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: 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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XD to Flutter v3.0

I’m very excited to announce the release of v3.0 of the “XD to Flutter” plugin, with a number of powerful new developer features.

Prior to v1.0, the primary goal was just to output as much of the content in Adobe XD to Flutter as possible: Vector graphics, text, images, fills, blurs, blend modes, etc. Version 1 tackled responsive layout, and v2.0 built on that with support for stacks, scroll groups, and padding. Version 2 also included the ability to export null-safe code, a critical developer feature for working with Flutter 2.

In v3.0 we’ve doubled down on improving the workflow for developers, including providing new ways to clean up the exported code and integrate dynamic content.

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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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Flutter: Creating your own Inherited Widgets

While we generally use Provider or GetIt to pass things around in Flutter, there are times when you don’t want to have any dependencies on these libraries, and instead just want to define your own MyFoo.of(context) lookup. Often this is when you’re creating packages yourself.

There are quite a few deep dives tutorials into this around, but in this post we wanted to keep it extremely short and sweet.

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