Latest 1.0.0
Homepage https://github.com/dfed/Relativity
License Apache License, Version 2.0
Platforms ios 8.0

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Relativity provides a DSL for programmatic layout that makes it easy to achieve pixel-perfect spacing and alignment.

Programmatic Layout

There are four basic steps to laying out views programmatically.

  1. Create views. Do this in init or viewDidLoad.
  2. Create view hierarchy with addSubview(). Do this in init or viewDidLoad.
  3. Size views. Do this in layoutSubviews.
  4. Position views. Do this in layoutSubviews.

Positioning Views

Each view has nine anchors that are used for alignment.

topLeft top topRight
left middle right
bottomLeft bottom bottomRight

Positioning views is done by aligning the desired anchor on a view to another view’s anchor, plus an offset. A --> moves the view on the left side to the position described on the right side. A <-- moves the view on the right side to the position described on the left side. You can also explicitly align views using the align(to:xOffset:yOffset) method in ViewPosition.swift.

Examples

To align view a to be 10 points to the left of view b:

  a.right --> 10.horizontalOffset + b.left

To align view a to be 10 points to the right of view b:

  b.right + 10.horizontalOffset <-- a.left

To align view a to be 10 points below its superview’s top center:

  a.top --> 10.verticalOffset + .top

For more examples, check out the ViewPositionVisualization playground page.

UILabels

Relativity makes it easy to position your UILabels using the font’s cap height and baseline by adding six anchors specifically for labels.

capLeft cap capRight
baselineLeft baseline baselineRight

If your spec says that the top of your underlineView should align with the baseline of label a, all you need is:

  underlineView.top --> a.baseline

For a visual example, check out the FontMetricsVisualization playground page.

Flexible distribution of subviews

Since views need to be laid out flexibly over various iOS device sizes, Relativity has the ability to easily distribute subviews with flexible positioning along an axis.

Subview distribution can be controlled by positioning fixed and flexible spacers in between views. Fixed spaces represent points on screen. Fixed spaces are created by inserting CGFloatConvertible (Int, Float, CGFloat, or Double) types into the distribution expression, or by initializing a .fixed(CGFloatConvertible) enum case directly. Flexible spacers represent proportions of the remaining space in the superview after the subviews and fixed spacers have been accounted for. You can create flexible spacers by surrounding an Int with a spring ~ operator, or by initializing the .flexible(Int) enum case directly. A ~2~ represents twice the space that ~1~ does. Views, fixed spacers, and flexible spacers are bound together by a bidirectional anchor <> operator.

Examples

To equally distribute subviews a, b, and c at equal distances along a horizontal axis:

  superview.distributeSubviewsHorizontally() {
    a <> ~1~ <> b <> ~1~ <> c
  }

To make the space between a and b twice as large as the space between b and c:

  superview.distributeSubviewsHorizontally() {
    a <> ~2~ <> b <> ~1~ <> c
  }

To pin a to be 8pts from the left side, and distribute b and c with equal spacing over the remaining space:

  superview.distributeSubviewsHorizontally() {
    8 <> a <> ~1~ <> b <> ~1~ <> c
  }

To equally distribute subviews a, b, and c at equal distances along a vertical axis, but align the subviews within the left half of superview:

  superview.distributeSubviewsVertically(within: CGRect(x: 0.0, y: 0.0, width: superview.bounds.midX, height: superview.bounds.height)) {
    a <> ~1~ <> b <> ~1~ <> c
  }

For a visual example, check out the ViewPositionVisualization playground page.

Pixel Rounding

Relativity ensures that you never align a frame to a non-integral pixel, so no need to worry about blurry UI! I’ve also vended a public PixelRounder for those who want to use it for frame sizing.

Sizing Views

Relativity makes it easy to size views based on the space between previously laid-out content. Use the |--| operator to determine the size between view anchors.

Examples

To size view b to fit between views a and c:

  b.bounds.size = a.topRight |--| c.bottomLeft

To size view b to fit between views a and c with a 16 point horizontal inset:

  b.bounds.size = a.topRight |--| c.bottomLeft + -16.horizontalOffset

To size view b to be the same height as view a, and fit between a and the right side of a‘s superview:

  b.bounds.size = CGSize(width: (a.right |--| .right).width, height: a.bounds.height)

Requirements

  • Xcode 10.0 or later.
  • iOS 8 or later.
  • Swift 4.2 or later.

Installation

CocoaPods

To install Relativity in your iOS project with CocoaPods, add the following to your Podfile:

platform :ios, '8.0'
pod 'Relativity', '~> 1.0'

Carthage

To install Relativity in your iOS project with Carthage, add the following to your Cartfile:

github "dfed/Relativity"

Run carthage to build the framework and drag the built Relativity.framework into your Xcode project.

Swift Package Manager

To install Relativity in your iOS project with Swift Package Manager, the following definition can be added to the dependencies of your Project:

  .Package(url: "https://github.com/dfed/Relativity.git", majorVersion: 1, minor: 0),

Submodules

To use git submodules, checkout the submodule with git submodule add [email protected]:dfed/Relativity.git, drag Relativity.xcodeproj to your project, and add Relativity as a build dependency.

Contributing

I’m glad you’re interested in Relativity, and I’d love to see where you take it. Please read the contributing guidelines prior to submitting a Pull Request.

Thanks, and happy positioning!

Attribution

Shout out to Peter Westen who inspired the creation of this library.

Latest podspec

{
    "name": "Relativity",
    "version": "1.0.0",
    "license": "Apache License, Version 2.0",
    "summary": "A programmatic layout engine and DSL that provides an alternative to Auto Layout.",
    "homepage": "https://github.com/dfed/Relativity",
    "authors": "Dan Federman",
    "source": {
        "git": "https://github.com/dfed/Relativity.git",
        "tag": "1.0.0"
    },
    "source_files": "Sources/*.swift",
    "platforms": {
        "ios": "8.0"
    },
    "swift_version": "4.2"
}

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