shawn.blais

Shawn has worked as programmer and product designer for over 20 years, shipping several games on Steam and Playstation and dozens of apps on mobile. He has extensive programming experience with Dart, C#, ActionScript, SQL, PHP and Javascript and a deep proficiency with motion graphics and UX design. Shawn is currently the Technical Director for gskinner.

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Flutter: A Skeleton App w/ GetIt + GetItMixin

Recently we compared and contrasted some common state management packages. And while app architecture was not the focus of the article, we received some feedback that the examples were too simple to give a good picture of how the approaches would scale. In this post we’ll attempt to address that concern by building a simple yet scalable skeleton app using GetIt and GetItMixin!

Get What?

If you’re not familiar with GetIt, it is a robust implementation of the classic service locator pattern, which allows you to register objects by their type and then look them up from anywhere in the app. Recently it gained a sibling package named GetItMixin which provides reactive widget binding hooks. Combined these two packages make up one of the simplest and cleanest methods of managing state within a Flutter application. Let’s take a look!

NOTE: To follow along, the full demo is posted here:
https://github.com/esDotDev/flutter_experiments/tree/master/get_it_skeleton_app

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Flutter: Deep dive into the new `skeleton` app template

For many years Flutter has provided the basic “Counter App” each time you created a new project. While that example provides a nice introduction to the foundational concepts of StatefulWidget and basic font/asset management, it does not really resemble the structure of a “complete app”. This has left developers without guidance for anything beyond a basic single page app.

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Flutter: Hit-test outside parent bounds with `DeferPointer`

One thing that has always felt a little limiting in Flutter for us has been its inability to perform hit-testing for a button or gesture detector that is outside the parents bounds. This has been a popular issue in the Flutter bug-base over the years, getting something around 150+ upvotes if you add up all incarnations of the issue.

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Flutter: Accelerate your testing with Keyboard listeners

Often when working on a new library or widget, you would like to wire up many temporary testing hooks during development.

Usually in Flutter you would create some buttons, and assign some handlers to trigger all the actions you need. The problem with this is the boilerplate and time required to constantly be writing UI. It takes time, and can clutter up your example code substantially, not to mention the on-screen clutter that half a dozen tappable areas introduces.

Coming from a Unity background, (and also Flash), we were accustomed to using keyboard listeners to quickly test things; only building UI when we actually want to see it. It turns out this is quite easy! Just run on one of the desktop targets and use RawKeyboard.instance.addListener and listen for the keys you are interested in.

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