Listviews & adapters

Domains: Flutter

What is the alternative to a ListView in Flutter?

The equivalent to a ListView in Flutter is … a ListView!

In an Android ListView, you create an adapter and pass it into the ListView, which renders each row with what your adapter returns. However, you have to make sure you recycle your rows, otherwise, you get all sorts of crazy visual glitches and memory issues.

Due to Flutter’s immutable widget pattern, you pass a list of widgets to your ListView, and Flutter takes care of making sure that scrolling is fast and smooth.

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';

void main() {
  runApp(SampleApp());
}

class SampleApp extends StatelessWidget {
  // This widget is the root of your application.
  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return MaterialApp(
      title: 'Sample App',
      theme: ThemeData(
        primarySwatch: Colors.blue,
      ),
      home: SampleAppPage(),
    );
  }
}

class SampleAppPage extends StatefulWidget {
  SampleAppPage({Key key}) : super(key: key);

  @override
  _SampleAppPageState createState() => _SampleAppPageState();
}

class _SampleAppPageState extends State<SampleAppPage> {
  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return Scaffold(
      appBar: AppBar(
        title: Text("Sample App"),
      ),
      body: ListView(children: _getListData()),
    );
  }

  _getListData() {
    List<Widget> widgets = [];
    for (int i = 0; i < 100; i++) {
      widgets.add(Padding(padding: EdgeInsets.all(10.0), child: Text("Row $i")));
    }
    return widgets;
  }
}

How do I know which list item is clicked on?

In Android, the ListView has a method to find out which item was clicked, ‘onItemClickListener’. In Flutter, use the touch handling provided by the passed-in widgets.

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';

void main() {
  runApp(SampleApp());
}

class SampleApp extends StatelessWidget {
  // This widget is the root of your application.
  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return MaterialApp(
      title: 'Sample App',
      theme: ThemeData(
        primarySwatch: Colors.blue,
      ),
      home: SampleAppPage(),
    );
  }
}

class SampleAppPage extends StatefulWidget {
  SampleAppPage({Key key}) : super(key: key);

  @override
  _SampleAppPageState createState() => _SampleAppPageState();
}

class _SampleAppPageState extends State<SampleAppPage> {
  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return Scaffold(
      appBar: AppBar(
        title: Text("Sample App"),
      ),
      body: ListView(children: _getListData()),
    );
  }

  _getListData() {
    List<Widget> widgets = [];
    for (int i = 0; i < 100; i++) {
      widgets.add(GestureDetector(
        child: Padding(
            padding: EdgeInsets.all(10.0),
            child: Text("Row $i")),
        onTap: () {
          print('row tapped');
        },
      ));
    }
    return widgets;
  }
}

How do I update ListView’s dynamically?

On Android, you update the adapter and call notifyDataSetChanged.

In Flutter, if you were to update the list of widgets inside a setState(), you would quickly see that your data did not change visually. This is because when setState() is called, the Flutter rendering engine looks at the widget tree to see if anything has changed. When it gets to your ListView, it performs a == check, and determines that the two ListViews are the same. Nothing has changed, so no update is required.

For a simple way to update your ListView, create a new List inside of setState(), and copy the data from the old list to the new list. While this approach is simple, it is not recommended for large data sets, as shown in the next example.

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';

void main() {
  runApp(SampleApp());
}

class SampleApp extends StatelessWidget {
  // This widget is the root of your application.
  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return MaterialApp(
      title: 'Sample App',
      theme: ThemeData(
        primarySwatch: Colors.blue,
      ),
      home: SampleAppPage(),
    );
  }
}

class SampleAppPage extends StatefulWidget {
  SampleAppPage({Key key}) : super(key: key);

  @override
  _SampleAppPageState createState() => _SampleAppPageState();
}

class _SampleAppPageState extends State<SampleAppPage> {
  List widgets = <Widget>[];

  @override
  void initState() {
    super.initState();
    for (int i = 0; i < 100; i++) {
      widgets.add(getRow(i));
    }
  }

  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return Scaffold(
      appBar: AppBar(
        title: Text("Sample App"),
      ),
      body: ListView(children: widgets),
    );
  }

  Widget getRow(int i) {
    return GestureDetector(
      child: Padding(
          padding: EdgeInsets.all(10.0),
          child: Text("Row $i")),
      onTap: () {
        setState(() {
          widgets = List.from(widgets);
          widgets.add(getRow(widgets.length + 1));
          print('row $i');
        });
      },
    );
  }
}

The recommended, efficient, and effective way to build a list uses a ListView.Builder. This method is great when you have a dynamic List or a List with very large amounts of data. This is essentially the equivalent of RecyclerView on Android, which automatically recycles list elements for you:

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';

void main() {
  runApp(SampleApp());
}

class SampleApp extends StatelessWidget {
  // This widget is the root of your application.
  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return MaterialApp(
      title: 'Sample App',
      theme: ThemeData(
        primarySwatch: Colors.blue,
      ),
      home: SampleAppPage(),
    );
  }
}

class SampleAppPage extends StatefulWidget {
  SampleAppPage({Key key}) : super(key: key);

  @override
  _SampleAppPageState createState() => _SampleAppPageState();
}

class _SampleAppPageState extends State<SampleAppPage> {
  List widgets = <Widget>[];

  @override
  void initState() {
    super.initState();
    for (int i = 0; i < 100; i++) {
      widgets.add(getRow(i));
    }
  }

  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return Scaffold(
        appBar: AppBar(
          title: Text("Sample App"),
        ),
        body: ListView.builder(
            itemCount: widgets.length,
            itemBuilder: (BuildContext context, int position) {
              return getRow(position);
            }));
  }

  Widget getRow(int i) {
    return GestureDetector(
      child: Padding(
          padding: EdgeInsets.all(10.0),
          child: Text("Row $i")),
      onTap: () {
        setState(() {
          widgets.add(getRow(widgets.length + 1));
          print('row $i');
        });
      },
    );
  }
}

Instead of creating a “ListView”, create a ListView.builder that takes two key parameters: the initial length of the list, and an ItemBuilder function.

The ItemBuilder function is similar to the getView function in an Android adapter; it takes a position, and returns the row you want rendered at that position.

Finally, but most importantly, notice that the onTap() function doesn’t recreate the list anymore, but instead .adds to it.

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ListView

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