an-entire-guide-for-flutter-s-architecture

An entire guide for Flutter's architecture

Flutter is also built from the same codebase, which means that although Flutter supports a variety of platforms, it's still made from one codebase. It's also a UI software; it utilizes UI components to allow users to design UIs without having to develop them in a particular manner when structuring their applications. Flutter creates UIs using code. In this article, we'll take a closer review of Flutter architecture and the components it's made of. One of the advantages of knowing about the Flutter design is that it can help when creating an application, such as creating screens or widgets or making an application simple to manageUnderstanding the Flutter architecture allows us to become familiar with the core concepts that comprise the structure and facilitate speedy compilation and the editing of the code.

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The layers in Flutter's structure

Like any other native application, Flutter comes using three levels:

  • Embedder (lowest layer)
  • Engine
  • Framework (highest layer)

We'll go over each one of them thoroughly in the sections below.

Embedder layer

The entry point is created via a platform-specific embedder that works with the underlying operating system to provide services like accessibility, rendering surfaces, and input.

Graphical User Interface Using Flutter in Embedded Systems - Hidenori Matsubayashi, Sony, Source: Youtube, The Linux Foundation

The embedder is written in a platform-specific language, such as Java and C++ for Android, Objective-C/Objective-C++ for iOS and macOS, and C++ for Windows and Linux.

Flutter code can be embedded in an existing application either in a module or the entire application's content by using the embedder.

Engine layer

Engine layer code is C/C++ and takes care of input, output, network requests, and handles the complex rendering of the frame that requires painting.

Flutter makes use of Skia to render its engine. It is exposed in the Flutter framework via dart: UI that wraps the main C++ code in Dart classes.

Framework layer

Framework layer, which developers can communicate with Flutter. The Flutter framework is a highly reactive and modern built-in Dart.

Building Custom Scroll Physics and Simulations with Dart's Flutter Framework, Source: Youtube, Tensor Programming

Within the framework layer it is composed of the following elements:

  • Rendering
  • Widgets
  • Material and cupertino

Additionally, it has fundamental classes and building block services such as drawing, animation, and gestures. These are necessary for creating a Flutter-based application.

We'll explore all of these aspects within the following sections.

Flutter widgets

A widget is essentially an instruction you insert inside your code. They constitute the fundamental elements of a Flutter app's UI. Devices define how their current settings and status will appear on their screen.

If the state of a widget changes, it rebuilds its description. The framework compares it with the previous report to determine the changes within the rendering tree that allow it to change into the new state.

A widget could take the form of a button or an image, or even a layout. Connecting the gadgets creates a tree of devices.

Widget tree

A widget tree can be described as an endless chain of child and parent widgets that produce the layout of screens.

Nesting widgets make layouts into one another in the parent-child hierarchy. The parent-child tree of devices may be intimidating at first, but after some time, you'll be able to learn how to use it.

Widgets state

The state describes the actions of an application at any moment. Consider it as the information a widget had when it was first made and how it defines its characteristics. This information may be altered over the life of the gadget.

How Stateful Widgets Are Used Best - Flutter Widgets 101 Ep. 2, Source: Youtube, Google Developers

To create a UI in Flutter, we employ two kinds of widgets:

  • Widgets that are not stateless
  • The most prestigious widgets

Widgets that are not stateless

The stateless widgets remain static. This means that once they've been initialized, they don't change. Stateless devices do not store any current information, don't have a state to manage, and have no interface with the app. Text, Icons IconButton, and Text are some examples of stateless widgets.

State management

Managing applications' state is among the most essential and crucial procedures because it allows developers to organize all the forms of different UI controls to control the flow of data across the application.

It is also possible to observe how status is controlled and moved throughout the system. We can also see how state management affects the state of one or more UI controls, like radio buttons, text fields dropdowns, checkboxes, toggles, and forms.

There are two types of states that can be found in Flutter:

  • Local or Ephemeral State
  • App state

Flutter State Management - The Grand Tour, Source: Youtube, Fireship 

Ephemeral state

The temporary status represents one widget's local state. It could be the currently active page in PageView, the current animation progress, or any other locale of the UI.

There is no reason to use any state-management strategy since the state is manageable and not too complicated. It's effortless and straightforward; however, it's not the best choice for extensive programs and can be a hassle to maintain for the state.

App state

App state refers to a status shared between multiple app sections and used in a user's session. App state can contain details such as the user's login data and notifications from an eCommerce or social networking application and the user's preferences.

It is imperative to select an approach to managing the state to handle the app's state. There are various ways to achieve the form of an app; however, the decision depends on the complexity and the nature of the application.

One option is to utilize the inheritWidget. If an application grows with more widgets, and their tree becomes more complicated, The inheritedWidget could be helpful.

InheritedWidget is a base class that permits classes to extend it to propagate information through the tree effectively. In essence, it works by notifying registered construct contexts about any modifications. Alternative approaches are:

  • Provider
  • BLoC/RxDart
  • Riverport
  • Redux
  • Getz
  • Could you get it?
  • MobX
  • SetState

The benefits of Flutter

More efficient coding

In general, iOS and Android developers have to create codes and wait for it's compiling and being loaded onto devices before they can experience changes. However, they can evaluate the effects immediately or with no delay due to Flutter's hot-reload.

Your development team can quickly make adjustments and observe the results. This is the reason. Flutter app development is faster than other applications.

Flutter's native rendering engine

Native rendering engines let you build UIs that are similar on all devices. In general, the rendering process creates additional challenges for the property display layer of the widget on each platform layer and its widget's data synchronization.

How Flutter renders Widgets, Source: Youtube, Flutter

Furthermore, Flutter is doing everything to help facilitate this process. Since it uses Skia, It doesn't require any specific UI component to support rendering, only the canvas to paint. This is a huge benefit that comes with using Flutter!

One codebase that works across all platforms

Due to Flutter's code reuse, it is possible to create an entire codebase that you can use Flutter not only to run mobile Android and iOS but also for desktop, web, and various other applications.

It's worth noting that Flutter recently launched a significant update for Windows support that dramatically reduces development time, cuts expenses, and lets you release your software faster.

Excellent performance

Flutter apps function in a manner comparable to native applications and have a leg up over other cross-platform applications.

This is partly due to Flutter being the sole mobile SDK that does not depend on bridges (JavaScript or webview) to connect the application with the OS. In the end, you'll get a much more responsive application with appealing, speedy animations and lower performance problems.

Conclusion

The structure of our application and how our data is organized could make the difference between an excellent and standard user experience. Being aware of all the key concepts is extremely helpful when creating mobile apps in Flutter. 

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Hope this article is helpful to you, thanks for reading.

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