableViewDataSource",
            "source_files": "Modules/TableViewDataSource/*.{h,m,mm}",
            "dependencies": {
                "CKToolbox/Core": []

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